James Madison held its eighth opponent under 50 points as the Dukes beat visiting George Mason 49-45 in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball Sunday afternoon at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dukes improved their overall record to 16-5 and their CAA record to 8-3. JMU's win, combined with Hofstra's loss to Old Dominion Sunday, moved the Dukes into a tie with Hofstra for second place in the CAA.
George Mason's record now stands at 11-11 overall and 5-6 in the CAA
The Dukes shot a season-low 22 percent (15-68) from the field and had their second-lowest scoring game of the season. It was JMU's lowest scoring game in a win since a 49-48 victory over Old Dominion on Feb. 18, 2001.
"I've never seen so many shots hit the back of the rim. We missed some early and it snowballed," said JMU head coach Kenny Brooks. "We shot extremely poorly, we didn't play our best floor game, we didn't have one of our better players and we still mustered up a win."
JMU was led in scoring by redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) and junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch), each with nine points, and sophomore guard Debbie Smith (Hampton, Va./Hampton) came off the bench for a career-high eight points on 4-for-8 shooting.
Whitehurst and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) tied for game rebounding honors with 12 apiece, and freshman forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) had nine rebounds. Burkholder, who tied her career rebounding high, also had game-highs of five assists and three blocks and made a steal.
JMU played without injured junior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby), who missed her first career game after playing 88 consecutive games for the Dukes.
Mason redshirt senior guard Taleia Moton (Fort Washington, Md./Suitland) led all players with 13 points, well below her team-leading 22.0 average. Junior guard Rahneeka Saunders (Washington, D.C./Riverdale Baptist) had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The teams combined for 30 points in the final 13:03, when JMU outscored Mason 17-13 to break a 32-32 (13:26) tie. JMU did not score a field goal in the final 10:30 and tallied its last nine points at the foul line. The Dukes converted nine of 19 attempts in the final 10:41.
George Mason outscored JMU 44-31 from the field, but the Dukes connected on 18 of 29 free throws while Mason was 1-for-4 from the line.