COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Despite being up most of the night with an upset stomach, Kirby Burkholder had 28 points and 18 rebounds to lead No. 11 seed James Madison to a 72-63 win over No. 6 Gonzaga on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
A three-pointer by Shaniqua Nilles put Gonzaga up by four points before James Madison (29-5) used a 12-0 run to take a 59-51 lead with 3½ minutes left. Burkholder had six points and two steals in that stretch.
Gonzaga didn’t score for almost five minutes as James Madison took the lead.
“I don’t even really know what happened,” Gonzaga’s Sunny Greinacher said of that stretch. “They were so strong in that period of time. They really got us on our heels.”
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The Bulldogs cut the lead to six points with 1:39 left, but Burkholder made a pair of free throws to extend the lead and James Madison held on for the win.
Burkholder said she felt better after filling up with fluids all day Sunday.
“I just tried to put that aside and just play through it,” she said. “I was tired but I was just trying to just play hard.”
Gonzaga (29-5) was led by Greinacher’s 17 points. Haiden Palmer had 14. It was the sixth straight NCAA trip for Gonzaga, which had the highest seed in school history.