HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 28, 2013 -- Behind a career-high 23 points from freshman guard Precious Hall (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay), the James Madison women's basketball team posted a 77-61 win over Old Dominion in Colonial Athletic Association play Thursday night at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dukes upped their overall record to 19-9 and their CAA record to 13-3. ODU, which entered the game riding a three-game winning streak, has a 19-10 overall record and a 10-7 CAA record.
With two games remaining, JMU remains tied with Drexel for second place in the league standings while Delaware (16-0) clinched first place and the top seed in the upcoming CAA Tournament with a win at Hofstra Thursday night.
JMU will be seeded second or third in the tournament, depending on the outcome of its home March 3 game vs. George Mason and its March 6 game at Drexel. Drexel plays at Delaware on March 3 before closing its season against the Dukes.
Hall was joined in double figures Thursday by senior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) with 18 points and redshirt freshman guard Jazmon Gwathmey (Bealeton, Va./Liberty), who turned in her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The game's top rebounder, however, was junior guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) with 13.
ODU was led by senior guard Jackie Cook (Hinckley, Ohio/Regina) with 13 points and sophomore forward Shae Kelley (Denver, Colo./Denver East) with 10.
In the opening half JMU led by as many as seven, 24-17 at 6:13, but ODU scored the game's next six points. That was the start of a 9-2 scoring run to ended with a 3-pointer by Cook that tied the game at 26 with 4:11 to play. The game was tied twice more before Hislop hit a short jumper with 4.7 seconds left to send JMU into halftime up 32-30.
The Dukes, however, opened the second period by outscoring the Monarchs 18-5 to build a 50-35 advantage with 13:58 on the clock. Hall scored seven points and Gwathmey tallied six during that stretch.
But ODU scored the game's next nine points, including seven points following JMU turnovers, to get within six, 50-44, with 11:24 remaining. Redshirt senior forward Mairi Buchan (Stirlingshire, Scotland/Denny) scored five of those points and Cook had the other four.
JMU responded with a 15-0 run in which sophomore forward/center Crystal Ross (Philadelphia, Pa./Smyrna, Del. H.S.) scored seven points. That gave the Dukes a 21-point (65-44) advantage with 7:42 to play, and ODU got no closer than 16 the rest of the way.
ODU shot slightly better than JMU, 45 percent (19-42) to 43 percent (29-67), but JMU had 25 more shots and out-rebounded the Monarchs 46-25, including 24-6 on the offensive boards.