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Jamestown’s Taylor Newton passes in front of Dakota State’s Jordan Snyder (right) on Wednesday at the Civic Center. (John M. Steiner / The Sun)

Second-half surge lifts Jimmies past Trojans

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A second-half 3-point blitz carried the Jimmies to their seventh straight win Wednesday night.

Down 34-31 at halftime, the University of Jamestown opened the second half with a 16-1 run and never looked back, solidifying their grip on the top spot in the North Star Athletic Association with an 80-69 win over Dakota State.

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The Jimmies crawled over the .500 mark with the win at 12-11, and at 4-0 in the conference, are two games up on the pack halfway through the NSAA slate.

“It’s nice to be where we are, but there’s still a long ways to go. You’re only as good as your next game, so that’s where our focus needs to be,” said coach Justin Wieck.

With little energy in the building, both teams started sluggishly, but Dakota State rallied to take a 3-point lead at the break.

“It was kind of a dead atmosphere, so we told the guys, ‘You’re going to have to do this yourself,’” Wieck said. “We challenged them at halftime. It wasn’t anything specific, we just needed to play better.”

Two 3-pointers each from Brequan Tucker and Mark Hoge, and one from Taylor Newton ignited a 16-1 run, which turned the 3-point deficit into a 12-point lead.

“We weren’t doing anything different, but our execution, our energy level was just a lot better,” Wieck said.

Hoge scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half and finished just two assists shy of a triple double. His final line read 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

“He struggled in the first half and I challenged him at halftime too,” Wieck said. “We just told him, ‘Go be our leader. Play like an All-American,’ and he responded in a positive way.”

Hoge had plenty of help from Tucker, who poured in 24 points. Jake Hagler hit a pair of 3-pointers and passed out five assists.

The Trojans got as close as 66-61 with 3 minutes left, but Hoge restored order with another 3-ball and four straight free throws to push the lead back over 10.

Due to injuries and other issues, Dakota State dressed just eight players and played seven. The Trojans were the preseason favorites, but fell to 2-2 in the league and 10-14 overall. Yusuf Vinson scored a team-high 20 points.

“They’re short-handed, but they’re good. Even missing some guys they still have players capable of hurting you,” Wieck said. “By no means were we at our best tonight, but we were a lot better in the second half and that’s the type of effort we’re going to need Saturday night and the rest of the way down the stretch.”

The Jimmies play at Mayville State Saturday night.

University of Jamestown 80, Dakota State 69

Dakota State 34 35 — 69

Jamestown 31 49 — 80

Dakota State: Cameron Robinson 11, Marcus Smith 14, Adam Hofer 6, Kevin Danielsen 6, Yusuf Vinson 20, Miguel Sansavour 12. Totals: 24-60 FG, Three-pointers: 10-26 (Smith 3, Robinson 2, Hofer 2, Vinson 2, Danielsen), 11-18 FT, 36 Rebounds (Sansavour 10, Vinson 10), 18 Fouls, 13 Assists (Robinson 5), 12 Turnovers, 3 Blocked shots (Sansavour 2), 3 Steals (3 with 1).

Jamestown: Brequan Tucker 24, Breshion Tucker 1, Taylor Newton 6, Logan Brown 7, Jake Hagler 6, Jesse Behm 2, Mark Hoge 26, Dan Janu 6, Jacob Havron 2. Totals: 25-60 FG, Three-pointers: 12-31 (Tucker 4, Hoge 3, Newton 2, Hagler 2, Brown), 18-22 FT, 39 Rebounds (Hoge 13), 18 Fouls, 22 Assists (Hoge 8), 12 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (4 with 1), 4 Steals (Hagler 2).

Records: Jamestown 12-11, 4-0 NSAA; Dakota State 10-14, 2-2 NSAA.

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

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