James Madison women’s basketball clinched its ninth straight 20-win season on Friday night as the Dukes posted a convincing 92-43 win over UNCW at the JMU Convocation Center. The 49-point win was the largest margin-of-victory by Madison this season.
The Dukes moved to 10-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play and 20-4 overall. The 10-game win-streak in league play is their longest since a 13-game win-streak in 2010-11. They have won eight straight and nine of 10 league games by at least 24 points. The Seahawks dropped to 2-9 in league action and 3-22 overall with their sixth-straight loss.
JMU saw all 10 Dukes score against UNCW with six posting double figures. The Dukes were paced by sophomore guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) and junior forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor), each with 16 points. Giggetts scored in double digits for the 15th-straight game.
Senior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) scored 15 points while redshirt sophomore guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty H.S.), sophomore guard Angela Mickens (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) and redshirt junior forward Lauren Okafor (Hamden, Conn./Hopkins School (Providence)) each added 10 points .
UNCW was led by junior guard Kelva Atkins who posted 16 points, followed by freshman guard Brie Mobley with 13 points.
Redshirt senior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) gave the Dukes their first double-digit lead of the game at 20-10 off a made free throw with 7:41 to go in the first half. The lead came in the midst of a 27-6 run by JMU to close out the first stanza, giving them a 25-point advantage over UNCW headed into the locker room. The Seahawks never were closer than 23 points in the second half.
JMU shot 48.6-percent from the field and 33.3-percent from 3-point range while holding UNCW to 34.0-percent shooting from the floor, including a 0-of-4 performance from beyond the arc. The Dukes scored 54 points in the paint while limiting the Seahawks to just 22 points in the paint.
Madison handed the ball over nine times compared to UNCW’s 24 turnovers, creating a 33-6 advantage for the Dukes in points off turnovers.
Gwathmey blocked three shots against the Seahawks, giving her 80 blocks for her career and tying her with Mendy Childress (’75-’79) for ninth place on the JMU career blocks chart. She also tied Okafor with a game-high eight rebounds. As a team, the Dukes pulled down 48 boards while the Seahawks grabbed 27 boards.
Mickens tied her career high of eight assists, closely followed by Newman’s seven assists. Freshman Amani Tatum (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) posted four points, an assist and a steal off the bench, including her first career 3-pointer.
The Dukes hit the road for Drexel on Sunday, Feb. 16, as they take on the Dragons at 5:30 p.m. at the Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The game will be broadcast on television regionally (CSN-MA, CSN-P, CSS).
NOTE: JMU has now trailed just 12 minutes, 58 seconds out of 400 CAA minutes played (3.24%). Head coach Kenny Brooks is now 2-1 on Valentine’s Day.