HARRISONBURG, VA (UNCWSPORTS.COM) — Redshirt junior center Amber Porter came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points with six rebounds as James Madison earned its third win in a row, a 73-51 victory over UNCW in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams at the JMU Convocation Center on Monday afternoon.
The Dukes, who are the three-time defending league champions, improved to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. Meanwhile, the Seahawks dropped their second straight game to fall to 5-7 on the season with a 0-1 mark in the CAA.
Porter, a transfer from George Mason, made 7-of-10 shots from the floor while converting four of six free throws to lead a group of five Dukes in double figures. Senior guard Precious Hall, the CAA’s Preseason Player-of-the-Year, added 14 points with nine rebounds and five assists while junior guard Hailee Barron chipped 12 points.
Redshirt junior forward Tasia Butler and freshman guard Kamiah Smalls each contributed 10 points for James Madison. Smalls also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to earn her second double-double of the season.
Redshirt senior guard Jasmine Steele led UNCW by scoring 12 points while junior center Rebekah Banks tallied seven points with a season-high 11 rebounds.
How It Happened: James Madison used a 17-6 run over the final 5:35 of the opening quarter to take a 21-11 lead the Dukes did not relinquish. The Dukes extended their advantage to 38-25 at the intermission and never trailed by fewer than 12 points in the second half.
Game Notes: James Madison earned its 13th consecutive win over the Seahawks while upping its advantage in the all-time series to 59-9 … UNCW is now 8-24 all-time in CAA openers … The Dukes have won 21 straight games against CAA opponents … Steele recorded the 20th double-digit scoring effort of her career, including her fifth of the season … Banks recorded 10 or more rebounds for the 13th time in her career … It is also her fifth double-digit rebounding effort in the last seven games … The Seahawks used their fifth different starting lineup of the season as redshirt junior forward Jenny DeGraaf returned to the starting lineup … James Madison outrebounded the Seahawks by a 49-35 margin, marking the second straight opponent to edge UNCW on the boards.
Up Next for the Seahawks: UNCW makes a brief return to Trask Coliseum on Friday, Jan. 6, to host Delaware in a CAA contest at 11:30 a.m. It will be the second “Seahawks Tomorrow” game of the season with over 2,800 elementary school students expected in attendance.