Dukes Hold Off Hoyas

By  | 

HARRISONBURG, Va. (JMU Athletics) -- For the 16th time this season, James Madison women's basketball held an opponent under 50 points in a 54-55 win over Georgetown in the WNIT Quarterfinals.

James Madison (29-5) opened the game on a 5-0 run, with a trey from Kamiah Smalls. The Dukes continued to pour it on offensively leading 12-2 early in the opening frame. Georgetown (19-16) did not quit and rattled off an 8-0 run late to trail just 12-10.

Following an early second quarter bucket, the Dukes ran off on an 11-0 run, with baskets by four different Dukes. Georgetown was forced to burn a timeout as JMU extended their lead 19-12. The Dukes defense stayed steady allowing just three field goals from the Hoyas in the frame as JMU lead 25-17 at the break.

The two teams continued to make runs but the Dukes remained in front. The Hoyas outscored the Dukes 18-14 in the frame and cut the Dukes lead to four, 39-35. The Dukes opened the final quarter on a 4-0 run, including a huge play from Madison Green where she hustled to get the rebound and layup. JMU held Georgetown to just nine points in the frame for the Dukes to win 54-44.

GAME NOTES
The Dukes have won 18 games in the Convocation Center which is a program record
JMU has put together 31 consecutive wins in the Convocation Center, which is the second longest streak in program history
JMU's 29 wins ties a program record for most wins in a season
Jackie Benitez led the Dukes with 14 points and four from behind the arc
Benitez now has 89 three's this season which ties Kirby Burkholder for eighth most in a season
Benitez has 196 swipes on her career which is now sixth most all-time, while Logan Reynolds' 194 steals is fifth most all-time
The Dukes set a program record 215 blocks this season, which is second most in a season in CAA history (218 is the CAA record set by William & Mary)
The Dukes hit seven from behind the arc tonight for 225 on the season, which now stands a program record
Smalls added 13 points, while Cooper-Williams knocked in 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds
Aneah Young grabbed 11 rebounds to tie her career-record for most in a game
This is the 16th opponent held under 50 points this season, which is the most in the DI era for JMU and ties the most in JMU history (1973-74)
The Dukes are now 22-8 all-time in WNIT games and 20-2 when playing in the Convocation Center
This is the second time in program history advancing to the WNIT Semifinals. The last time was 2012.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Smalls: "The crowd is electric. I say this all the time, in women's basketball you don't see arenas packed. For us to have that and make a whole bunch of strangers proud of what we're doing makes it more with it. They're cheering us on and they don't know us. I know I feed off of that."

Cooper-Williams: "We focus on being in the moment and playing in the game. We just focused on this game so that what's we're going to do going forward to the semifinals."

Smalls: "This might be a blessing in disguise. It's not the goal we wanted but the path we've made for ourselves to get here is amazing…This balances out for what we've done all year. This is perfect for us."

Coach Sean O'Regan: "Really proud of our defensive effort today. It's really hard to hold that team down but we did it...we've learned to ways a lot of different wins this season and I think that has helped us. This win was like 'I'm not going to play a perfect game, but we're going to find a way to win'"

UP NEXT
The Dukes will host Northwestern in the WNIT Semifinals on Wednesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

TICKET INFO - purchase here
Reserved - $16
General Admission - $13
General Admission JMU Faculty/Staff, Youth (6-17), Seniors (62+) - $11

Priority deadline for season ticket holders to reserve their same seats is Monday at 5 p.m.