Sound defense; No. 5 Jimmies overcome shooting woes, handle No. 10 Midland
Shooting poorly does in a lot of teams.
The Jimmies made just three of 22 3-pointers, but still pulled away for a comfortable 71-55 win over No. 10 Midland University (Neb.) at the Civic Center on Thursday night.
“At halftime we were up and we told them, ‘well, we can’t shoot any worse.’ Well, they proved me wrong,” coach Greg Ulland said. “Two for 14 on threes in the first half then 1 for 8 in the second. … It was ugly, but at least we guarded.”
The fifth-ranked Jimmies (13-1) certainly did that, holding the Warriors to 26 points in the first half and 29 over the final 20 minutes. Jamestown had countless tips and deflections, and they blocked nine shots and had nine steals.
“When we’re having a tough night shooting like this we can always defend, that should never be an issue for us,” said junior post Jordan Bridges, who rejected six shots and had two steals. “Obviously, we have to shoot better, but we’re confident in our defense that we can get stops against good teams like (Midland).”
The Warriors (8-6) made just 15 of their 53 shots and after a decent start, were frustrated by the Jimmies’ hounding defense.
“They’re a timing and rhythm type of offense and they’re good at it, but we did a good job with the tips and disrupting what they wanted to do,” Ulland said. “We harp on it all the time about defending no matter how we’re shooting the ball. We have to be better offensively, no question, but the defense was good.”
The Jimmies had a 9-0 run in the first half to take the lead and then an 8-0 burst in the second half stretched the advantage over 10 for good.
Hannah Steele led the way with 15 points. Jessica Buck was next with 14, Carly Jensen had 11 and Bridges posted 10 points, six blocks, five rebounds and two steals.
“It’s awesome having the depth we do. It pushes us to improve and work hard in practice and in the game we know we can go really hard and when you need a break whoever comes in for you is going to get the job done,” Bridges said. “It’s an advantage we have over most teams. We’re confident no matter who’s on the floor.”
The Jimmies now have three wins over ranked teams. They’ll get a crack at two more right out of the chute after Christmas with a road trip to Iowa Dec. 30 and 31 against No. 13 Morningside and 19th-ranked Briar Cliff.
“We can still be a lot more consistent and we know that as a team,” Bridges said. “Coach will keep riding us, but we know it’s because of the high expectations we have. We’re happy with where we’re at, but definitely not satisfied. We have a lot more big games to play and we’re looking forward to them.”
University of Jamestown 71,
Midland University 55
Midland 26 29 — 55
Jamestown 29 42 — 71
Midland — Jamilah Johnson 9, Sammi Licari 10, Joelle Anderson 6, Kelli Page 3, Taylor Shepard 6, Shelby Rupprecht 4, Dani Andersen 2, Halle Dittrich 6. Totals: 15-53 FG, Three-pointers: 3-6 (Rupprecht 2, Johnson), 22-33 FT, 40 Rebounds (Licari 8), 29 Fouls (Page 5), 29 Fouls (Page 5, Andersen 5), 6 Assists (Andersen 2), 1 Blocked shot (Shepard), 10 Steals (Johnson 3).
Jamestown — Hannah Steele 15, Carly Jensen 11, Jordan Bridges 10, Megan Pold 2, Kyra Dewald 4, Kadie Savage 4, Maggie Seter 5, Chelsey Frydenlund 2, Paige Emmel 3, Jessica Buck 14, Alexis Watts 1. Totals: 19-57 FG, Three-pointers: 3-22 (Jensen, Bridges, Seter), 30-38 FT, 45 Rebounds (Pold 8), 22 Fouls, 7 Assists (7 with 1), 20 Turnovers, 9 Blocked shots (Bridges 6), 9 Steals (Buck 2, Bridges 2, Steele 2).
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com