Winston-Salem, N.C. (JMU Athletics) -- Wake Forest made last-second free throws to take the 50-49 win over James Madison on Monday morning. The loss would snap a four-game win streak against the Deacs.
In a contest that had nine lead changes and eight ties, it all came down to the final stretch. The Dukes (6-3) went on a 6-0 run in the final frame to take a 47-43 lead, but following back and forth plays the two teams were tied at 48.
Lexie Barrier made both her free throws with 22 seconds left to put the Dukes ahead 49-48. Kamiah Smalls would head to the foul line with seven seconds remaining but both shots bounced out leaving JMU ahead by just one point, 49-48. Elisa Penna of Wake Forest (7-4), who went 0-11 from the field would hit the game-winning free throws to give Wake Forest the victory, 50-49.
After trailing by five at halftime, the Dukes were able to take the lead following a three-point play by Barrier which was the closing of an 8-0 run. Wake Forest ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run, but Jackie Benitez hit a late three to put the Dukes down by just two, 38-36, heading into the final frame.
JMU held Wake Forest to zero three’s in the first half, while half of the Demon Deacons points came from the charity stripe (12 of their 24 points). Wake forest hit just one field goal in the second frame but backed it up with nine points from the free-throw line. While JMU outscored the Deacs 12-11 in the frame, Wake Forest remained ahead 24-19 at halftime.
Following a JMU bucket to start the game, Wake Forest went on a 10-0 run. The Deacs would lead by as much as nine, 13-4, late in the first quarter. Benitez then made her first trey of the game to as the Dukes trailed by six after one quarter, 13-7.
The 50 points scored by Wake Forest was tied for the lowest scoring output this season (vs. Xavier)
JMU had previously won four straight against the Deacs
Aneah Young tallied a season-high 10 rebounds, one shy of her career high (11 at UNCW, 2/17/17)
Kamiah Smalls swiped a season-high three steals
Logan Reynolds grabbed four rebounds to tie her season high (Georgetown)
Barrier led the Dukes with 14 points, including 5-5 from the free throw line
Devon Merritt’s 10 rebounds were the third time this season she’s grabbed 10
JMU had three players in double-digit scoring for the sixth time this season
JMU returns to the Convocation Center to host St. John’s on Friday, Dec. 21 for a 2 p.m. tipoff for the final game before Christmas break.