WILMINGTON, N.C. (Press Release) -- After forcing UNCW into four straight turnovers to start the game, JMU led buzzer-to-buzzer and notched a 70-59 win to remain in a tie with Elon for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
The Dukes (19-6, 12-2 CAA) opened the contest on an 11-0 run and kept the Seahawks (9-16, 4-9 CAA) at least nine points away for the rest of the first half. Bridging the third and fourth quarters, UNCW used a 15-2 run to cut the JMU lead to eight but never got closer.
Redshirt senior guard Precious Hall had a game-high 29 points, joined in double figures by redshirt junior forward Amber Porter (10pts) and freshman guard Lexie Barrier (10pts). The Dukes finished shooting 42.1 percent (24-57) from the floor.
JMU won the rebounding battle 41-35, powered by a career-high 11 boards from sophomore guard Aneah Young. The Dukes also tied a season high with seven team blocks, led by a career-best three denials from sophomore forward Savannah Felgemacher.
The Dukes were held without a field goal for a 7:07 stretch in the second half that allowed the Seahawks to cut the JMU lead back to single digits. Free throws down the stretch by Hall and offensive rebounds by Young helped JMU hold steady over the final minute of play.
DENY, DENY, DENY
JMU had a season-high tying seven blocks as a team. The Dukes have done so two other times this season, denying seven attempts against Idaho State and at Towson.
Precious Hall scored 29 points on Friday, her 25th straight game in double figures. The streak is tied for fifth-longest in JMU history with Lesley Dickinson’s stretch across the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. She now has 2,095 career points and is 26 points behind Tamera Young’s career mark of 2,121 points. Hall has scored 25 points or more 21 times in her career.
The Dukes had assists on 13 of their 24 made baskets this season. JMU has had at least 10 assists in 15 straight games.
Freshman Lexie Barrier earned her first start in a JMU uniform on Friday, her 25th straight appearance for the Dukes.
The Dukes continue their road swing with a trip to College of Charleston on Sunday, Feb. 19. The meeting between the Dukes and Cougars, the first of the season, tips off at 2 p.m.