Trojans complete comebackMark Hoge was virtually unstoppable. But Dakota State kept chipping away.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Mark Hoge was virtually unstoppable.
But Dakota State kept chipping away.
Despite a huge day from the Jamestown College junior star, the Trojans overcame a 23-point first-half deficit to win its second straight A.I.I. tournament title, rallying past the Jimmies 78-76 Sunday at the Civic Center.
“We had a great tournament, a great weekend in a lot of ways, but we really wanted that one,” said Hoge after a monster 36-point performance, which included making nine of 11 3-point attempts. “It’s big for our confidence. I don’t think many people thought we’d be going to nationals, but we are. We’ve proven we can play with people and beat them. … We’re disappointed, but we’re not done.”
Hoge’s 22-point first half, which included three straight 3-pointers at one point, keyed a 51-point frame that had the Jimmies up by 18 at the break.
“Hoge’s a great player, best we’ve played all season,” said Dakota State coach Gary Garner. “You look at it, we’re similar teams. We’ve both been up and down a little, but we’re coming on at the right time. Jamestown, they’re much, much better than they were early in the season.”
As for the comeback, Garner deadpanned about the plan.
“Get down big at half, I guess,” he said. “Not the best way of going about it. But, we didn’t quit.”
Having a pair of brothers that can stroke it like Luke and John Lamb helps in erasing large deficits.
John splashed in five threes and Luke connected on four with the last putting the Trojans (22-9) up 77-73 with 2:45 left.
Hoge, of course, poured in a 3-pointer to make it 77-76 with 2:40 left, but the Jimmies did not score again. Hoge missed a tough runner and two free throws inside the last two minutes. Still, they had one last chance with 3.8 seconds left, but the in-bounds pass was tipped, Breshion Tucker picked it up and had to heave it from half court, the shot was on line, but short.
“We didn’t get the job done today, but I’m really proud of my guys,” said JC coach Justin Wieck “We didn’t execute really well late in the game, but the guys played really hard. Did we run out of gas? I don’t know, maybe a little.
“You have to give Dakota State a lot of credit. They’re big, physical, they have shooters. … It wasn’t like we gave it to them. They made some big plays down the stretch.”
The Jimmies scored just 25 second-half points, but were playing short-handed. Senior Jared Sutherland sprained his left ankle in Saturday’s national-qualifying win over ninth-ranked Rochester of Michigan, but is expected to be OK when nationals begin either March 6 or 7 in Point Lookout, Mo.
Yusuf Vinson led the Trojans with 19 points. John Lamb had 15. Luke Lamb and Tyrone Gordon Jr., added 15 apiece.
Tucker continued his strong late-season play for the Jimmies, finishing with 15 points and eight assists. Davon Thomas added 10, but played only 24 minutes because of foul trouble.
Despite the setback, Hoge says the Jimmies (15-18) have plenty to look forward to.
“No matter what our record is, we’re a national-tournament team. I think we can do some damage,” he said. “If we play like we did this weekend, I know we can do some damage.”
Dakota State 78, Jamestown College 76
Jamestown College 51 25 — 76
Dakota State 33 45 — 78
Jamestown College: Breshion Tucker 15, Taylor Newton 6, Davon Thomas 10, Mark Hoge 36, Dan Janu 4, Andre Maund 3, Jesse Behm 2. Totals: 29-56 FG, Three-pointers: 14-24 (Hoge 9, Thomas 2, Newton 2, Maund), 4-8 FT, 31 Rebounds (Beny Collins 10), 15 Fouls, 17 Assists (Tucker 8), 12 Turnovers, 4 Blocked shots (Collins 2), 4 Steals (Tucker 2).
Dakota State: Tyrone Gordon Jr. 15, Luke Lamb 15, John Lamb 17, Yusuf Vinson 19, Marcus Smith 5, Keith Lee II 4, Cameron Krump 3. Totals: 28-62 FG, Three-pointers: 13-26 (J.Lamb 5, L.Lamb 4, Vinson 2, Gordon Jr. Lee), 9-20 FT, 38 Rebounds (L.Lamb 10), 14 Fouls, 13 Assists (Gordon Jr. 4), 8 Turnovers, 1 Blocked shot (Vinson), 6 Steals (Vinson 3).
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org