TOWSON, Md., -- A hot-shooting James Madison women's basketball team won its sixth straight game as the Dukes beat Towson 75-61 n Colonial Athletic Association play Thursday night at the Towson Center.
JMU improved to 13-7 overall and 7-1 in league play as the Dukes won for the 10th time in their last 11 games. Towson dropped to 7-12 overall and 1-7 in the CAA.
The Dukes claimed sole possession of second place in the league standings behind CAA leader Delaware (8-0). Drexel (6-2) dropped to third place after losing 53-50 at Old Dominion Thursday night.
JMU shot a season-high 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field and had five players score in double figures. Junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) scored a team-high 15 and had four assists, and senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored 14 and handed out a game-high five assists.
Sophomore forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) added 13 points and a game-tying high of 10 rebounds for her second career double-double and first of the season. Redshirt senior forward Kanita Shepherd (Garner, N.C./Garner Magnet) added a season-high 12 points, and freshman guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay) scored 10 points and had four assists.
Towson's Tanisha McTiller led all players with 23 points. Dominique Johnson scored 13, and Nyree Williams finished with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Dukes had a hot hand from the start, shooting 63 percent (17-27) in the first half, while the Tigers connected on only 31 percent (9-29) from the field.
It was close in the early going, with five ties and three lead changes in the first nine minutes.
But JMU scored nine unanswered points to start a 21-5 scoring run that gave the Dukes their largest first-half lead, 36-20, with 1:28 on the clock.
JMU took a 40-25 advantage into halftime, led by Burkholder with 11 points after shooting 4-of-5 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Hislop scored eight (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT) and Hall seven (3-5 FG) in the half.
The Dukes held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game and held their largest lead, 23 points, at 55-32 with 12:33 to go.