- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) - Lauren Brown scored 17 points, Shay Burnett had a double-double and Elon beat James Madison 78-60 on Saturday night in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship and earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Burnett had 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Essence Baucom added 16 points and Malaya Johnson had 14 for top-seeded Elon (27-6), who shot 53 percent from the floor.

“I’m still pinching myself because this doesn’t seem real,” said Elon coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m so extremely proud of this team and the effort that we put forth in every single game throughout this tournament.”

Brown was named tournament MVP. She played all but one minute and made 5 of 12 from the floor.

Precious Hall scored 32 points on 10-of-33 shooting to lead No. 2 seed James Madison (24-8). Hall’s 33 attempts matched Dawn Evans’ 2008 program record.

Elon took the lead for good five minutes in, and closed the second quarter on a 20-10 run for a 36-25 halftime advantage. The Dukes pulled within six points twice in the third but didn’t get closer. James Madison was scoreless for nearly five minutes between the third and fourth quarters, and Elon stretched its lead to 60-38.

Hall scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help the Dukes pull to 65-55 with 2:41 to play. She then missed her last four shots.

The Dukes shot just 23 percent (18 of 79) from the field but made 20 of 25 free throws (80 percent). Hall scored 37 points and the Dukes shot 57 percent in their semifinal win against Drexel.

“We met our defensive goals in regards to holding teams under 40 percent,” Smith said. “We rebounded the ball well and we shared the basketball all night long. Those were the three things we did an incredible job at the entire tournament.”

It was Elon’s first trip to a conference title game since the 2000-01 Big South Conference finals. James Madison won the last three CAA championships, and had beaten the Phoenix in all seven conference matchups.

UP NEXT

James Madison: The Dukes find out their postseason fate Monday night.

Elon: Awaits its destination to the NCCA Tournament after pairings are announced Monday night.

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