PHILADELPHIA -- James Madison led for the game's final 30 minutes and secured the number two seed in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 62-53 win at Drexel Wednesday evening at the Daskalakis Center.
The Dukes completed regular-season play with a 21-9 overall record and a 15-3 CAA mark. Drexel is 20-9 overall and 13-5 in the CAA.
JMU sophomore forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) led the Dukes with a season-high 19 points in a game in which she was 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-7 from the foul line and grabbed eight rebounds.
Dukes junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) added 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and third in the last four games.
Senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) added 11 points as she scored in double figures for the 17th game in a row. Redshirt freshman guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) finished the game with eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Game scoring honors went to Drexel senior guard/forward Hollie Mershon (Malvern, Pa./Archbishop Carroll), who hit four 3-pointers en route to a 27-point performance. Senior forward Taylor Wootton (Rutherford, N.J./Rutherford) was the only other Dragon in double figures with 12.
There were four ties and two lead changes in the early going, but the Dukes broke an 18-18 tie (10:50) with a 14-4 scoring run. Five JMU players scored in the spurt, which put JMU up 32-22 with 1:54 left in the half.
JMU held a 12-point (40-28) lead at the 15:51 mark of the second half, when the Dragons scored six unanswered points to close the gap to 40-34 at 13:32.
That, however, was as close as Drexel would get. JMU outscored the Dragons 11-4 over the next six minutes, with Burkholder scoring the first seven Dukes points and Hislop tallying the last four. It was Hislop's layup off a steal with 7:19 to play that put JMU up by 13, 51-38.
Drexel got as close as seven (60-53 with 27 seconds left) but no closer.
* After Wednesday's CAA games the tournament seeds are set:
March 14 First Round:
#8 George Mason vs. #9 North Carolina Wilmington
March 15 Quarterfinals:
#1 Delaware vs. #8/9 winner
#2 JMU vs. #7 Towson
#3 Drexel vs. #6 William and Mary
#4 Northeastern vs. #5 Hofstra