Harrisonburg, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- On Sunday afternoon, the James Madison Dukes (16-4, 8-1) defeated the Towson Tigers (12-8, 6-3) 71-59 inside the Convocation Center. JMU extended their home winning streak to 23 consecutive games. The Dukes also improved to 8-1 in CAA play and 9-0 at home when playing on Super Bowl Sunday.
Both teams started slow with Towson taking a 7-5 lead at the media time out. The Tigers would finish the first quarter leading 17-9 and the Dukes shot 4-16 from the field. Kamiah Smalls led all JMU scorers with four points.
Starting the second quarter, JMU was able to open play with a 6-0 run thanks to two threes from Jackie Benitez. Benitez third basket of the quarter put the Dukes ahead for the first time Sunday afternoon. The half ended with the Dukes leading 27-25 and held Towson to eight points in the second quarter.
With time running down in the fourth quarter, the Dukes went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to one. Devon Merritt finished the first half with 0 points in the first half and finished the quarter with 11 points. JMU would tie the game at 55 and would have the final possession of the game after a charge was called against Towson. Kamiah Smalls would just miss the final three-point attempt late to send the game to overtime.
The overtime period began with the Dukes sprinting out to a 64-57 lead thanks to a 9-0 run. JMU would carry momentum into the final two and a half minutes and end the frame on a 7-0 run to win 71-59.
Kamiah Small had her 22nd consecutive game scoring at least 10 points.
Devon Merritt finished the game with 10+ points for the 5th time this season.
Sunday's matchup against Towson was the first overtime game of the season for the Dukes.
Lexie Barrier had her first double-double of the season posting 14 points and 11 rebounds. Barrier also had a career high in rebounds.
With the victory this afternoon, JMU extends their home winning streak to 23, which is the 5th longest active streak in the nation.
The Dukes are now 9-0 at home when playing on Super Bowl Sunday.
Smalls was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
This was the 5th time this season grabbing over 50 rebounds, with 52 tonight.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Coach O'Regan: That was a fun game, it was a gutsy effort and we finally pulled out a tight one. We had a great crew and team effort to pull out a tight one on Super Bowl Sunday. I was really proud of our team and their unwillingness to lose attitude"
Kamiah Smalls: "It was about that momentum. That is Aneah's thing. We're hype. It brings energy especially in a tight game like that. I give her 100% credit for that. Sacrificing your body for your team is tough"
Aneah Young: "I think it shows we can win close games. We've beat teams by 20 especially at Convo this season, so this shows when it gets down to the wire we can win."
JMU will head north to take on Northeastern on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.