ATLANTA (JAN. 8) - James Madison ran its winning streak to four games as the Dukes posted a 62-50 win over Georgia State in a defensive battle Sunday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena.
The Dukes (11-3, 2-1, No. 32 RPI) forced GSU into 19 turnovers and held the Panthers to 30.2% shooting. But, host GSU (6-8, 0-3) actually forced JMU into more turnovers (22), while holding JMU to 31.7% shooting as the Panthers also had 16 steals and blocked 9 shots to match the defensive tempo.
This was a fourth straight opponent JMU held to 50 or fewer points as they allow just 56 a game on the season.
GSU started four freshmen today and one of them led the Panthers in scoring. Guard Miranda Smith had 11 points (4-for-5), while freshman center Alana Beroth added six points and five rebounds. Nine Panthers scored as Sade Means and Chan Harris added seven points, while Kendra Long and Cody Paulk each added six points.
James Madison had three players in double figures, topped by Jasmine Gill's 14 points, Kirby Burkholder's 13 points and Tarik Hislop's 12 points. Forward Lauren Whitehurst led with 10 rebounds.
A huge key also in today's game was James Madison's 50-34 rebound advantage that saw the Dukes grab 24 offensive rebounds and score 16 second-chance points, pretty much the amount of difference in the game.
That rebounding wasn't lost on head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "Boxing out for rebounds is always an emphasis from day one. Obviously, we did a poor job of that today. But, overall our defense to that point was pretty good effort as we forced the 22 turnovers and hindered their shooting percentage. But, we didn't finish the defensive stop by boxing out and getting the rebound."
"You won't win many games scoring 50 points and our shooting today was inexcusable," she added. "The number of chippies and close-in shots we missed was staggering. But, I guess the kids played with some intensity and are learning as they play at the college level after being high school stars."
James Madison got control early with a 9-0 run to take a 4-4 tie into a 13-4 lead in the first five minutes. GSU started just 4-for-20 from the field and that led to a 24-10 deficit with eight minutes left in the first half. The defense kept GSU close as it was just 34-25 at the halftime break.
In the second half, JMU grew the 36-27 lead with an 8-0 run to make it 44-27 at 17:18. The Dukes had the largest lead of 20 points at 60-40 with 5:17 as Gill scored 10 straight points. GSU then scored 10 straight to close to 60-50 with 1:05 left.
Georgia State goes on the road to play at Hofstra on Thursday night.