James Madison Slips Past Elon WBB, 70-67

Posted by Press Release on January 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HARRISONBURG, Va. – In a back and forth contest inside the JMU Convocation Center, Elon University women’s basketball traded leads with James Madison down the stretch but the Dukes came away with a 70-67 victory Friday night, Jan. 12.


“I feel really good about this game and I feel really good about our team’s potential,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “It’s a pretty simple formula that we can put together to be better next time – make easy shots. We missed a lot of easy shots and we have to make free throws.”

The loss is Elon’s second in conference play, and it now stands at 10-5 overall and 2-2 in league action. James Madison improved its winning streak to six in a row and is now 9-7 overall and 5-0 in CAA play.

Heading to the fourth quarter tied at 51, Elon and JMU traded points with Ra’Shika White scoring Elon’s first five points of the frame on three free throws and a layup that gave the Phoenix a 56-55 lead with 7:44 to play. After a Tasia Butler layup giving the Dukes a 57-56 lead, Shay Burnett hit a three-pointer and White followed with another layup to give Elon a four-point lead with 6:02 left.

From there, the Phoenix kept its small advantage until a 5-0 JMU run behind a jumper by Kelly Koshuta and a three-pointer from Kamiah Smalls with 2:09 to go put the Dukes up one at 66-65. Saadia Munford answered with a layup with 1:28 to go, but Smalls again hit a jumper to give the Dukes a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

In the closing seconds, Smalls hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left and Elon called timeout. Out of the break, the Phoenix drew up a play for Meme Garner, but the Dukes had it defended and her last-second shot fell short.

JMU took a two-point lead to the second quarter at 19-17, and they extended the lead to eight in the opening three minutes of the quarter. But with 6:36 to go, Jada Graves started a half-ending 19-7 run to give Elon a four-point lead at the break.

Out of halftime, JMU opened on a 5-1 run to erase the deficit, and the two went back and forth with neither side able to push ahead by more than Elon’s four-point lead on three occasions.

White finished with a game-high 22 points to go with a career-best 13 rebounds. Burnett battled through foul trouble in the first half to finish with 12 points with six rebounds and four assists. Munford finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists while going 6-for-7 at the free throw line. Graves also had seven points and six rebounds and Malaya Johnson had six points and six boards.

Smalls led JMU with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Koshuta also had 18 points on 7-of-12 from the floor with five rebounds and Lexie Barrier had 12 points with six assists and five rebounds.

-Elon had a strong night on the glass, outrebounding the Dukes 47-39.
-Malaya Johnson is now 44 points away from 1,000 in her career after scoring six points to bring her career total to 956.
-Aside from Elon’s 18-point win in the CAA title game in 2017, each of the last six meetings between the Phoenix and Dukes has been decided by an average of 4.2 points per game, all of which Elon has come out on the losing end.
-Elon struggled at the free throw line, hitting 21-of-34 at the line while JMU knocked down 17-of-25 at the charity stripe.

The Phoenix will stay in Virginia for a Sunday afternoon, Jan. 14, contest at William & Mary. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. in Williamsburg.

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