JMU Tops Mason To Advance
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 9, 2012) - Second-seeded James Madison used a 9-0 run late in the second half to pull away for a 64-54 victory over No. 7 George Mason in the quarterfinals of the Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship on Friday night.
JMU (24-6), which is seeking its third consecutive CAA title, advances to Saturday's semifinals at 2:30 p.m. against either #3 Drexel or #6 VCU. It's the eighth year in a row that the Dukes have reached the semifinals. Mason dropped to 15-16 after the loss.
Junior guard Tarik Hislop led JMU with 16 points and also made six steals. Junior Nikki Newman recorded a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and guard Kirby Burkholder added 12 points.
Mason got a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds from All-CAA guard Taleia Moton and junior Amber Easter contributed 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Moton, a senior, became the 15th member of the elite club in Mason history and surpassed the mark in just 61 games over two seasons scoring 1,007 points.
The Dukes led just 47-46 with 6:22 remaining after a Moton three-pointer when they reeled off nine unanswered points. Jasmine Gill began the run with a short jumper in the lane and Burholder sank a pair of free throws. Hislop followed with three straight points and a Toia Giggetts jumper gave JMU its largest lead, 56-46, with 2:35 to go.
Mason climbed back to within 59-54 on five straight points by Janaa Pickard, but could get no closer as JMU made 8-of-10 free throws over the final 1:11.
In a competitive first half that featured seven lead changes, Mason scored the final five points of the period to take a 26-22 advantage at the break. Moton and Easter combined for 19 of the Patriots' 26 first-half points, while Newman paced the Dukes with eight points.
JMU scored eight of the first 10 points to open the second half and took the lead for good on a Burkholder layup with 16:35 remaining.
The Dukes shot just 33.9% from the floor for the game, but outscored the Patriots 24-12 at the free throw line. JMU was 21-of-26 from the charity stripe in the second half after making only 3-of-11 over the first 20 minutes.Mason made just 30.6% of its field goal attempts and was also hurt by 18 turnovers.