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Women’s basketball’s late run comes up short in 58-51 loss to JMU

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Women’s basketball’s late run comes up short in 58-51 loss to JMU

Senior forward Gabby Giacone drives into the paint in a Jan 20 game against Delaware.

Senior forward Gabby Giacone drives into the paint in a Jan 20 game against Delaware.

File photo by Riley Robinson

Senior forward Gabby Giacone drives into the paint in a Jan 20 game against Delaware.

File photo by Riley Robinson

File photo by Riley Robinson

Senior forward Gabby Giacone drives into the paint in a Jan 20 game against Delaware.

Vincent van Oorschot, news staff

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A poor second quarter from Northeastern proved to be the downfall of its bout with CAA conference-leader James Madison, as they went down to the Dukes 58-51 Friday.

Northeastern (14-7, 4-6 CAA) and JMU (17-4, 9-1 CAA) began the matchup in a stalemate, with both squads unable to find the basket in the opening period thanks to tremendous defense from both sides,  headlined by a battle between Husky and Duke centers Gabby Giacone and Kayla Cooper-Williams.

Getting out of the blocks has proved to be a bit of a challenge for JMU. Last week they only scored nine points in their first quarter against Towson, but still earned the overtime win in the end.

Northeastern’s defense proved itself in the opening 10 minutes of the game, keeping junior guard and CAA player-of-the-year candidate Kamiah Smalls to just two opening-quarter points.

The second quarter evidenced the Huskies’ inability to play four quarters straight, as the Dukes outscored Northeastern 23-8 in the quarter, including a 12-0 run which extended their lead to 13.

“We forced them to put the ball on the floor,” NU head coach Kelly Cole said post-game. “Unfortunately, we let a bunch of the details slip in the second quarter and we had to play catch-up.”

Uncharacteristic scoring fell onto both teams, with Northeastern only managing to hit 25 percent from the field in the first half and senior guard Jess Genco being held scoreless to round out the Huskies’ low-scoring opening half.

James Madison was able to continue the momentum into the third and maintain its lead, and with Smalls and junior guards Lexie Barrier and Jackie Benitez adding to the scoring contributions, they were able to keep the Huskies at arm’s length.

But with Genco knocking down her first points of the game halfway through the third quarter, the Huskies began to claw at the deficit, outscoring the Dukes 16-12 in the period and trailing at the end of three, 45-33.

Key 3s knocked down with five and three minutes left by Genco, her second and third of the contest, cut the Dukes’ lead down to 4, but JMU survived the late charge from Northeastern, further asserting themselves as the CAA’s top contender.

Northeastern takes on Towson (13-8, 7-3 CAA) on Sunday afternoon, seeking revenge against the Tigers for last time the two teams met.

“For us, again as usual it’s about moving the ball,” Cole said of the Towson matchup. “We gave them 88 points [last time out], so for us it’s gonna be a defensive thing, and if we can hold JMU to 58 points then we should be able to hold anyone to 58 points.”

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