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Merch Madness
Crystal RossCourtesy: Photography/JMU Athletics Communications
Women's Basketball Faces Three Teams in Cancun Challenge This Week
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:11/20/2012


The Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, 

Cancun, Mexico

Green Bay: Thursday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m. ET| Live Stats | Videostream
Minnesota: Friday, Nov. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET|
Live Stats | Videostream
Wichita State: Saturday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. ET|
Live Stats | Videostream


  • The Phoenix were voted the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League are receiving votes in both national Top 25 polls. Green Bay has won 14 consecutive regular season Horizon League titles and advanced to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, finishing the season with a 31-2 record. The Phoenix bring a 2-0 record into the JMU game with wins over Northern Iowa and Central Michigan.
  • Senior guard Adrian Ritchie returns to lead a veteran Green Bay squad as one of eight returning letterwinners. The preseason First Team All-Horizon league honoree leads the Phoenix in points per game (20.5), rebounds per game (7.0), made 3-pointers (6) and free throw percentage (83.3). She entered the 2012-13 season ranked seventh all-time at Green Bay in made 3-point field goals.
  • Senior forward Lydia Bauer also returns as the leading 3-point scorer from last year, sinking 55 shots from behind the arc during the 2011-12 campaign. She averaged 11.1 ppg and was second in blocks as a junior with 16. Her 2011-12 stat sheet helped earn her preseason Second Team All-League honors.


  • The Golden Gophers are coming off a 19-17 season, capped off by winning the Women's Basketball Invitational postseason tournament. They boasted a 4.2 rebounding advantage over opponents last season, but gave up nearly three more 3-point field goals than they made. Minnesota is off to a 4-0 start with home victories over Washington State, Villanova, Ohio and Maine and will face Richmond on Nov. 22 in Cancun before taking on JMU.
  • A preseason All-Big 10 selection, sophomore guard Rachel Banham is back in the lineup for Minnesota for 2012-13. Banham was last year's Big 10 Freshman of the Year after she put up 580 points, third highest among freshmen in the nation, and ranked 97th in the nation for points per game (16.1). She enters the Cancun Challenge leading the team in scoring (20.3), made 3-pointers (8), steals (13), assists (16) and free throw percentage (.950).
  • Junior forward Micaella Riche enters the Cancun Challenge averaging 18.5 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds. In the team's first four games she has nearly doubled her average minutes per game (30.3) from last season. Her averaged double-double in the team's first two games (24.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg) earned her Player of the Week honors for the Big 10.


  • The Shockers were voted to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference behind Creighton. Wichita State finished the 2011-12 season in third place in the MVC with a 12-6 record in conference and 20-13 overall. They made it to the second round of the WNIT, falling 63-44 to eventual champion Oklahoma State. Wichita State brings a 2-1 record to Cancun with a season-opening two-point loss at Top 25 vote-getter LSU and wins over Arkansas State and Texas-San Antonio. The Shockers will play Missouri (Nov. 22) and Richmond (Nov. 23) before facing JMU on the final day of the Cancun Challenge.
  • Jessica Diamond, a senior guard, was tabbed a preseason all-conference first team honoree. She is leading the team in scoring (13.3) for the second year in a row.
  • Senior center Jazimen Gordon is second on the team in scoring (11.0) and rebounding (5.7 rpg). Last season Gordon led the team in blocks with 38.


  • JMU takes a 1-2 record into the Cancun Challenge and is coming off a 71-52 home win over Murray State on Nov. 15. The Dukes suffered losses at Virginia and at home against Quinnipiac in their first two games of the year.
  • Sophomore forward Crystal Ross had one of the best games of her career against Murray State as she set a new career-high in rebounds and tied her career-high in points. Ross pulled down 11 boards, more than doubling her previous high of five rebounds in a game which she last recorded on March 23, 2012 against South Florida. She also put up eight points for the Dukes, tying the career-high she set on Jan. 26, 2012, against Georgia State.
  • Senior guard Tarik Hislop moved from 17th place to 14th place in all-time scoring at JMU (1,294 career points) with a 17-point performance against Murray State on Nov. 15. Hislop is averaging 12 points per game and has committed four thefts on behalf of the Dukes this season.
  • Junior guard Kirby Burkholder is leading the Dukes in scoring, averaging 17.0 points. From the free throw line Burkholder is a perfect 8-for-8 and is currently 10-for-10 dating back to March 38, 2012 against Syracuse in the WNIT semifinals. She is also leading JMU in rebounding, pulling down an average of 9.3 boards.
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