When Nikki Oppenheimer made a 3-pointer just five seconds into the fourth quarter, she gave James Madison its largest lead of the night at 19 points. But that wasn't enough for the Dukes to pull off an upset over eighth-ranked Maryland.
The Terrapins closed Wednesday's game on a 29-8 run over the final 9:55 to win 70-68 and avoid a non-conference loss on the road.
Maryland forward Shakira Austin led all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 24 minutes. It was her jumper with 1:20 remaining that gave the Terrapins their first lead of the night 68-66. She scored 13 points in the final period.
The Dukes would tie the game once more with two free throws, but Maryland's Ashley Owusu (14 points) put Maryland in front for good with a game-winning layup with less than three seconds remaining.
The Dukes were led by starting point guard Kiki Jefferson, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists. But Jefferson was limited to a single layup in the fourth quarter, and James Madison as a whole went 3-for-15 from the floor in the final frame.
Still, the Dukes were in the contest until the very end. After Owusu's go-ahead layup, James Madison had one final chance to escape with a victory.
Kamiah Smalls nearly sank a miraculous buzzer beater from half court as time expired. But the ball banked off the glass, rattled around the rim and ultimately bounced out.
According to ESPN, the Dukes had a 99.7 percent win probability after Oppenheimer's fourth-quarter-opening 3 put JMU up 60-41.