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Merch Madness
Coach Kenny Brooks has led his teams to seven consecutive postseason appearances.Courtesy: Cathy Kushner/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Basketball Opens Postseason Play at Home vs. Davidson in WNIT Thursday
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:03/14/2012
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HARRISONBURG, Va., March 14, 2012 - Two women's basketball teams that have built successful seasons with solid defense meet Thursday, when the James Madison Dukes host Davidson in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

The first-round WNIT game tips off at 7 p.m. at the JMU Convocation Center.

JMU leads the Colonial Athletic Association and ranks ninth in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense, as the Dukes limit their opponents to 33.9 percent shooting.  Davidson is the top defensive team (55.9 ppg) in the Southern Conference and ranks 22nd in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense at 34.9.

The Dukes bring a 24-7 record into the WNIT, while Davidson has a 22-9 record.

Thursday's winner plays the winner of Thursday's Wake Forest at Charlotte game in a second-round WNIT contest, to be played March 17, 18 or 19.  The site and date of that game will be announced following the conclusion of Thursday's first-round games.

GAME 32:  JMU vs. Davidson
When:
  Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m.
Where:  JMU Convocation Center (capacity 7,156), Harrisonburg, Va.

Audio:
  WHBG ESPN 1360 AM, Harrisonburg, Va. | MadiZONE on JMUSports.com
Video: 
MadiZONE subscriber video
Live Stats

TICKET INFORMATION: 
Available
in advance or at the door.  Doors open at 6 p.m.  JMU Season Ticket Holders Click Here for Advance Tickets
Ticket Prices:  Reserved $13 | General Admission $11 | Youth, Senior Citizens, JMU Faculty/Staff $8 | JMU/Davidson Students $4 (enter through door E)| JMU Student Duke Club FREE with membership card

Scouting Davidson:

About Davidson:
  Located in Davidson, N.C. (20 miles north of Charlotte, N.C.)... enrollment 1,900.

Home Court:  John M. Belk Arena (5,223)

Conference Affiliation:  Southern Conference member... regular season SoCon co-champion.

Coach:  Michele Savage (Northwestern '93), 36-26 in two Davidson and career seasons... 2012 SoCon Coach of the Year.

Record:  22-9 overall, 17-3 SoCon

Players to Watch:
Laura Murray... 5-9 sophomore guard... 2011 SoCon Freshman of the Year... 2012 All-SoCon First Team ...team-high 14.7 ppg.

Sophia Aleksandravicius... 6-4 junior forward... 2012 SoCon Player of the Year... 13.5 ppg, team-high 8.9 rpg and 2.9 blocks per game

2011-12 Common Opponents with JMU:  Only Duquesne, which beat Davidson 84-53 on Nov. 27 on Duquesne's home court... JMU downed Duquesne 56-49 on Jan. 4 at home.

Of Note:  Davidson tied for first with Appalachian State in the SoCon regular-season standings with a 17-3 record... the Wildcats, the top seed in the SoCon Tournament, lost 62-51 to fourth-seeded Samford in the league semifinals on March 4... Samford went on to beat second-seeded Appalachian State 54-43 in the title game.

The Series with JMU:  First meeting

Scouting JMU

Coach:  Kenny Brooks (JMU '92), 222-94 in 10 JMU and career seasons

Record:  24-7 overall, 14-4 CAA | Complete Results

Players to Watch:
Tarik Hislop
... 5-7 junior guard... team-high 14.7 ppg, team-high 3.6 assists per game... All-CAA Second Team

Kirby Burkholder... 6-0 sophomore guard... 10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, team-high 1.9 steals per game... All-CAA Third Team

Lauren Whitehurst... 6-2 redshirt-senior center... 8.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, team-high 1.7 blocks per game... co-holder of school season blocks record (54)... CAA All-Defensive Team.

Nikki Newman... 6-2 junior forward... team-high 7.7 rpg... CAA Defensive Player of the Year

Jasmine Gill... 6-1 redshirt-junior guard... 9.8 ppg ... preseason All-CAA Honorable Mention

Of Note:  JMU, the number two seed in the CAA Tournament, lost 67-50 to third-seeded Drexel in the March 10 CAA semifinals at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md... this marks the seventh straight year that JMU has won at least 24 games and has advanced to postseason play... JMU's seven consecutive postseason tournament appearances include NCAA tournament games in 2007, 2010 and 2011 and WNIT play in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

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