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Merch Madness
Senior guard/forward Nikki Newman will help lead JMU women's basketball team inCourtesy: Photography/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Basketball to Host Lenoir-Rhyne in Saturday Exhibition
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:11/01/2012
Lenoir-Rhyne University at James Madison
Saturday, Nov. 3 | 4:00 PM | Convocation Center


♦ Tickets: Free admission
♦ Parking: Free parking
♦ Where: JMU Convocation Center, Harrisonburg, Va. (capacity: 7,156)
♦ Multimedia:
Local Radio: WHBG 1360 AM (Harrisonburg, Va.)
>> Audiostream: MadiZONE on JMUSports.com (free; requires registration)

The Dukes return four starters from the 2011-12 WNIT runner-up squad.  Last season, JMU went 29-8 overall and 14-4 in conference play, boasting a 16-2 home record for the year.
As a team, Madison blocked 172 shots from opponents last season and tallied 1,674 rebounds, both new school records. Senior guard/forward Nikki Newman, who accounted for 52 of those denials and averaged a team-leading 7.8 rebounds per game, returns to the lineup as the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year.
The two main scorers for the Dukes in 2011-12 will also return to the court. Senior guard Tarik Hislop and junior guard Kirby Birkholder each averaged double-digit point production each game, dropping 14.8 ppg and 11.5 ppg, respectively last season. Hislop led the squad in made field goals while Burkholder preferred making her shots from beyond the arc.

A member of the South Atlantic Conference (NCAA Division II), the Bears finished the 2011-12 season with an overall 19-9 record and went 11-7 in conference to tie for third place. This year, L-R was picked to finish second behind Wingate in the preseason coaches' poll.
Four starters will return to the line-up for the Bears, including the second-leading team scorer from 2011-12. Senior guard Whitley Culler, a preseason All-Conference First Team honoree, averaged 13.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg last season. Sophomore guard Jazmine Charles returns with the second-most points from last season, averaging 9.5 ppg during her freshman campaign. Charles is also a threat from three-point land as she posted 30 3-pointers in 2011-12.
The 2011-12 Lenoir-Rhyne squad outrebounded its opponents by an average of 5.7 boards per game. Last year's Bears, however, averaged fewer steals (7.9) than their opponents (9.0) and fewer blocks (2.0) than their opponents (3.5).

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