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Hofstra women lose to James Madison in CAA title game

Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey watches in the

Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey watches in the first half of the Colonial Athletic Association championship game against James Madison, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Upper Marlboro, Md. Photo Credit: AP / Gail Burton

The third-seeded Hofstra women's basketball team put up a fight against top-seeded James Madison, even taking the lead midway through the second half, before dropping a 62-56 decision in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final Sunday in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Kelly Loftus had 16 points, all in the second half, and Elo Edeferioka recorded her second straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Hofstra (20-12), which took a 42-41 lead when Anjie White (11 points, eight rebounds) hit two free throws with 8:59 left to cap a 14-4 run. But a jumper by tournament MVP Toia Giggetts 18 seconds later gave James Madison (29-3) the lead for good.

Jazmon Gwathmey had 17 points and 11 rebounds, including nine points in the final nine minutes, and Giggetts added 14 points for JMU, which earned its second straight CAA title and NCAA Tournament bid.

Hofstra held CAA player of the year Precious Hall, who entered averaging 20.9 points per game, scoreless for the first 23:46. She missed her first 13 shots from the field, wound up 1-for-20 and scored nine points.

"It is what it is," coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said. "We didn't rebound, we didn't play for loose balls, we didn't play as hard as we should have at certain times. That was the difference in the game."

Edeferioka, who had nine points and eight rebounds in the first half, and teammate Krystal Luciano were named to the all-tournament team. "I really wanted more, which is the championship," Ashunae Durant said. "I really feel bad that we didn't get what we wanted right now, but I know we're going to be ready for next season. We're definitely going to get in next year."

With everyone returning, a shot at a title is very much in sight. "We've got a group that's going to learn from this," Kilburn-Steveskey said. "They've got a little bit of pain and a little bit of regret here, and they're going to let [it] fuel them in a positive way."

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