JMU's Championship Runs Ends in CAA Women's Basketball Tournament FinalsPosted: Updated:
JMU ATHLETICS MEDIA RELEASE:
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Despite a game-high 32 points from redshirt senior guard Precious Hall, second-seeded James Madison dropped a 78-60 decision to No. 1 Elon in the Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship title game on Saturday night at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Phoenix improved to 27-6 on the season and will advance to the 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship for the first time in program history. The Dukes fell to 24-8 and will have to wait until Monday to learn their postseason fate.
Hall earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after averaging 26.3 points per game, which included back-to-back 30-point outings in the semifinals and championship game. She hit a trio of 3-pointers and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. She was also one of six JMU players to record five or more rebounds.
Redshirt junior forward Tasia Butler led the Dukes with nine rebounds while freshman guard Lexie Barrier had seven. Additionally, sophomore guard Logan Reynolds dished out three assists.
JMU struggled from the floor, shooting 23 percent (18-79) for the game, but excelled at the free throw line, converting 80 percent (20-25) of its attempts. Elon shot 53 percent (26-49) and got to the line 34 times, cashing in on 21 of its attempts. The Dukes held a 46-42 advantage on the boards, including a 25-7 lead on the offensive glass.
Lauren Brown, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Performer, scored 17 points to lead four Elon players in double figures. Essence Baucom tallied 16 points and four assists, while Shay Burnett and Malaya Johnson each had 14 points. Baucom and Burnett joined Brown on the All-Tournament Team.
CAA All-Tournament Team
Essence Baucom, Elon
Shay Burnett, Elon
Sarah Curran, Drexel
Precious Hall, JMU
Marlena Tremba, William & Mary
Lauren Brown – Most Outstanding Performer
Hall finished the night with 32 points, her second straight 30+ point game, and stretched her double-digit scoring streak to 32. She has 754 points this season, the third-highest single-season total in JMU history, and 2,260 career points.
The first six JMU points of the contest came from Precious Hall and she finished the first frame with eight of JMU’s 10 points. Hall went on to score 13 of the Dukes’ first 20 points of the game, including a 5-for-5 showing at the free-throw line.
JMU shot 21.2 percent (7-33) in the first half while Elon shot 50.0 percent (14-28). The Dukes’ woes continued into the third frame as they shot 5-for-21 (23.8%) while the Phoenix stayed at their 50-percent line (6-12).
After opening 2-for-3, the Dukes went 2-for-15 the rest of the first quarter while the Phoenix went 6-for-12 over the first 10 minutes of play. JMU once again opened the second quarter 2-for-3, but then went 1-for-5 heading into the frame’s media timeout. The dry spell stretched to 1-for-10 as JMU went without a field goal the final 5:01 of the half and the Phoenix took an 11-point lead (36-25) into halftime.
This marks the first time Elon has defeated JMU as a league opponent. This snapped a seven-game win-streak against the Phoenix for the Dukes.
PHYSICAL FIRST HALF
After the first 20 minutes of play, nine players had at least two fouls to their stat lines.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES
JMU opened 2-for-3 on the opening possessions, then went 0-for-3 on next set. At the first media timeout, both the Dukes and Phoenix were 3-for-8, though Elon had four free throw attempts before JMU made it to the line. Elon used an 8-2 run to take a 10-6 lead. Hall took a charge at the 2:06 mark, setting the Dukes up for a Porter make in the paint to cut the lead to 10-8, though Elon would answer with back-to-back baskets to take a 14-8 lead. Both teams traded free throws to close the frame.
SECOND QUARTER NOTES
JMU opened with the first four points of the period, aided by a charge taken by Aneah Young before she took it in to the lane at the other end of the floor. After a miss by Hall, Young blocked the ensuing Elon attempt before going 1-for-2 at the line to bring the Dukes back within 1 (16-15). The Phoenix scored the next eight points to push their lead out to nine. The run was stopped when Hall was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three. Both teams then traded 3-pointers heading into the second frame media timeout (27-20, 4:34). A stretch of 3:12 without a field goal put JMU in a 12-point hole (34-22) with 1:47 left before halftime.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES
JMU opened with the first five points to quickly cut the Elon lead back to six (36-30), but a make from the bench by Baucom pushed the Phoenix advantage back to nine. A 2:12 cold spell by JMU allowed Elon to push back out to a 12-point lead (42-30), matching its largest of the game. Jenifer Rhodes was called for a technical, which sent Hall to the line for two makes, but an errant pass gave Elon the ball back afterwards, up 10 (42-32) at the third-quarter media timeout. Lexie Barrier’s kiss off the glass snapped a stretch of over three minutes without a field goal for the Dukes. She also added a big steal and set Porter up for the second-chance bucket to cut the lead to six, but Elon again put up a 5-0 spurt to send it back to a double-figure deficit. This was part of a 10-2 run to close the frame that gave the Phoenix its largest lead at 14 (52-38).
FOURTH QUARTER NOTES
The run stretched to 18-2, allowing Elon to take a 60-38 advantage into the final media timeout as JMU went 0-for-8 over the first 3:13 of the period. The run was stopped by a stepback jumper from Precious Hall and a made 3-pointer off a stop on the next possession. Barrier made the steal on Elon’s next possession and was fouled on the other end, making both free throws. The 8-0 run was stopped by a fastbreak jumper from Baucom. JMU closed the gap to 13 on a 12-2 run that included swarming defense, forcing Elon into a called timeout. A 1-for-2 showing at the line pushed the deficit to 14, but Hall made a 3-pointer on the other end to make it an 11-point game. JMU closed it to 10 (65-55) with 2:41left on the clock, but went 0-for-8 from the floor as Elon went 7-for-9 to push the lead back to 18.
JMU will find out which postseason tournament it will play in on Monday. The NCAA Selection Show is at 7 p.m. on March 13. Should the Dukes not advance to the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, the WNIT will announce its field after the NCAA bracket has been unveiled.