Va., Jan. 23, 2012 -- The James Madison
women's basketball team led from the opening basket as the Dukes beat Hofstra 80-61 in Colonial Athletic
Association play Thursday night the JMU Convocation Center.
JMU, which clinched a top-four seed and a first-round bye for the upcoming CAA Tournament, improved to 21-6 overall and 12-4 in league play.
Hofstra's record stands at 18-9 overall and 10-6 in CAA games.
The Dukes led by 13 (43-30) at halftime and Hofstra got no closer than 11 (43-32 at 19:35) in the second period. JMU was up by as many as 24 (62-38 at 13:27) in the second half.
JMU senior forward Kiara Francisco (Lakeland, Fla./Winter Haven) came off the bench to tie her career-high with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor and 4-for-5 shooting at the foul line. Redshirt senior forward Lauren Whitehurst (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) added 15 points (6-9 FG, 3-5 FT) and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Three other Dukes scored in double figures as junior guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) added 11 and redshirt junior guard Jasmine Gill (Greensboro, N.C./Page) and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) each scored 10.
JMU freshman forward Toia Giggetts (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) led all players with 11 rebounds, tying her career high.
Hofstra was led in scoring by junior forward Shante Evans (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) with 17 and senior guard Candice Bellocchio (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) with 10. Evans, Bellocchio and junior forward/guard Candace Bond (Fort Washington, Md./Riverdale Baptist) each finished with seven rebounds.