Jimmies grind: JC guts out victory over Ashford Univ.Late-game execution is critical come playoff time. Friday night, the Jimmies came through. Jamestown College scored on each of its final four possessions to grind out a 54-50 win over Ashford University of Iowa in quarterfinal action at the Association of Independent Institution tournament at the Civic Center. The Jimmies, now just one win from nationals, play ninth-ranked Rochester College (20-3) of Michigan with the winner earning a trip to Branson and the loser going home.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Late-game execution is critical come playoff time.
Friday night, the Jimmies came through.
Jamestown College scored on each of its final four possessions to grind out a 54-50 win over Ashford University of Iowa in quarterfinal action at the Association of Independent Institution tournament at the Civic Center.
The Jimmies, now just one win from nationals, play ninth-ranked Rochester College (20-3) of Michigan with the winner earning a trip to Branson and the loser going home.
“It’s everything we thought it would be. Great atmosphere; Ashford is really good. … I’m real proud of my guys,” JC coach Justin Wieck said. “We still got hope and that’s what you want this time of year.”
It was a typical tight, low-scoring tussle for the Jimmies.
After leading much of the game, Jamestown College fell behind 47-46 with three minutes to go and the offense in a rut. But after a timeout, Mark Hoge drove to the hole, made a spot-on pass to Jared Sutherland, who was open behind the arc and the Jimmies’ lone senior buried a clutch triple.
“Hoge made a great pass,” said Sutherland of the key 3. “Coach always tells us if we’re open to shoot it. That corner spot, I feel comfortable there. … It felt good to hit that shot.”
Jamestown College never trailed again after Sutherland’s clutch delivery.
Brandon Weston made it interesting with a 3 to bring the Saints within 50-47 with 90 seconds left. But Taylor Newton answered with a tough runner in the lane. After a stop defensively, Newton stepped up and knocked down two free throws with 16.5 points left to put the Jimmies up 54-50.
“This is postseason basketball. It’s going to come down to the last five minutes and then who makes the right plays,” Wieck said. “I thought Mark made some really key plays not even scoring, just making the right play. Reading the defense and then making the right pass. Once to Jared, then another to Taylor for the runner and then Davon for the free throws. … It made all the difference.”
Open looks were few and far between for both teams.
The Jimmies held Ashford, which averages nearly 70, to just two 23-point halves.
“I thought we had a good game plan coming in, but then for our guys to come out and execute it, really, that’s why we’re still alive,” Wieck said.
Hoge led the Jimmies with 15 points and three assists. Thomas added 11 and seven rebounds and Newton was in double figures with 10.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Jimmies to face one of the top teams in NAIA Division II. Wieck was hoping for a long night of film study and he got it.
“You go watch tape till 4 a.m., maybe get a little sleep and get right back to it,” Wieck said. “This is what it’s all about. We have a chance and we get to do it at home. What more could we ask for?”
At Jamestown Civic Center
Jamestown College 54, Ashford University 50
Jamestown College 31 23 — 54
Ashford University 27 23 — 50
Jamestown College: Dan Janu 2, Breshion Tucker 8, Taylor Newton 10, Davon Thomas 11, Mark Hoge 15, Jared Sutherland 5, Beny Collins 2. Totals: 18-42 FG, Three-pointers: 3-12 (Thomas 2, Sutherland), 15-24 FT, 26 Rebounds (Thomas 7), 12 Fouls, 7 Assists (Hoge 3), 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocked shots (Thomas, Hoge), 6 Steals (Tucker 3).
Ashford: Vesteinn Sveinsson 7, Austin Uhrig 15, DeAndre Lowery 2, Brandon Weston 5, Joshua Little 5, Joe Lightfoot III 5, Damon Overton 8, Tim Huber 3. Totals: 20-53 FG, Three-pointers: 3-9 (Weston, Lightfoot III, Overton), 7-11 FT, 37 Rebounds (Little 7, Lightfoot 7), 20 Fouls, 7 Assists (Sveinsson), 16 Turnovers, 1 Blocked shot (Uhrig), 2 Steals (Overton, Weston).
Records: Jamestown College 14-17; Ashford University 19-12.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org