Smalls leads JMU as Dukes rally past UNCW

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison women’s basketball picked up its 12th league victory of the season on Sunday, defeating UNCW 58-51 inside the Convocation Center. The Dukes improved to 20-4 on the season and 12-1 in CAA play. UNCW falls to 15-9 on the season and 8-5 in league play.

Kamiah Smalls, who finished with 24 points, made five from the charity stripe down the stretch to give the Dukes the 58-51 victory over the Seahawks. After trailing 41-39 after the third quarter, the Dukes were able to go ahead and take the lead following a Logan Reynolds steal that put her at the free throw line. JMU hit nine from the charity stripe in the final frame and held UNCW to just one field goal to extend its active home win streak to 25-games.

After leading 27-25 at halftime, marking just the fifth time this season the Dukes trailed at the half, JMU extended a run from the second quarter to lead it 29-27, but the game that consisted of nine ties and six lead changes would go back in the hands of the Seahawks. Both teams rattled off 14 points in the third quarter, which left UNCW ahead 41-39 after three played.

Wilmington rattled off a 6-0 run to take a 20-13 lead, which was halted by a Smalls layup. The Dukes continued to battle on the defensive end and head into the locker room trailing the Seahawks. While the Dukes started off the game on a 5-0 run, UNCW rattled off a 12-0 of its own. But as it would prove to be the theme of the game the Dukes came right back into it and trailed by just one point, 14-13 after the opening frame.

JMU travels to take on Elon in Elon, N.C. on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.