JMU women's basketball earns road win at Villanova

The James Madison women's basketball team defeated Villanova, 56-52, Saturday evening.
By  | 

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The James Madison Dukes rallied from a 44-41 deficit after the third quarter to defeat the Villanova Wildcats 56-52 at the Finneran Pavilion on Saturday. The victory improved JMU’s overall record to 2-0 and Villanova dropped to 0-2.

The Dukes had two players score in double figures, led by Kamiah Smalls, who had 22 points and three steals. Lexie Barrier tacked on 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Kiki Jefferson added two points, six rebounds and two blocks.

JMU pulled down 46 rebounds in Saturday's game compared to Villanova's 37, led by 10 boards from Kayla Cooper-Williams. The Dukes also put in work on the offensive glass, turning 18 rebounds into 12 second chance points.

JMU's defense held Villanova to only 30.4% shooting from the field, including 23.5% from beyond the arc. The Dukes also limited Bridget Herlihy to 3-of-14 shooting and 10 points in the game.

How it Happened
After jumping out to a 4-3 advantage, JMU went on a 13-0 run with 7:25 left in the first quarter, culminating in a bucket from Barrier, to increase its lead to 17-3. The Dukes then lost some of that lead, but still entered the quarter break with a 20-11 advantage. JMU did most of its first quarter damage in the paint, scoring 12 of its 20 points close to the basket.

The Dukes maintained their lead in the game's second frame and entered halftime with a 31-25 edge. JMU forced four Villanova turnovers in the period and turned them into six points.

JMU then lost its advantage in the third quarter and trailed the Wildcats 44-41 entering the fourth. JMU played well near the basket, scoring eight of its 10 points in the paint.

JMU came out of the third quarter break clicking on all cylinders, going on a 7-0 run to seize a 48-44 lead with 3:04 to go in the contest. The Dukes held onto that lead for the rest of the game for the 56-52 win. JMU got a boost from its bench in the period, with non-starters scoring five of its 15 total points.

GAME NOTES
--Kamiah Smalls led the Dukes with 22 points
--Lexie Barrier added 20
--Smalls, Barrier and Devon Merritt combined to account for 84% of the Dukes points
--JMU had a 46-37 edge on the boards
--JMU defense forced 14 turnovers
--The Dukes rejected five shots as a team
--Cooper-Williams grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds
--Smalls has made 516 career field goals, tied for 18th all-time
--Smalls now sits in 14th all-time with 1,397 career points
--Scored 20 or more points in the opening frame of both games this season

UP NEXT
JMU will return back to the ‘Burg and host Maryland on Wednesday, November 13 at 7 p.m.