|Atkins Goes For 33 In Setback To Dukes|
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.