End of the road: Defending champs down the JimmiesNorthwestern is doing what they always seem to do — peak in March. The 2-time defending national champion Red Raiders made the Jimmie women their 12th straight victim in national tournament play, rolling to an 80-58 win Friday morning in Sioux City, Iowa.
Northwestern is doing what they always seem to do — peak in March.
The 2-time defending national champion Red Raiders made the Jimmie women their 12th straight victim in national tournament play, rolling to an 80-58 win Friday morning in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Jimmies finished the season 27-5, setting a new school record for wins in a season. They also won a game at nationals for just the second time, although having the season end was still a bitter pill to swallow.
“It’s disappointing not just to lose, but we just didn’t play very well,” JC coach Greg Ulland said. “Obviously, big-picture wise we had a really good season. The staff, we’re very proud of the girls and what they accomplished. It’s always tough when your season ends, but that’s what we’re having to deal with right now.”
The shots just weren’t falling for the Jimmies Friday morning. They made just 17 of their 69 attempts and played uphill from the get-go. Point guard Hannah Steele was in foul trouble all game and the Red Raiders (25-7) were rolling.
“He’s (Northwestern coach Chris Yaw) got them playing really well. They’re confident and they play with that swagger. They’re just really tough,” Ulland said. “It didn’t help any that we couldn’t throw it in the ocean.
“It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we could have hung around and put some pressure on them, but we couldn’t get it done.”
The Jimmies made one second-half run to get within 38-35 on four straight points by Bridget Schuneman, but Northwestern star junior Kami Kuhlmann scored six points in a 9-0 Northwestern run and they stayed in control the rest of the way.
“We got it down to 3 or 4 points there, but we weren’t able to sustain it,” Ulland said. “When you shoot 25 percent against a team of that caliber you’re not going to win the game.”
Kuhlmann poured in a tournament-high 31 points for the Red Raiders, who are an amazing 36-6 all-time in 11 national tournament appearances.
Amber Ramlo and Kellie Schuneman, the Jimmies’ only senior that plays regularly, had 10 points each. Bridget Schuneman added 9 points and 6 rebounds. Maggie Seter, a freshman, passed out 4 assists.
“This hopefully will pay dividends for us down the road. It was big that we beat Union, got that win under our belt and hopefully that will be a building block for next year,” Ulland said. “There’s a lot to feel good about with this team and we’re certainly not going to forget that even though today we didn’t play as well as we would have liked to.”
NAIA National Tournament
At Sioux City, Iowa
Northwestern, Iowa 80, Jamestown College 58 Northwestern 35 45 — 80
Jamestown College 27 31 — 58
Northwestern — Kendra De Jong 15, Mel Babcock 2, Alli Dunkelberger 6, Kami Kuhlmann 31, Val Kleinjan 4, Karen Hutson 4, Mackenzie Small 8, Samantha Kleinsasser 5, Mallory Cunard 3. Totals: 28-57 FG, Three-pointers: 5-17 (Dunkelberger 2, Kuhlmann 2, Cunard), 19-28 FT, 48 Rebounds (De Jong 12), 18 Fouls, 17 Assists (Kuhlmann 4), 13 Turnovers, 2 Blocked shots (De Jong, Kleinsasser), 8 Steals (Kuhlmann 3).
Jamestown College — Amber Ramlo 10, Bridget Schuneman 9, Kellie Schuneman 10, Casey Geffre 9, Carly Jensen 3, Maggie Seter 6, Hannah Elshaug 2, Morgan Mathison 2, Kayla Roemmich 7. Totals: 17-69 FG, Three-pointers: 6-28 (Seter 2, Ramlo 2, K.Schuneman, Jensen), 18-24 FT, 40 Rebounds (Geffre 6, B.Schuneman 6), 22 Fouls (Hannah Steele 5), 8 Assists (Seter 4), 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocked shots (Ramlo, Jensen), 6 Steals (Geffre 2). Records: Northwestern 25-7, Jamestown College 27-5.
Sun sports editor Dave
Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com