NEWARK, Del. (JMU Athletics) Junior forward Devon Merritt recorded a double-double in James Madison women's basketball's 68-43 victory at Delaware to open Colonial Athletic Association play.
Delaware (5-8, 0-1) opened the game with the lead, but behind Merritt's six points for JMU (9-3, 1-0) the Dukes were never far behind. Kamiah Smalls would complete a three-point play which set JMU's wheels in motion for an 8-0 run where it would never trail after that point.
JMU shot an impressive 47-percent (8-17) from the floor in the second quarter to take control of the game. Merritt would tie her career-high in points (14) in the frame, including a basket scored with less than a second on the clock. The Dukes would take what would be their largest lead at the time at the half, 39-21.
Following an exchange of baskets to open the third quarter, JMU went on a 7-0 run to take a 51-25 lead. The Dukes held the Blue Hens to six points in the frame to take a 26-point lead heading into the final quarter, 53-27.
While Delaware outscored the Dukes 16-15 in the final frame, it would not be enough as JMU held on to open CAA with a road victory 68-43.
Merritt notched her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She is the only JMU player with more than one. She is tied for second-most in the CAA with Ariel Colon (Elon), Jasmine Dickey (Delaware), Gabby Giacone (Northeastern) and Paige Powell (UNCW). They all trail Sica Cuzic of Hofstra who has four.
COOPER-WILLIAMS BLOCKS PARTY
Kayla Cooper-Williams now sits alone in third on the all-time blocks list with 169. She is just two rejections from tying Nikki Newman (171)
Third straight season-opening CAA play with a victory
Cooper-Williams recorded 18 rebounds to tie her career-high and tie for 14th most in a game by a JMU player
Merritt rejected a season-high three shots, swiped the ball twice and had her fourth game this season grabbing 10 rebounds
Logan Reynolds dished out a season-high seven assists and grabbed a season-high six rebounds
Third time this season allowing just one three-pointer made
JMU held Delaware to 10 points or under in two separate frames for the 13th and 14th time this season
The Dukes grabbed 59 rebounds for a new season-high, while Delaware only grabbed 44
This is the second time this season the Dukes have recorded 10 or more blocks in a game
JMU will continue its CAA opening weekend road trip at Drexel on Sunday, Jan. 6. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.