Jimmies can clinch tonight
The New Year has gone quite nicely for the Jimmies.
Coach Justin Wieck says his team doesn’t spend much time worrying about the streak, or the chance to go undefeated in the inaugural North Star Athletic Association campaign.
“The streak is good for our confidence, but it doesn’t matter once the ball is tipped,” he said.
The Jimmies are two wins from an unblemished conference mark, but just one win away from clinching the regular season title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Fittingly, they can sew up the league title tonight against Valley City State at the Civic Center.
“I was looking back at the last seven or eight games and no matter who wins it’s always close,” Wieck said. “This is a big game for both teams. … It always is even without the secondary stuff. It’s always a great night for college basketball and it’s always a close game.”
During the Jimmies’ 9-0 run, the only game decided by 10 or fewer points was Jan. 29 at the Bubble when Jamestown held on for a 71-69 win over the Vikings.
“They have a lot to play for too. They can still get a share of the conference championship,” Wieck said. “Their place was jam-packed over there. We’re hoping for a good crowd (tonight). … It should be a fun night.”
Over the last nine games, the Jimmies are allowing only 59 points per game and committing just nine turnovers per contest. Wieck said there’s no secret to their winning formula.
“We want to go 1-0 on Wednesday,” Wieck said. “Our guys have really taken ownership and pride in the program. All the credit goes to them.”
Four players will be honored tonight in their final regular-season home game.
Hannah Steele, Carly Jensen and Morgan Mathison will be saluted during the women’s game, while Mark Hoge will be highlighted prior to the men’s game.
Steele is a two-time All-American. She’s pushing 1,300 career points and is the school’s all-time leader in assists (577).
Jensen is over 1,000 career points in her career, while Mathison has been a solid contributor and is over 500 points.
There’s been a lot of Mount Rushmore talk in basketball circles recently. If there was a Mount Rushmore for Jimmie basketball, space would have to be carved out for Hoge and Steele.
Hoge has amassed 1,428 points, 459 rebounds, 285 assists and 153 steals in his stellar career, and sports one of the most unique hairstyles around.
Jimmie women climb
The Jimmie women are back up to No. 3 in the NAIA Division II top 25 poll.
Ranked fourth last week, the 23-2 Jimmies trail only No. 1 Saint Francis, Ind. (28-0) and Davenport, Mich. (26-1). The No. 3 ranking ties their season-high.
A win tonight would be the 99th under Greg Ulland, who is in just his fourth season as head coach at his alma mater.
The Jimmies’ only two losses are to No. 9 Northwestern, Iowa (22-4) and 12th-ranked Mayville State (21-3). Northwestern is 4-4 in its last eight games after starting the season 18-0.
Brousseau, Reyes cited
Mike Brousseau and Aleona Reyes have earned weekly NSAA honors.
Brousseau was named the men’s field athlete of the week after a career mark of 50-feet, 10-inches in the weight throw at the Bison Open in Fargo on Saturday.
Reyes set a Bison Sports Arena record in the 1,000-meter run and placed first in a time of 3:01.42 on Saturday. She narrowly edged teammate Samantha Goff (3:01.43) as the two placed 1-2 in the race.
The Jimmies are back in action Thursday at Bemidji State.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com