Dukes earn road win at UNCW

By  | 

WILMINGTON, N.C. – James Madison dominated the middle quarters to create enough room to take down UNCW, 66-58 in Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball action inside of Trask Coliseum on Friday night.

The James Madison women's basketball team defeated UNCW, 66-58, Friday night in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Photo Courtesy: FloSports).

The Dukes (12-3, 3-1 CAA) outscored the Seahawks (5-11, 2-3 CAA) 34-23 in the second and third stanzas in addition to forcing 19 turnovers to get back into the win column.

Senior Kamiah Smalls led all scorers with 20 points on 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from the field including a blistering 80 percent (4-of-5) from behind the arc alongside six rebounds.

Senior Jackie Benitez tacked on 12 points and sophomore Madison Green chipped in as well with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting (80 percent) off the bench. For the second consecutive game, freshman Kiki Jefferson was efficient all over the place as she filled the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal.

How it Happened
After falling behind 13-6, JMU went on an 8-0 run with 3:48 left in the first quarter, culminating in a bucket from Benitez, to take a 14-13 lead. UNCW responded to tie things up at 17-17 heading into the second quarter.

The Seahawks took a 24-19 lead before JMU went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a bucket from sophomore Jaylin Carodine, to take a 27-24 lead. The Dukes proceeded to tack on six points to that lead and enjoyed a 33-27 advantage heading into halftime. JMU was strong from deep in the period, knocking down three three-point shots to account for nine of its 16 points.

The Dukes surrendered its halftime lead until, with the game tied at 38-38, they went on a 13-0 run to grab a 51-38 lead with 31 seconds to go in the third that it would not relinquish. A crucial factor in the win was offensive rebounds as JMU secured 16 boards leading to 18 second-chance points.

Quick Hits
- The Dukes tied their season low with 11 turnovers while posting a season-high 11 steals led by freshman Rayne Tucker with a career-high five steals
- Senior Kamiah Smalls’ 20 points marked her sixth time this season reaching that mark and the 25th occurrence of her career
- Senior Lexie Barrier was a force on the glass as she grabbed a team- and season-high seven rebounds

Up Next
JMU will wrap up its three-game road trip with a Sunday bout against College of Charleston. Tip is set for 1 p.m. with the game broadcast live on FloSports.