HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Dawn Evans scored 25 points and James Madison beat Old Dominion 67-53 Sunday to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship.
The Dukes (26-6) won the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid for the first time since 1989, and ended a streak of seven losing trips to the title game since then.
Old Dominion (18-13), which had its NCAA-record streak of 17 consecutive tournament titles end last season with a loss to Drexel in the semifinals, trailed most of the game. The Lady Monarchs closed within five with 7:24 remaining, but got no closer.
Lauren Jimenez added 13 points and eight rebounds for James Madison.
Jasmine Parker led Old Dominion with 15 points and Tia Lewis had 11.
Evans, who also had seven assists, finished off what may have been the decisive play of the game. Lewis had rebounded her own miss and was preparing to shoot again when the Dukes' Nikki Newman ripped the ball from her hands and sent Evans in for a layup to make it 60-49.
Only moments before, Old Dominion had finished a 17-3 burst featuring seven points by Lewis and six by Parker, turning a 19-point deficit into a crowd-quieting 54-49 game.
Evans' breakaway basket capped a 6-0 spurt for the Dukes that settled them down, and Old Dominion was forced to rush its shots the rest of the way as it sought quick points.
The Lady Monarchs shot under 34 percent and missed 9 of their 17 free throw tries.
Earlier, consecutive baskets by Tarik Hislop and Evans gave the Dukes a 51-32 lead with 12:55 to play, and James Madison seemed poised to put the game away in front of its crowd.
But a driving bucket by Parker and Lewis' putback sparked the 5-minute run for the Lady Monarchs, and James Madison helped out by missing several shots from in close. Jimenez ended the drought by scoring inside and adding two free throws before Newman's critical steal.
The Dukes led 43-29 at halftime after closing with a 9-3 burst. Evans started it with a 25-foot 3-pointer, and finished it with consecutive feeds to Jimenez inside.
James Madison scored 14 points in a row after an opening 3-pointer by Parker for the Lady Monarchs. Old Dominion missed its next 11 shots after the 3 with three turnovers.
Old Dominion closed to 16-11, but back-to-back 3s by Evans started a 10-2 run for the hosts.