A ‘Heat-Check’ Game
Burkholder Scores 28; JMU Beats Hofstra, 85-62
Posted: January 28, 2013
JMU's Kirby Burkholder tries to grab a loose ball. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
JMU's Tarik Hislop drives to the hoop during Sunday's game against Hofstra.
They are the shots a basketball player takes when in a shooting groove. These shots are sometimes ridiculous — like a 3-pointer way behind the arc — and are intended to test just how hot a shooter is, as well as intimidate the opposing team.
If anyone ever merited a heat check, it was Kirby Burkholder on Sunday night.
The JMU shooting guard scored a career-high 28 points, shot 8-of-13 from the floor and made her first four 3-pointers to lead the Dukes to an 85-62 come-from-behind win over Hofstra at the Convocation Center.
“Kirby’s always got the heat-check opportunity,” Brooks said. “The first half, Kirby was a weapon. A lot of times she can bust open a game, and in this case, she kept us in the game. What I loved is she did more tonight than just shoot the 3.”
Burkholder’s previous career high was 27 points, set against Georgia Southern on Dec. 31. She scored her 28th on Sunday on a free throw with 2:09 remaining. A 92.2 percent free-throw shooter entering the game, Burkholder made 8-of-10 from the line.
Considering how her night went, it was surprising she missed anything.
“My shot was on early, so I got feeling good early,” said Burkholder, a Turner Ashby High School graduate. “And my teammates did a great job finding me like usual, and I just tried to keep it up for the whole the game. I don’t know — every shot felt good tonight.”
Burkholder scored 16 points in the first half, going 6-for-8 on field goals including 4-for-4 on 3s to keep JMU (12-7 overall, 6-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association) close. The Dukes trailed by as many as eight before rallying in the second half with turnover-fueled runs of 14-2 and 15-0 that were enabled by their zone defense.
Hofstra (8-9, 4-2) had 19 turnovers for the game and 13 in the second half.
“I want to give credit to Hofstra; they’re a very good team, and it’s a rivalry every time we play them, but I think our zone made their offense really stagnant,” JMU senior point guard Tarik Hislop said. “They’re the type of team that wants to get out and run in transition and do a lot of dribble handoffs, and I think our zone prevented them from doing that.”
After Burkholder tied the game at 46-46 with two free throws, freshman guard Precious Hall gave Madison the lead for good on a stick-back with 15:18 to play. From there, the Dukes opened their lead to as many as 25 points with 21.8 seconds left.
“Obviously, I’m not pleased, the way that we laid down here a little bit,” said Hofstra coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, a former Brooks assistant who has beaten her old boss just twice in seven seasons. “This is not the type of team we are, but it’s the type of team we were tonight.”
Hall finished with 16 points, and Hislop had 20 to go with four assists to just one turnover. She also hit a 3-pointer with 2:37 to go to give JMU the 79 points needed to win chicken nuggets for the 2,821 fans — many there for the Duke Dog Reading Day promotion — in attendance. (The nuggets are part of a Chick-fil-A promotion.)
JMU out-rebounded the Pride 45-38 and 16-9 on the offensive boards. Burkholder led the Dukes — who have won five games in a row and nine out of their last 10 — with eight rebounds, continuing her development beyond just being a shooter.
The 6-foot junior also drove to the basket for layups and played solid defense, even after committing her third foul 14 seconds into the second half. Brooks said he switched to a zone from man-to-man defense to save Burkholder from more foul trouble.
But as versatile as Burkholder was Sunday, she apparently could have done more.
“She’s got a whole array [of shots] that she hasn’t pulled out, yet,” Brooks said. “She’s got a fadeaway jumper. She’s got a lean-in jumper. She’s got a lot of different things that I’m waiting for her to bust them out, ’cause we practice them all the time.”
Evans 4-11 3-5 11, Onyeuku 5-9 1-2 11, Jackson 1-6 0-0 2, Bond 4-12 6-8 14, Thomas 3-7 1-2 8, Epss 1-3 0-0 2, Sherrill 0-0 1-2 1, Carter 0-3 0-0 0, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas-Palmer 0-0 0-0 0, Payton 5-7 0-0 13. Totals 23-58 12-19 62.
Giggetts 2-3 2-2 6, Ross 1-4 0-0 2, Hall 5-13 5-6 16, Burkholder 8-13 8-10 28, Hislop 7-20 4-4 20, Gill 0-3 0-0 0, Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Gwathmey 2-5 2-4 6, Shepherd 2-5 0-0 4, Mickens 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 28-69 22-28 85.
Halftime—James Madison 40-37. 3-Point Goals—Hofstra 4-18 (Evans 0-1, Onyeuku 0-2, Jackson 0-3, Bond 0-1, Thomas 1-3, Epps 0-2, Carter 0-1, Payton 3-5), James Madison 7-15 (Hall 1-5, Burkholder 4-6, Hislop 2-4). Fouled Out—none. Rebounds—Hofstra 38 (Bond 12), James Madison 45 (Burkholder 8). Assists—Hofstra 9 (Jackson, Thomas 3), James Madison 8 (Hislop 4). Total Fouls—Hofstra 20, James Madison 17. A—2,821.