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Turnovers, 3-Pointers Doom Lady Flames at JMU

November 24, 2019  Harrisonburg, Va.  RSS
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Mya McMillian grabbed a team-high six rebounds during a 76-53 loss at James Madison, Sunday.

Mya McMillian grabbed a team-high six rebounds during a 76-53 loss at James Madison, Sunday.

James Madison forced 23 turnovers and hit 10 three-pointers during Sunday afternoon's clash with Liberty at the JMU Convocation Center, pulling away late for a 76-53 triumph.

Jackie Benitez made four of JMU's triples and scored a game-high 18 points as the Dukes improve to 5-1 this season. The home team also converted the Lady Flames' 23 miscues into 28 points while posting its sixth straight head-to-head win over Liberty.

The Lady Flames drop to 1-5 in 2019-20 with their fifth straight defeat. Freshman Asia Todd scored a career-high 13 points off the bench, but Liberty shot just 35.7 percent (20-of-56) for the game and had nine shots rejected.

Box Score Highlights
Other Liberty Individuals: Keyen Green – 11 points, 5 rebounds; Ria Gulley – 9 points.

Other James Madison Individuals: Kamiah Smalls – 16 points, 4 assists, 3 steals; Kayla Cooper-Williams – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks.

Key Team Stats: James Madison shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the field, including 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from long distance. The Dukes became the first opposing team to outrebound Liberty this season (40-37) and outscored the Lady Flames inside the paint by a 24-20 count.

Turning Point
Keyen Green's free throw with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter capped off Liberty's second four-point possession in less than two minutes, cutting the visitors' deficit to 49-42.

Madison Green then scored the first five points of a quick 7-0 JMU run with a three-pointer and layup, pushing the Dukes' lead back into double digits for good.

Game Summary
First Quarter
• Keyen Green scored six points within the game's first four and a half minutes, helping Liberty claim an early 8-4 advantage.

• However, Liberty made only two field goals during the remainder of the opening period as JMU came back to take a 16-13 lead.

Second Quarter
• The Dukes outscored Liberty 17-6 over the first 5:10 of the second quarter, extending to a 33-17 cushion on Jackie Benitez's long triple.

• Liberty then scored nine of the half's final 10 points, trimming its deficit to 34-26 at the intermission.

• JMU scored 17 points off Liberty's 12 first-half turnovers but shot just 7-of-15 from the foul line during the first 20 minutes of play.

Third Quarter
• Liberty came out firing in the second half, making five of its first seven field goal attempts, highlighted by Ria Gulley's four-point play at the 6:50 mark. However, JMU nailed four triples during the half's first 5:21 to keep the Lady Flames at arm's length.

• In total, the Dukes scored 22 points during the period, eight of which came from Benitez, and the home team took a 56-44 lead into the final stanza.

Fourth Quarter
• James Madison limited the Lady Flames to one made field goal over the first 7:50 of the final period and nine total points for the quarter, pulling away for a 23-point victory.

Notes and Nuggets
• After totaling nine points during her first four collegiate games, Todd has now recorded back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts.

• Green scored in double figures for the fourth straight contest.

• Gulley's four-point play during the third quarter was Liberty's first of the season and first since Emily Lytle had one at Lipscomb on Jan. 29, 2019.

• Bridgette Rettstatt's five rebounds moved the junior into 50th place on Liberty's all-time list with 352 career boards.

• Freshman Audrey Clark scored her first two collegiate points while classmate Anjanae Mueck made her Lady Flames debut during the fourth quarter.

• Liberty had won the rebounding battle in 18 straight games prior to Sunday. The last team to outrebound the Lady Flames was Jacksonville on Jan. 26, 2019.

• James Madison improved to 13-2 all-time against Liberty, including 8-1 at the JMU Convocation Center, which is closing at the end of this season. The Dukes will move into the new Atlantic Union Bank Center in time for the 2020-21 campaign.

Up Next
Liberty will leave Virginia for the first time this season, playing its next two games at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.

The Lady Flames will face Miami (Ohio) (3-2) in their opening game of the tournament, Friday. The second all-time meeting between Liberty and Miami will tip off at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Date: Friday, November 29, 2019
Location: Coral Gables, Fla. (Watsco Center)
TV: None
Radio: LFSN Radio (90.9 FM The Light Lynchburg)
Tipoff: 4:30 p.m.