HARRISONBURG, Va. - James Madison used a strong second half shooting performance to pull away from the Towson University women's basketball team in a 79-45 victory on Thursday night in Harrisonburg, Va. The Tigers got 10 points each from juniors Nyree Williams and Tanisha McTiller.
The two teams battled early in the first half as James Madison (18-8, 12-2 CAA) took an 8-4 lead with 14:56 to play on Tarik Hislop's three-pointer. Freshman guard Alliyah Berger answered with a three-pointer of her own to make it an 8-7 game with 14:25 remaining in the half. Berger's bucket started a 7-4 run by the Tigers, which tied the game at 11-11 with 9:52 to play. A 9-0 run by the Dukes gave the home team a 20-11 advantage with 3:55 to play. Hislop and Jazmon Gwathmey had four points each during the stretch. A lay-up from senior forward Michelle Peebles briefly halted the Dukes' run at 3:02. However, the Dukes scored six of the final nine points in the half to take a 26-16 lead at the intermission.
Towson shot 33.3% from the field in the first half while James Madison shot 31.4%. The Dukes held a slim 22-20 advantage in the rebounding battle.
Kirby Burkholder hit three three-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half to help the home team extend its lead to 37-21. The two teams traded baskets as freshman guard Dominique Johnson's three-pointer at 11:45 made it a 43-28 game. The Dukes, who shot 67.7% from the field in the second half continued to convert their shot opportunities. Burkholder's fourth three-pointer of the half made it a 55-30 game with 8:33 to play. Precious Hall connected on the fifth three-pointer of the half for the home team with 1:44 to play. That basket gave James Madison a 75-43 lead. Freshman forward Krystal Pearson made a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left which made the final score 79-45.
James Madison finished the game shooting 48.5% from the field after a strong second half performance. Towson finished the game shooting 36% after shooting 37.9% in the second half. James Madison held a 43-30 advantage over the Tigers (9-17, 3-12 CAA) in the rebounding battle.
Williams finished with 10 points, three assists and a block while McTiller added 10 points and seven rebounds. Berger had a season-high seven rebounds in the contest.
Gwathmey and Hislop led James Madison with 17 points each. Burkholder posted a "double-double" with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Towson will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 28 when the Tigers host Northeastern at 7 p.m.