HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison (1-2) pulled away from Murray State (0-3) midway through the first half and went on to post a 71-51 win in women's basketball Thursday evening at the JMU Convocation Center.
Senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) led JMU with 17 points, and redshirt senior guard Jasmine Gill (Greensboro, N.C./Page) added 11 points. Sophomore forward/center Crystal Ross (Philadelphia, Pa./Smyrna, Del. H.S.) grabbed a game-high and career-high 11 rebounds, and junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) finished with nine rebounds.
Murray State was led by senior guard Mariah Robinson (Beaver Dam, Ky./Ohio County) with 14 points and senior forward Kyra Watson (Aurora, Ill./Logan) with 13 points and a game-high six rebounds.
The Dukes broke open a close game with a 14-2 scoring run that brought JMU from an 8-7 deficit to a 21-10 lead with 11:37 left in the opening half. Ross scored six of her career-high eight points and Hislop added four points during the stretch.
JMU extended its lead to 23 points, 44-21, at halftime, and led by 20-plus points the rest of the game.
The Dukes shot 43 percent (29-68) from the floor to only 27 percent (15-55) for Murray State, and JMU outrebounded the Racers 48-40.
* Senior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby)tied her career high with three 3-pointers, all in the first half.
* Tarik Hislop moved from 17th into a tie for 14th place on JMU's career scoring list. With 1,294 points, she's tied with Vicki Harris (1987-91).
* Crystal Ross eclipsed her previous career rebounding high of five with a game-high 11 rebounds. Her eight points tied her single-game high, set at home vs. Georgia State, 1/26/12.
JMU Coach Kenny Brooks:
"The first two games [losses to Virginia and Quinnipiac] were not indicative of the way we were capable of playing. We're still trying to figure things out. Today was a step in the right direction. We got contributions from a lot of people."