Harrisonburg, VA – Junior forward Shante Evans led Hofstra with 17 points, but James Madison used a 10-2 first half run to break open a tight game and never looked back in posting the 80-61 victory over Hofstra on Thursday evening at the JMU Convocation Center.

James Madison was led in scoring by Kiara Francisco with 20 points and eight rebounds.  Lauren Whitehurst added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss drops Hofstra’s record to 18-9 overall and 10-6 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play.  James Madison improved to 21-6 and 12-4 with the victory.
Hofstra would trail by 13, 43-30, at the break as the Dukes sank 14-16 from the charity stripe in the opening half.  Evans led Hofstra with 11 points in the first half, but James Madison used a 10-2 run midway through the first half to turn a 18-15 advantage into a 28-17 Dukes lead with 7:39 left before intermission.

A jumper from senior guard Candice Bellocchio would close the deficit to seven, 34-27, with three minutes remaining but JMU outscored Hofstra, 9-3, over the final three minutes to push the lead back to 13.

The Dukes would extend their lead to the largest of the contest as they opened the second half by scoring seven of the first nine points and led 50-32 with 17:20 left in regulation, forcing a Hofstra timeout.

Hofstra was never able to seriously challenge the Dukes the remainder of the contest as James Madison would go on to sweep the season series with the Pride.

Bellocchio also scored in double figures for Hofstra as she added 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Hofstra returns to action on Sunday when it hosts UNC Wilmington at 2 p.m.  The Pride will honor its three seniors (Candice Bellocchio, Nicole Capurso and Marie Malone) prior to the game.  That contest marks the final regular season home game of the 2011-12 campaign.