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Merch Madness
Duke Dog Reading Day is Sunday.Courtesy: Photography/JMU Athletics Communications
It's Senior Day for Women's Basketball, Sunday at 2 p.m. vs. George Mason
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:03/01/2013
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George Mason at James Madison
Sunday, March 3 | 2:00 P.M. |
JMU Convocation Center
Live Stats | Audiostream | Videostream

THE BASICS
◊ Tickets
: Tickets range in price from $7-10.  Please click here for specific information.  
◊ Parking
: Free parking on first-come, first-serve basis.  Please click here for a parking map.
◊ Where
: JMU Convocation Center, Harrisonburg, Va. (capacity: 7,156)
◊ Multimedia:
>>
Local Radio: WHBG 1360 AM (Harrisonburg, Va.)
>>
Audiostream & Videostream: MadiZONE on JMUSports.com (free; requires registration)

SENIOR DAY CELEBRATION
Prior to tip-off, senior Tarik Hislop and redshirt senior Kanita Shepherd will be recognized for their contributions to the JMU women's basketball program.  They will play in their final home regular-season game as Dukes against George Mason.

EXTRA, EXTRA: Duke Dog Reading Day
Sunday's match-up against George Mason marks the second of two Duke Dog Reading Days with JMU women's basketball, presented by Bruster's and O'Neill's Grill.
The Duke Dog Reading Program, in its 24th year, encourages reading by area elementary school students.
Some 14,000 student readers from 33 schools in 10 school systems (Augusta, Frederick, Greene, Page, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties and the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester) participated in the program, and more than 4,000 students met the reading goals and are eligible to attend the designated games.
Students are given a set number of books to read over the course of four weeks.  Those who complete their reading goals are rewarded with a voucher for a scoop of ice cream from Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Harrisonburg and tickets for themselves and two others to the designated JMU women's basketball game.  There is also a half time recognition for the top three reading schools, and the classes that reach 100% participation receive a poster autographed by the JMU women's basketball team.
The success of the program has garnered national attention.  In June 2007, the Duke Dog Reading Program was identified by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators as the Gold Winner of the single day attendance promotion for women's basketball.
The program traditionally draws large crowds, and in 1996-97 a Convocation Center-record 6,500 fans attended the Jan. 17 game with Old Dominion.  Last year's two games drew season-highs of 5,179 (Feb. 26 ODU) and 4,637 (Jan. 29 Delaware) fans, ranking number five and 12, respectively, among all-time home attendance in JMU history.

LAST MATCH-UP
1/24/13 Patriot Center, Fairfax, Va.:  JMU 71, George Mason 55

SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
The Patriots are tied with Towson for ninth place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings heading into their final two games of the regular season.  George Mason has a 4-12 record against league opponents and is 9-18 overall.
Senior guard Rahneeka Saunders leads the team in scoring (11.6), assists (3.0) and steals (1.9).  She also pulls down 4.8 rebounds per game and shoots 82.1 percent (69 of 84) from the free throw line.  When JMU faced Mason on Jan. 24, Saunders was the lone Patriot in double figures with 14 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
The leading rebounder for George Mason is senior forward Amber Easter, who is pulling down 6.9 boards per outing.  Just behind her are redshirt junior Janaa Pickard with 5.2 rebounds and redshirt senior Joyous Tharrington with 5.1 rebounds per game.  Pickard tops the team in blocked shots, averaging 1.1 blocks each game.
When facing CAA foes, the Patriots are scoring an average of 53.7 points while allowing opponents to put 61.2 points on the board to hold a -7.5 scoring margin.  They are also turning the ball over 2.4 more times each game than league adversaries, giving the ball away 17.3 times compared to 14.9 times by opponents.

JMU FAST BREAK
The Dukes are tied with Drexel for second place in the CAA standings with a 13-3 league record.  Overall, JMU holds an 19-9 record including 10-5 within the confines of the JMU Convocation Center.
Senior guard Tarik Hislop and junior guard Kirby Burkholder lead the Dukes in scoring as they average 16.9 points and 14.7 points, respectively.  When looking at just conference games, freshman guard Precious Hall joins the double-figures club with a scoring average of 12.7.
While Burkholder leads the team in rebounds (8.6), the team is getting significant contributions from sophomore forward Toia Giggetts and redshirt freshman guard Jazmon Gwathmey under the basket.  When facing CAA opponents, Giggetts is pulling down 7.4 boards were game while Gwathmey is grabbing 5.4.
Gwathmey has a team-leading 19 blocked shots, and Kanita Shepherd has 18 blocks.  Shepherd has swatted away 10 shots during conference play, and Gwathmey has knocked away nine in that same time span.

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