WINTER PARK, Fla. — Bria Holmes led an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter and the West Virginia women overtook James Madison 69-62 to win their opener at the Sunshine Classic on Sunday.
In winning their seventh straight, the Mountaineers (9-2) survived a 33-point outing by Dukes guard Ashley Perez and trailed 49-43 with 8:52 left in the game. That’s when Lanay Montgomery made a layup and Holmes scored seven of her team-high 16 points during the decisive run.
James Madison (6-3) missed 10-of-11 shots during a 7-minute stretch.
Montgomery finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, Teana Muldrow added 14 points and seven boards off the bench and WVU sank 10-of-12 shots during the final 8:36.
Perez made 12-of-21 overall and 7-of-13 from 3-point range, while her teammates combined to go 1-of-8 from deep.
Colonial preseason player of the year Jazmon Gwathmey grabbed seven rebounds but shot only 4-of-16 and finished with nine points, 10 below her season average.
The Dukes held a 36-34 rebounding edge but West Virginia finished with a 25-4 margin in bench scoring, including 11 points by Tynice Martin.
Florida State transfer Chania Ray made her first appearance for WVU, scoring seven points in 29 minutes on 1-of-5 shooting. The sophomore, a year removed from her last game at FSU, made three steals and three assists while committing three turnovers.
The Mountaineers meet Indiana on Monday night in the second half of the Sunshine Classic.