Dukes Claim Share of Regular-Season Title In Victory Over Tigers

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TOWSON, Md. (JMU Athletics) -- James Madison women's basketball won at least a share of the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title with its 63-56 victory over Towson. The Dukes are rolling on an 11-game win streak, their longest since 2015-16 when they won 20 straight.

Following a slow start from both teams, the Dukes (23-4, 15-1) used Jackie Benitez's five points coming from a perfect 2-2 from the field to push ahead. Kayla Cooper-Williams helped the Dukes on defense coming up with four blocks in the opening frame, as JMU led by just two, 13-11.

Towson's (17-10, 11-5) Kionna Jeter, who finished with 16 points, tied the game on the opening possession in the second quarter. As it would be the whole game, the two teams would exchange points back and forth. Jeter then began a Tiger 7-0 run starting with a steal and layup to give the Tigers their first lead of the game. However, the Dukes would hold Towson without a field goal in the final 4:52 of the frame.

Lexie Barrier scored 10 of the Dukes 15 points of the second quarter to keep on pace with the Tigers. Kamiah Smalls hit her first basket of the game late in the second quarter which gave the Dukes a 28-26 lead heading into the break.

Towson opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 34-28 but JMU responded right back in the tail end off the frame and jumped back in from 37-34. Nukiya Mayo scored on the Tigers final possession of the frame as JMU led by one headed to the final quarter, 37-36.

The conference foes battled to begin the fourth quarter, Danielle Durjan of Towson tied the game at 41 points but a trey from Smalls would put JMU back ahead, a lead they would never give up. The Dukes exploded for 26 points in the final frame to take the win 63-56.

GAME NOTES
Dukes won at least a share of the CAA regular-season title
Cooper-Williams flirted with a triple-double with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks
Cooper-Williams' 9 blocks in the game tied the program record she set earlier this season
Cooper-Williams has 74 blocks and owns the JMU blocks in a season record
Barrier finished with 20 points for the second time this season
Smalls added 18 points for her 29th consecutive game scoring at least 10 points
The Dukes are on an 11-game win streak, their longest of the season and longest since 2015-16 when they had a 20-game win streak

UP NEXT
JMU hosts Drexel in a crucial matchup for the Dukes at the Convocation Center with a 7 p.m. tip on March 7. The regular Friday-Sunday schedule changes for the final week with JMU hosting Drexel on Thursday night (Mar. 7) followed by a senior day ceremony as the Dukes host Delaware on Saturday (Mar. 9).