James Madison hands women’s basketball back-to-back defeats

Senior+forward+Gabby+Giacone+attacks+off+the+dribble+in+a+game+from+last+season.+%2F+File+photo+by+Alex+Melagrano.
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James Madison hands women’s basketball back-to-back defeats

Senior forward Gabby Giacone attacks off the dribble in a game from last season. / File photo by Alex Melagrano.

Senior forward Gabby Giacone attacks off the dribble in a game from last season. / File photo by Alex Melagrano.

Alex Melagrano

Senior forward Gabby Giacone attacks off the dribble in a game from last season. / File photo by Alex Melagrano.

Alex Melagrano

Alex Melagrano

Senior forward Gabby Giacone attacks off the dribble in a game from last season. / File photo by Alex Melagrano.

Vincent van Oorschot, news correspondent

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James Madison was too strong for Northeastern, as the conference favorites trounced the Huskies 84-49 on Sunday afternoon in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Going into the game, JMU (12-3, 4-0) led the all-time matchup against Northeastern (12-2, 2-2) 22-1, including 11-0 at home, and this contest reflected that trend. The Dukes put on a shooting masterclass, hitting 53 percent from the field and racking up 13 three-pointers in the process.

Both squads were firing from the field in the first quarter, but it was the Dukes who got their noses in front early, leading by as many as 12. This was aided by 8-of-12 shooting from the field to start the game.

JMU guard Lexie Barrier started off white-hot by making her first four shots, three of those from 3-point distance. Despite the high-percentage shooting by James Madison, the Huskies still only trailed by six at the end of the opening period (23-29).

But the flow of the game continued on from the first for the Dukes, as they continued to shoot at a high clip, going 5-for-6 in the first six minutes of the second quarter. With 1:02 left in the half, a strong layup drive down the throat of the Huskies defense by Dukes guard Kamiah Smalls capped off a 10-0 scoring run to end an unfortunate first half for the Huskies, who trailed 54-33 at the intermission.

Senior forward Gabby Giacone put strong numbers up in the first-half, hustling for nine points and four rebounds (including 4-7 from the line). Senior guard Jess Genco and sophomore guard Shannon Todd each hit a couple threes in the first half as well. But turnovers proved to be severely detrimental to the Huskies; they had seven in the first half alone compared to JMU’s one.

Back-to-back threes by JMU’s Jackie Benitez with six minutes to go in the third all but put the game out of reach for the Huskies, extending the gap to 28. NU was limited to four points in the third quarter, but some good defense from Northeastern’s backcourt held the Dukes to 13.

The Huskies were able to limit the Dukes to 17 points in the final frame, but the game was decided and as the final buzzer sounded, JMU obtained their 20th straight home win at the Convocation Centre. The Dukes remain undefeated in CAA play at 4-0, whereas the Huskies for the first time this season lost back-to-back games.

Barrier and Smalls were standout performers with 24 and 21 points respectively for JMU, meanwhile Giacone led the Huskies in points and rebounds with 15 and six. Genco finished her outing with 13.

The Huskies head back to Boston to regroup ahead of Friday night’s game against Drexel.