UPPER MARLBORO, Maryland – Junior Kelva Atkins poured in a career-high 33 points, but top-seeded James Madison used a balanced attack to defeat ninth-seeded UNCW, 69-56, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship Friday at Show Place Arena.
The Dukes improved to 26-5 overall as they advanced to the semifinals, where they will face fifth-seeded Drexel Saturday at Noon. The Seahawks, meanwhile, finished their season with a 5-27 record.
Atkins, who scored 25 of her game-high 33 points in the second half, converted 11 of 19 field goal attempts and knocked down nine of 10 tries from the free-throw line to pace a UNCW attack that shot just 34.6 percent from the field for the contest. Freshman Brie Mobley joined Atkins in double figures with 16 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Sophomore Precious Hall tallied 18 points to highlight a balanced JMU lineup that shot 46.0 percent from the floor, including a sizzling 13-of-24 from the field in the second half. Junior Toia Giggetts added 13 points and sophomore Jazmon Gwathmey pitched in 12 while CAA Player-of-the-Year Kirby Burkholder and senior Nikki Newman added eight points each.
HOW IT HAPPENED: James Madison never trailed in the contest, racing out to an early 9-2 lead before using a 16-4 spurt midway through the opening frame to take a 28-15 lead.
The Dukes maintained a double-digit cushion through the remainder of the first half and held a 33-23 advantage early in the second half when a pair of free throws by Giggetts sparked JMU to a 15-6 spurt and its largest lead of the game, 48-29, with 12:30 remaining.
Atkins kept UNCW in the contest, using a fastbreak layup to halt the Dukes run and send the Seahawks on a 17-7 stretch that pulled UNCW within nine, 55-46. Atkins scored 12 points during the run, converting a jumper, two layups and two three-pointers during the stretch that spanned just over six minutes.
JMU regained its lead moments later, using a three-pointer from Newman and a layup from Gwathmey on consecutive trips down the floor to push the Dukes lead back to double figures, 60-46, with 4:20 remaining.
A quartet of free throws from Atkins over a 30-second span kept the Seahawks within 10, but a trifecta from Hall at the 2:28 mark quelled any comeback attempt for UNCW as the two teams traded points over the remainder of regulation to determine the final 13-point margin.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE: The two teams combined for just 22 turnovers (UNCW 10/JMU 12) … UNCW recorded just four assists on 18 made baskets while JMU had 14 helpers on 23 made baskets … UNCW shot a frosty 26.9 percent from the floor in the first half while JMU was just 38.5 percent from the filed in the opening frame … The Dukes were 8-of-18 from three-point range for the game while the Seahawks were just 3-of-10 from beyond the arc … Both teams shot above 75 percent from the free-throw line as UNCW was 17-of-20 (.850) while JMU was 15-of-19 (.789) … Atkins and Mobley combined to shoot 16-of-29 from the field while UNCW's five other players were a combined 2-of-20 from the field.
UNCW TEAM NOTES:
UNCW moved to 17-30 all-time in the CAA Women's Basketball Championship as it slipped to 8-18 in the quarterfinal round.
The Dukes improved their lead in the all-time series to 54-9 as they picked up their eighth straight victory against the Seahawks. JMU also improved to 7-1 versus UNCW in the CAA Women's Basketball Championship.
UNCW committed 10 or fewer turnovers for just the sixth time this season as it was charged with 10 miscues in the contest.
The Seahawks shot 85 percent or higher from the free-throw line for just the fourth time this season as they were 17-of-20 at the charity stripe.
UNCW failed to lead at any point in a contest for the 11th time this season. Three of those occurrences came against James Madison.
UNCW PLAYER NOTES:
2 – Brie Mobley
Reached double figures in points for the 18th time this season.
Scored in double figures for the fifth straight contest.
3 – Kelva Atkins
Reached double figures in points for the 27th time this season and the 43rd time in her career.
Scored in double figures for the ninth straight contest.
Surpassed the 20-point plateau for the seventh time this season and the ninth time in her career.
Shattered her previous career-high in points of 28, set against Northern Kentucky on Nov. 16.
Became the first UNCW player to score more than 30 points in a contest since Abria Trice tallied 33 against Hofstra on March 9, 2012.
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