UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 13, 2011) - Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year Dawn Evans registered a game-high 24 points and dished out a season-high tying eight assists as top-seeded James Madison won the Colonial Athletic Association title 'AGAIN' 67-61 against Delaware on Sunday at the Show Place Arena.
It was James Madison's second straight championship and sixth overall, the second most in the history of the league, trailing only Old Dominion's 17 league crowns. The Dukes, who earn the conference's automatic bid into next week's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, are now 26-7 on the year.
Evans, the CAA's all-time leading scorer, was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the tournament after averaging 19.3 points and 5.3 assists in three games. Joining Evans on the all-tournament team were teammates Lauren Jimenez and Courtney Hamner, Elena Delle Donne and Danielle Parker of Delaware and Andrea Barbour from VCU.
For the sixth straight game, four Dukes scored in double-figures as Hamner (15), sophomore guard Tarik Hislop (13) and Jimenez (12) joined Evans. Hamner hit a career-high five three-point field goals, including four in the first half.
Delaware (20-13) was led by Delle Donne's 23 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Parker ended the contest with 14 points and 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.
James Madison fell behind early (4-2), but scored 11 consecutive points to grab a 13-4 lead at the 15:55 mark of the first half. The lead ballooned to as many as 15 as the Dukes went 8-of-13 from beyond the arc in the opening period. Delaware fought back though, closing the first stanza on a 10-3 run to enter the intermission down 35-27.
The Dukes built their lead back to 15 on a Jimenez jumper with 5:07 remaining in the contest. The Blue Hens had one last push, scoring 15 of the next 19 points to cut the JMU lead to 63-59 with less than a minute remaining. Delle Donne posted 12 of UD's 15 points during the spurt.
Delaware would get not get closer than four the rest of the way though as JMU went 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the last 47 seconds, including six straight makes from Hislop.
James Madison will now wait to find out its NCAA Tournament opponent and destination. The women's basketball selection show airs Monday evening at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Team's Eight 3-pointers in first half tied program record for most 3's in single half
Team's 11 made 3-pointers was one off the single-game program high
All Tournament Team
Dawn Evans (MOP): 58 points (19.3 ppg), 16 assists, six steals
Courtney Hamner: 42 points (14.0 ppg), 56.5% FG (13-23), 62.5% 3pt (10-16), 75% FT (6-8)
Lauren Jimenez: 37 points (12.3 ppg), 39 rebounds (13.0 rpg) 57.1% FG (16-28), 80% FT (4-5)
Hamner: tied career-high 3-pointers in single game (5) and season-high points (15)
Jimenez: 10th double-double of season (11th career)