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Nikki Newman scored a career-high 15 points and had 11 rebounds.Courtesy: Cathy Kushner/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Basketball Wins 66-54 at George Mason
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:02/29/2012

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 29, 2012 -- Four James Madison players scored in double figures to pace the Dukes to a 66-54 win at George Mason in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball Wednesday evening at the Patriot Center.

JMU concluded regular-season play with a 23-6 overall record and a 14-4 record in CAA competition.  George Mason has a 14-15 overall record and an 8-10 CAA record.

Dukes' junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) led JMU with 18 points, and junior forward Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby) added a career-high 15 points and also had 11 rebounds.  Redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) added 14 points, and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.

Mason was led by Amber Easter with 18 points and 16 rebounds.  Taleia Moton added 15 points and Evelyn Lewis scored 10.

Mason led only once, 23-21 with 37.3 seconds left in the first half, and the Dukes were up by as many as 12 points (the last time 53-41 with 6:16 left).  But the Patriots outscored JMU 11-3 to get within four, 56-52, with 4:07 to play.

However, Mason missed their next four shots while Hislop hit four straight free throws to extend the JMU lead to 60-52 with 1:16 remaining, and the Patriots got no closer than six the rest of the way.

CAA regular-season play was completed with six games Wednesday night.  The Dukes, who had already clinched the number two seed for the upcoming CAA Tournament, will face either No. 7 George Mason or No. 10 Northeastern in a March 9 5 p.m. quarterfinal.  Mason and Northeastern will play in a March 8 first-round game.

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