JC men upset No. 9 Rochester; qualify for nationalsSaturday was national-qualifying day at the A.I.I. tournament and Jamestown College went 2-for-2.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun
Saturday was national-qualifying day at the A.I.I. tournament and Jamestown College went 2-for-2.
After the women took care of business Saturday afternoon in a win over Ashford of Iowa, the Jimmie men pulled off an upset to continue their strong late-season play.
Down six at halftime, the Jimmies played one of their best halves of the season, outscoring ninth-ranked Rochester of Michigan 50-28 in the second half en route to a 78-62 victory to earn a trip back to Branson, Mo.
"I didn't know if we could score 50 on them in the game. To do it in a half against that caliber of a team, give all the credit to my guys," JC coach Justin Wieck said. "They played great."
In an up and down season, Wieck's team is hot at the right time.
After beating 19-11 Ashford of Iowa Friday night, the Jimmies handed top-seeded Rochester just its fourth loss of the season in 24 games.
"Rochester is really good. They're as advertised," Wieck said. "We've showed in spurts this season we can be a good basketball team. The last couple games we're hitting shots. You're a much better coach when you hit shots."
The Jimmies (15-17) will meet Dakota State for the A.I.I. tournament title Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Civic Center.
"We told our guys last night to enjoy it for like five minutes. Tonight, we gave them 30," Wieck said smiling. "We have a chance to play for a conference championship (Sunday). We'll worry about nationals on Monday."
Mark Hoge had 28 points to lead the Jimmies. Davon Thomas added 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jared Sutherland hit for 20 points off the bench, but in the lone bummer of the evening appeared to sustain a serious left-ankle injury on a game-clinching dunk where he was fouled. He was carried off the court and left the lockeroom with a boot on the foot and with the aid of crutches.
Drew Maynard led Rochester with 21 points. The Warriors will earn an at-large bid to nationals.