LYNCHBURG, Va., Dec. 1, 2011 - Redshirt junior guard Jasmine Gill (Greensboro, N.C./Page) scored 24 points and junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) added 20 as James Madison held off Liberty for a 62-58 win in women's basketball Thursday night at the Vines Center.
The Dukes remained unbeaten, improving to 5-0, while Liberty dropped to 3-4.
Gill's 24-point performance matched her career scoring high. She also scored 24 points against Harvard while playing for Boston College (11/14/09). Hislop's 20-point game was just two below her career high of 22, set earlier this season in a double-overtime win at American (11/13/11).
Liberty was led by redshirt senior center Avery Warley with 18 points and redshirt junior guard/forward Devon Brown with 13. Brown and senior guard forward Danika Dale tied for game rebounding honors with nine.
The Flames trailed by nine (52-43) with 7:58 to go. But Liberty outscored the Dukes 9-2 to get within two, 54-52, with 3:07 left. Warley scored the first four points of the run, Brown contributed a layup off a long pass from Dale, and freshman guard Reagan Miller capped the run with her only three-pointer of the night.
But a 16-foot jumper by Hislop followed by a layup by redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) off a Hislop pass put the Dukes up 58-52 with 2:20 left.
The Flames cut the lead to two, 60-58, after a Warley layup at 1:28 followed by two free throws by Brown with 55 seconds left.
But Gill knocked down an 18-foot jumper with 34.5 seconds left to push the Dukes' lead to 62-58.
On Liberty's next possession, Miller missed a layup and then Warley missed an attempted put-back, and JMU junior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) got the rebound with 23 seconds left. Liberty, which only had three team fouls, fouled four times in less than five seconds, finally sending Hislop to the foul line for a 1+1 with 18.6 seconds on the clock. After a Hislop miss, the Dukes' defense kept Liberty from getting anything but a desperation three-point heave by Brown with six seconds remaining.
Additional Game Notes:
* Starting post player Lauren Whitehurst got her second foul just 1:26 into the first half.
* Liberty ran off nine unanswered points to take a 9-2 lead at the 14:08 mark of the first half, with Avery Warley scoring four and Devon Brown three points during the run.
* Trailing 11-5 with 12:30 left, JMU scored 17 straight points to lead 22-11 with 5:01 to play. Nikki Newman hit two three-pointers, Jasmine Gill scored seven points and Tarik Hislop added four points.
* Liberty outscored JMU 10-7 in the final 4:38 of the half, which ended with the Dukes up 29-21.
* JMU shot 36 percent (11-31) and Liberty 26 percent (8-31) from the field... Dukes held a 24-22 rebounding edge.
* JMU led by Gill with 10 points and Hislop with eight points... Liberty's top scorer was Warley with seven.
* JMU's largest lead of the first half was 11, on two occasions (last 28-17 at 2:38).
* Liberty outscored JMU 14-7 to open half, finishing run with six straight points to cut Dukes' lead to one, 36-35, at 14:05.
* JMU went on 12-2 run (Gill 8 points, Hislop 4 points) to take its largest lead of the half, 48-37, at 12:05
* A 9-2 Liberty run brought the Flames within two, 54-52, at 3:07
* With Lauren Whitehurst on the bench in foul trouble, JMU senior center Rachel Connely (Tamaqua, Pa./Marian Catholic) played a career-high 28 minutes and contributed seven points and five rebounds (each one below her career high). She converted three of four field-goal tries, was one-for-two at the foul line and blocked a shot.