JMU women's basketball falls to No. 7 Maryland on the road

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (JMU Athletics) Behind a strong first half, No. 7/7 Maryland defeated James Madison women's basketball 87-63 on Saturday afternoon. This was the first top-10 opponent JMU has faced since No. 4 Baylor on Dec. 21, 2015.

It would be a back-and-forth battle as Maryland (9-0) and James Madison (6-2) both fought for an early lead. JMU would tie the game three separate times in the frame, but never held the lead. Kamiah Smalls scored the first nine points for the Dukes. Maryland ended the opening quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 25-15.

The run continued for the Terps as they continued to defend the Xfinity Center in the second quarter. JMU battled but the Maryland defense would hold the Dukes to just seven points in the frame. Maryland tallied 20 points in the frame and ended the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 46-22 lead at halftime.

James Madison came out of the locker room with fight and went to battle with the Terps. Madison Green, who got the start in the period, came up with nine of her 17 points. The Dukes went 6-of-14 from the field (42.9 percent) to stay in the fight trailing 64-40.

JMU opened the final quarter on a 6-0 run and shot 53.3 percent from the floor during the frame. Both teams rattled off 23 points in the quarter. Maryland would come away with the victory 87-63 and continue their unbeaten streak.

GAME NOTES •Green put in a career-high 17 points on 50-percent shooting from the floor (6-12)
•Kamiah Smalls has 10-plus points and a three in 10-straight games, dating back to last season
•Smalls has led the Dukes in scoring in seven of eight games
•Kayla Cooper-Williams rejected three shots, moving her to 161 total blocks on her career
•Aneah Young went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and is a perfect 7-for-7 on the season
•Maryland's Kaila Charles scored a season-high 24 points, while Brianna Fraser tied her career-high of 24 points.
•Four Terps scored in double-figures while Fraser notched a double-double with 11 boards
•Maryland is second in NCAA Division I in rebounds per game as it averages 50.1 per game and has a +18.9 rebound differential. The Dukes were outrebounded 40-29 – third smallest margin for the Terps.

STAT LEADERS •Smalls led the Dukes with 18 points
•Smalls and Cooper-Williams had a team-high six rebounds. The duo has led the team in rebounds in seven of the eight games played
•Green dished out three assists for her third game leading the Dukes in the category
•Cooper-Williams led the team with two swipes for a season-high

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Coach O'Regan: "We're trying to test ourselves, that's why we play them [Maryland]. This is an NCAA Tournament team, whether they win the Big Ten or not. That's the level of toughness it's going to take to outrebound Maryland. Now they know. Those kinds of experiences are what we need."
Kamiah Smalls: "I know she's [Green] capable. To have your breakout game be at Maryland. That's big. We don't get many chances to play on the big stage and she stepped up and proved she could play with the big dogs."

UP NEXT
JMU will continue its road trip and head to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a meeting against Wake Forest on Monday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.