James Madison guard Jamia Hazell (25) evades a George Mason defender as she approaches the net during the game against the George Mason Patriots in Harrisonburg, Va. on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020.

JMU women’s basketball lost 85-54 on Sunday at West Virginia for a tough start to begin the three-game road swing. 

The start of the game looked promising for the Dukes. After a personal foul on WVU guard Kirsten Deans, freshman guard Peyton McDaniel was awarded two free throws and made one, putting JMU on the board.

Despite scoring first, JMU didn’t play a smart game. Multiple players were called for personal fouls in the first quarter, and overall, the team failed to capitalize on opportunities. The Dukes were down 11 points at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was riddled with more fouls for the Dukes, accumulating a total of 12 in the first half. Sophomore guard Kiki Jefferson and redshirt junior guard Brianna Tinsley scored a combined 11 points, but it wasn’t enough; the Dukes entered halftime trailing the Mountaineers 50-24.

JMU made substitutions at the start of the second half and tried to catch up. Sophomore forward Rayne Tucker carried the team through the third quarter, scoring six points, but fouls were a problem. The Dukes gave up four shooting fouls, and the Mountaineers capitalized on all but one of them, expanding their lead to 36 points by the end of the third quarter.

As the game entered its final quarter of play, JMU played its best quarter by far as the team attempted to recover some of its loss. The Dukes scored 30 points, 10 of which were from McDaniel.

Despite its best quarter of play, JMU couldn’t close the gap. McDaniel and Tinsley both had 14 points, the highest of the night. The Dukes’ field goal percentage was 30.6% and their 3-point percentage was 19.2%, compared to the Mountaineers’ 47.6% in field goals and 60% from beyond the arc.

JMU looks to bounce back when it travels to College Park on Saturday to face Maryland. Tipoff has yet to be announced.

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