James Madison University (3-0) out-rebounded University of Richmond 55-30 as it beat the Spiders, 78-70, in the Robins Center Thursday night.
The Dukes had 24 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points. Richmond (1-3), who played without starting center Liz Brown, had six offensive rebounds that resulted in two second-chance points.
“I don’t think we did a very good job of boxing out,” Richmond coach Michael Shafer said. “We didn’t put a body on them and they were bigger than us.”
The loss of Brown was huge, but Richmond could have rebounded better, Shafer said.
Precious Hall led James Madison with 21 points. Kirby Burkholder added 20 points and 10 rebounds and Angela Mickens just missed a triple double with 11 points, eight assists and nine rebounds.
Lauren Tolson led the Spiders with 16 points and Genevieve Okoro had 15 points and seven rebounds.
James Madison held freshman Olivia Healy, who had led the Spiders with 14.7 points per game in Richmond’s first three games, to two points on 0-8 shooting.
Shafer said that Healy and she had not responded well to James Madison’s physicality.
It took another freshman, Janelle Hubbard, to fill in the gap. She led all scorers in the first half with 15 points on 5-7 shooting. Hubbard, who was held scoreless in the second half, has averaged six points per game in Richmond’s first three games.
Hubbard had success because of her ability to attack the basket, Okoro said.
“[Hubbard] was just on fire,” Okoro said. “She did what she is capable of doing.”
In the first half, Richmond took nearly four minutes to score, but from there the Spiders went on to score their most points in a first half this season. Despite shooting 48 percent from the field in the opening half, James Madison led, 37-36, at the break.
The Spiders were able to get the ball inside and that allowed them to take easier shots, Shafer said.
“We have been shooting a lot of shots from the perimeter, Shafer said, “and when you get tired you’re not going to hit those.”
The lead changed six times in the first five minutes of the second half, but James Madison outscored Richmond 15-7 over a five-minute span, which gave the Dukes a 56-49 lead with nine minutes remaining.
Tolson and Okoro, who combined for 20 points and 8 rebounds in the second half, helped keep Richmond close, but JMU was able to slowly pull away.
Hall hit a three-pointer with 4:12 left to increase James Madison’s lead to 10—its largest lead at that point in the game—and James Madison cruised to victory from there.