HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 3, 2012 -- James Madison redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) scored a career-high 18 points to pace the Dukes to a 56-49 win over Duquesne in women's basketball Tuesday night at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dukes won their 16th consecutive home game and improved to 9-3 overall in their final non-conference game of the season. Duquesne, which lost for only the third time this season, has a 12-3 record.
Whitehurst scored 11 of JMU's final 19 points as the Dukes outscored Duquesne 19-10 in the final 8:11 to pull out the win.
Duquesne, which trailed by 10 twice in the second half (the last time 30-20 at 17:17), rallied to take a 39-37 lead with 8:33 to play. Duquesne scored six straight points, including four points off JMU turnovers, to start a 19-7 scoring run and take its first lead of the night, 39-37, with 8:33 to go.
JMU used back-to-back three-point plays, one by Whitehurst at 8:11 and the second by freshman forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) at 7:37, to regain the lead, 43-39.
The Dukes maintained their lead the rest of the way, although Duquesne trailed by only one (45-44) at 4:32 and was down by two (49-47) at 3:33. Duquesne hit only one of four field-goal tries in the final three minutes, while JMU got two baskets from Whitehurst and connected on three of four foul shots in that span.
Whitehurst was the only JMU player to score in double figures. Junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored nine points and also had a season-high seven rebounds and five assists. Sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) also scored nine points, all on three-pointers. Junior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) led all players with a season-high 10 rebounds.
Duquesne was led in scoring by sophomore forward Wumi Agunbiade (Pickering, Ontario/Dunbarton) and sophomore guard/forward Orsi Szecsi (Budapest, Hungary/Oak Hill Academy), each with 13 points. Szecsi was her team's top rebounder with nine.