Smalls scores 29 to lead Dukes past Delaware St.
Senior Kamiah Smalls posted a season-high 29 points leading James Madison to an 83-64 win over Delaware State in non-conference women’s basketball action on Tuesday night in the Convocation Center.
The Dukes’ (7-2) defensive pressure was too much for the Hornets (4-7) as JMU forced 18 turnovers that led to 25 points while also cashing in a nearly perfect outing from the charity stripe, shooting a season-best 93.3 percent (14-of-15).
Smalls added a career- and game-high seven assists and a season-high tying three steals to her stat line. Senior Jackie Benitez followed behind with 17 points including five treys while senior Lexie Barrier posted 12 points, five boards, two assists and a steal.
Senior Kayla Cooper-Williams posted a double double in 10 points on an efficient 4-of-5 shooting (80 percent) from the field with a game-high 14 rebounds alongside a game-high four blocks. Cooper-Williams was very helpful on the offensive glass, grabbing a game-high six offensive boards helping James Madison secure 17 on the night for 19 second-chance points.
After falling behind 13-11, JMU went on a 5-0 run with 4:01 left in the first quarter, culminating in a bucket from Smalls, to take a 16-13 lead. The Dukes then maintained that lead and entered the quarter break with a 20-17 advantage. JMU did most of its first quarter damage in the paint, scoring 12 of its 20 points close to the basket.
Delaware State rallied to take a 29-26 lead before JMU went on a 13-1 run starting at the 2:56 mark in the second period, highlighted by a three from Benitez, to take a 39-30 lead at the break.
The Dukes kept their momentum coming out of the break, outscoring the Hornets 26-16 in the third off of a blistering 53.8 percent (7-of-13) shooting from the field which gave JMU enough space to hold on for the win.
- James Madison posted eight blocks on the night, one shy of tying its season high
- Smalls (four) and Benitez (five) accounted for nine of the Dukes’ 11 treys in the contest
- JMU posted a season-low tying 13 turnovers in the game
James Madison plays its final road non-conference game on Friday at 7 p.m. against George Washington.