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Red Raiders claim top 10 showdown

Jessica Buck goes to the hole for a basket as Northwestern’s Samantha Kleinsasser (24) defends during Friday night’s game at the Civic Center. John M. Steiner The Sun

It’d be hard to believe there are six better teams in the NAIA than Northwestern right now.

The winner of three of the last four NAIA national championships showed off another loaded squad Friday night at the Civic Center.

The No. 10 Jimmies scored 86 points and put on a hard late charge, but still came up 10 points short against the No. 7 Red Raiders, 96-86.

“That’s why we play teams like that. They test you, they expose you and now we gotta go back to work,” Jimmie coach Greg Ulland said. “I don’t think you can say it was this thing or that thing (tonight). It was an accumulation of little things that added up to a 10-point loss.”

Offensively, the Red Raiders, playing just their second game, looked like they were in midseason form.

“There have been times in practice where it looked like we have the potential to be a good offensive team, so to carry that out into a game against a quality opponent is encouraging,” Northwestern coach Chris Yaw said.

The Red Raiders looked on the verge of blowing the Jimmies out in front of a strong Friday night crowd, taking a 20-point (76-56) lead midway through the second half.

But the Jimmies slowly chipped away. A 3-pointer from Maggie Seter got it down to 13 and three minutes later freshman Paige Emmel splashed in another triple to cut the lead to 85-78 with 2:50 left.

“Give our kids credit because it looked a little dire there for a while, but we found a way back into it,” Ulland said. “Obviously, getting down big against a team like that is not the formula for success.”

Still, they cut it all the way down to 88-84 with 90 seconds to play on a 3-ball from Carly Jensen and a Hannah Steele free throw, but Northwestern fittingly sealed it at the free throw line.

The game featured 59 foul calls as teams across all levels of college basketball struggle to adjust to the strict new rules preventing hand-checking.

“We took a pretty good punch, but I never felt like our kids got flustered or out of control,” Yaw said. “To respond like that on the road and get a win certainly is a nice step in our progression as a team.”

Jensen poured in 20 points to lead the Jimmies, including six 3-pointers, giving her 200 in her career. Jessica Buck piled up 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out late. All-American point guard Hannah Steele also fouled out late, but still had 7 points, 7 assists and 2 steals.

The Jimmies (3-1) get right back on the floor today against another GPAC team, hosting Dordt (2-0) at 4 p.m.

Northwestern College 96,                                          University of Jamestown 86

Northwestern 48 48 — 96

Jamestown 41 45 — 86

Northwestern: Samantha Kleinsasser 18, Paige O’Neal 5, Karen Hutson 27, Alli Engebretson 22, Mackenzie Small 3, Whitney Vander Maten 4, Cassidy Breon 13, Arianne Gesell 3. Totals: 29-63 FG, Three-pointers: 4-14 (Engebretson 3, Hutson), 34-46 FT, 32 Rebounds (Kleinsasser 11), 29 Fouls (Small 5), 15 Assists (O’Neal 3, Engebretson 3, Vander Maten 3), 18 Turnovers, 2 Blocked shots (Kleinsasser 2), 6 Steals (Kleinsasser 2, O’Neal 2).

Jamestown: Jordan Bridges3, Megan Pold 2, Hannah Steele 7, Carly Jensen 20, Morgan Mathison 9, Kyra Dewald 2, Kadie Savage 7, Maggie Seter 5, Chelsey Frydenlund 5, Paige Emmel 8, Jessica Buck 18. Totals: 23-63 FG, Three-pointers: 11-30 (Jensen 6, Emmel 2, Bridges, Seter, Mathison), 29-36 FT, 41 Rebounds (Buck 12), 30 Fouls (Buck 5, Steele 5), 17 Assists (Steele 7), 20 Turnovers, 5 Blocked shots (Buck 3), 8 Steals (Steele 2, Mathison 2).

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at                            (701) 952-8460 or dselvig@jamestownsun.com

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460
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