Dukes hold off Northeastern for fifth straight win

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BOSTON, Mass. -- James Madison women’s basketball defeated Northeastern 58-51 on Friday evening. The Dukes improved to 9-1 in league play and sit on top of the league standings.

After a slow start for both teams tied 3-3, the Dukes (17-4, 9-1) went on a 4-0 run to lead it 7-3; a lead they would not relinquish. The Huskies (14-7, 4-6) would close out the quarter with a three but JMU stayed in front 10-9, which marked its 27th time holding an opponent to 10 points or under in a frame.

The Dukes offense exploded in the second quarter shooting 47.1% (8-17) from the field. JMU ended the frame on a 17-2 run over almost five minutes to take a 30-15 lead at the half. The Dukes are now 16-2 when leading at the half. The eight points scored by Northeastern also marked the 28th time holding an opponent to under 10 points.

Northeastern started to chip away at the Dukes lead starting with a 4-0 run to open the frame. JMU was outscored 16-12 in the frame, but the Dukes stayed ahead 45-33 with one quarter to play. The Huskies continued to chip away at JMU’s lead rattling off a 10-0 run to trail by just four, 50-46. Northeastern continued to battle back but the Dukes sealed their road victory 58-51 over Northeastern.

GAME NOTES
--This was the first non-double-digit victory for the Dukes
--Kamiah Smalls scored 10-plus points for the 23rd consecutive game (13 points)
--Lexie Barrier added 10-plus points for the eighth consecutive game (13 points)
--Jackie Benitez put up 10-plus points for the third consecutive game (12 points)
--Fifth time this season Smalls had one block in a game
--Third time this season Benitez swiped the ball three times
--Breyenne Bellerand had a career-high four rebounds

UP NEXT
JMU will wrap up its Northern swing in Hempstead, N.Y against Hofstra on Sunday, Feb. 10. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.