James Madison women’s basketball used a 12-2 run in the first half to break a 21-all tie and pushed its lead to as many as 27 points en route to a 77-50 victory at Hofstra on Sunday afternoon at Mack Sports Complex.
JMU moved to 13-4 on the year and 3-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play while Hofstra dropped to 6-10, 1-4 in CAA play.
JMU and Hofstra traded buckets through much of the first half, tallying seven tie games and six lead changes to end up in a 21-all tie. The Dukes used a 12-2 run, however, to notch the final lead change of the game. The run over a span of 2:41 gave JMU a 10-point lead of 33-23 at the 1:48 mark of the first half. JMU headed into the locker room with a 35-27 advantage over the Pride. The Dukes outrebounded the Pride 27-17 in the first 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, the Dukes continued the onslaught as they outscored the Pride 42-23 in the final 20 minutes of the game. Overall, JMU shot 41.8 percent from the floor, including a 47.8-percent mark (11-23) in the second half. The Dukes finished with a 27-15 advantage in points off turnovers and a 20-12 advantage in second-chance points.
Sophomore Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) led four Dukes in double figures with 20 points, her second straight 20-plus point-performance, including an 11-of-11 showing at the free-throw line. She also turned in six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 37 minutes of action.
Hofstra was led by Anma Onyeuku’s 17 points. As a team, the Pride shot 30.4 percent from the floor, including 20.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Dukes held the Pride to just 11.1-percent shooting (1-9) from 3-point range in the second half.
Senior Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) dropped in 18 points on Sunday with four made 3-pointers and added nine rebounds and two steals. She moved into 15th all-time on the JMU career-scoring list with 1,307 career points, passing Vicki Harris’ 1,294 points. She needs just four points for sole possession of 14th all-time. The senior also took sole possession of 14th place on the all-time free-throw chart from Harris, knocking down four against Hofstra for 257 career-made free-throws.
Redshirt sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Bealeton) scored 15 points with six rebounds and accounted for four of JMU’s 12 blocks. Redshirt junior Lauren Okafor (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) and redshirt senior Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) and each blocked three shots at Hofstra. Newman had three steals and three rebounds with a career-high nine assists, moving her into 13th all-time at JMU with 273 career assists as she passed Christina Lee’s 272.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers for JMU was junior Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) with 13 points, including her first career 3-pointer. She scored from beyond the arc off an inbounds pass from Newman at the 8:47 mark of the second half, putting the Dukes in front by 18 (55-37).
Overall, JMU notched 15 steals, the most they have grabbed since Dec. 31, 2012 against Georgia Southern (15). The Dukes’ 12 blocks made it the second straight game with at least 10 blocks. Hofstra narrowly edged out JMU in the lane with a 24-22 advantage off points in the paint.
The Dukes return to the JMU Convocation Center on Thursday, Jan. 23 for a 7 p.m. tip against Drexel. The Dragons are the only other remaining unbeaten squad in CAA play (3-0).