College Station, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kirby Burkholder registered a
double-double consisting of 28 points and 18 rebounds as the James Madison
Dukes defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs, 72-63, in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament's Lincoln Region at Reed Arena.
Burkholder, who also logged four assists and three steals, shot only 4-of-17 from the floor for the 11th-seeded Dukes (29-5), but compensated with a near- perfect 17-of-18 effort at the free-throw line. Also scoring in double figures for the Dukes, as they logged their first NCAA Tournament win since 1991, were Toia Giggetts and Precious Harris with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
The sixth-seeded Bulldogs (29-5) were led by Sunny Greinacher with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed by Haiden Palmer with 14 points, seven assists and five boards, although the latter shot only 6-of-20 from the floor. Keani Albanez pitched in with 12 points.
Both squads shot under 40 percent from the field in the first half, and even with the Dukes converting just 2-of-11 behind the 3-point line in the period, it was JMU with a 33-31 edge at the break.
Each side knocked down 10 field goals in the second half, but JMU created some space between itself and the Zags by hitting on 17-of-20 at the charity stripe.
In a game that featured six ties and seven lead changes, the difference was at the free-throw line where Gonzaga was outscored, 22-13.
The Dukes will now head to the second round of the tourney on Tuesday where they will battle Texas A&M which defeated North Dakota on Sunday by a score of 70-55.