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Virginia women's basketball team drops season opener to JMU

Virginia women's basketball team drops season opener to JMU

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Virginia James Madison Basketball

Virginia guard Carole Miller, right, drives against James Madison guard Kiki Jefferson during the first half of Tuesday's game in Harrisonburg.

The Virginia women’s basketball team returned to the court for the first time in nearly 11 months on Tuesday night.

Kiki Jefferson and her James Madison teammates were happy to spoil the party.

Virginia had no answer for Jefferson, who finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Dukes to an 84-69 win at the Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg.

Jamia Hazell added 17 points, while Claire Neff chipped in 14 points to give the Dukes (1-0) three players in double figures.

Marquette transfer Camryn Taylor had 27 points and seven rebounds to lead Virginia. Carole Miller finished with 14 points, while Eleah Parker had 12 points and nine rebounds in her Virginia debut.

The Cavaliers (0-1) kept things close early on, but the Dukes used a 7-0 run in the final minutes of the first quarter to take a 22-13 lead after 10 minutes of play.

Virginia narrowed the lead early in the second quarter before a 3-pointer from Hazell pushed the Dukes’ advantage back to nine with five seconds to go in the half. The Cavaliers answered right back when Taylor Valladay hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull UVa within six at the half.

The third quarter was all JMU.

The Dukes outscored Virginia 27-12 in the third to take a commanding 71-50 lead heading into the final 10 minutes. Virginia tried to make a game of it in the fourth, pulling to within 10 points, but could get no closer.

The Cavaliers return to action on Sunday when they host USC at John Paul Jones Arena.

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