TOWSON, Md. – James Madison University scored the final four points of the game to hold off a late run by the Towson University women’s basketball team and secure the 62-57 win on Thursday night in SECU Arena. Seniors Tanisha McTiller and Nyree Williams combined for 39 points in a battle of two Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) squads.
“This was a tough game,” said Towson head coach Niki Reid Geckeler. “We had a lot of inter-fight tonight; we just had a couple of issues with turnovers, missed free throws and defense at times.”
The two teams battled from the start of the game. Towson (8-8, 2-1 CAA) jumped out to a 6-2 lead on a jumper from redshirt junior LaTorri Hines-Allen at 14:36. James Madison (12-4, 2-0 CAA) responded with a 15-4 run to take a 16-10 advantage with 9:19 remaining in the half. Precious Hall tallied six points for the Dukes during that stretch. Seven straight points from McTiller gave the home team a 17-16 lead with 6:43 to go in the half. Ten unanswered points from James Madison put the Dukes ahead 26-17 with 4:28 showing on the clock. Hall hit a pair of three-pointers during that run. The two sides traded baskets over the final four minutes of the half. A Toia Giggetts’ lay-up with 21 seconds left, sent the visitors into the half leading 34-27.
James Madison shot 41.9% from the field in the first half to the Tigers’ 35.3%. The Dukes held a slim 22-21 edge in the rebounding battle. Giggetts and Hall combined for 22 first-half points while McTiller had 16 points in the first 20 minutes.
Hall hit her fourth three-pointer of the game to start the second half and James Madison led 37-27 with 18:03 to play in the game. Williams then got hot for the Tigers, scoring seven points during a 9-2 run by the home team. That scoring surge made it a 39-36 game with 13:27 to play. Back-to-back buckets gave the Dukes a 43-36 lead with 10:47 showing on the clock. Towson scored eight of the game’s next 10 points which made it 45-44 in favor of James Madison with 8:43 remaining in the game. Sophomore Dominique Johnson scored four of the Tigers’ eight points during that run. The two teams traded baskets as McTiller’s three-pointer at 6:32 gave the home team a 49-48 lead. James Madison went back on top by one, only to see Williams put the Tigers on top 51-50 with 5:31 to go. However, that was the last lead of the game for Towson.
A 6-0 run gave the Dukes a 56-51 advantage with 3:29 to play. Towson scored six of the next eight points to cut the Dukes’ lead to 58-57 with 1:12 to play. James Madison closed the game on a 4-0 run to secure the 62-57 win. The victory snapped the Tigers’ four game win streak.
James Madison shot 41.7% in the second half and 41.8% for the game. Towson shot 37% in the second stanza and 36.1% for the game. The Dukes finished the game with a 41-38 advantage in the rebounding battle.
McTiller led the Tigers with 24 points and two rebounds while Williams contributed 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Junior Markell Smith tied Williams for the team lead in rebounds with nine.
Hall led James Madison with 21 points and five rebounds while Giggetts finished with 14 points and four boards.
Towson looks to get back to its winning ways when it hosts UNC Wilmington on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.