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Jimmies overcome sluggish start in win

Jamestown's Jack Talley goes to the net for a dunk Tuesday at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Sometimes the first half of a basketball game can mimic crawling out of the wrong side of bed.

The Jimmie men struggled early Tuesday against visiting Trinity Bible College at Harold Newman Arena. The Lions of the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference led by as many as five points and forced six lead changes in the opening 20 minutes, as University of Jamestown rather sheepishly owned a 37-32 advantage at the break.

"We just came out a little lackadaisical," said Jimmie junior guard Kevin Oberweiser, who was held scoreless in the first half on 0-of-4 attempts from the field. "We had to pick things up, so we tried to do that in the second half."

Jamestown erupted for 27 unanswered points after the intermission, with Oberweiser connecting on a trio of 3-pointers. The Jimmies limited the Lions to 15 total points in the frame and coasted to an 86-47 win.

But it wasn't quite enough to completely forget about the start, where the Jimmies went 4 of 18 from 3-point range and missed 20 total shots. Jimmie head coach Danny Neville did receive 20 points off his bench in the opening half, however, after he sat his starters about midway through.

"Just no energy. No juice," Neville said. "I don't know. We just didn't come out ready to play."

Along with Oberweiser's long-range connections, the Jimmies turned its long scoring run into a slam-dunk show. Leighton Sampson and Jack Talley both tossed down one-handed jams on back-to-back trips down the court, with 6-foot-9 freshman Brock Schrom slamming through a pair of the two-handed variety to follow.

"My thing is, we should play like that in the first half," Neville said.

Sampson led all scoring with 15 points, while Jon Purintun scored 14 and Ben Weisbeck added 10 off the bench for Jamestown. A total of 15 Jimmies scored in the contest, helping Jamestown improve to 11-0 against Trinity Bible College dating back to 2006.

The Lions were paced by Zach Marengo and Avery Parrish each scoring 10 points.

With big North Star Athletic Association conference games looming, it's possible the Jimmies were caught looking ahead. Jamestown (17-7, 6-5 NSAA) wraps up the regular season with five conference contests beginning at Dickinson State (12-8, 8-3) on Thursday.

The Jimmies then host 22nd-ranked Mayville State (14-6, 7-4) on Saturday. Jamestown trails Dickinson State by two games in the standings, while Mayville is one back.

"Come ready," Neville said. "We've got to be the team that's aggressive and come at them. You think about the losses that we've had conference-wise, and we've kinda sat back and let them come at us.

"Dickinson and Mayville, they're the two teams ahead of us right now. It shouldn't take us much to get up for those games."

The Jimmies finished last season in a three-way share for the conference title with Dickinson State and Bellevue University.

"We just gotta stick with the program and stick with the plan that we've had all year," Oberweiser said. "Coming out in the first half is a big key for us. We've been a little bit slow in the first half, so we need to come out and get a jump on teams."

Jamestown 86, Trinity Bible College 47

Trinity Bible 32 15 -- 47

Jamestown 37 49 -- 86

TBC—Zach Marengo 10, Avery Parrish 10, Parker Stemen 9, Logan Klitzke 7, Josh Bauska 5, Cooper Nofziger 4, Zach Stemen 2. Totals: 18-57 FG, 4-6 FT, 7-24 3-pointers (Parrish 2, Nofziger, P. Stemen, Klitzke, Bauska, Marengo), 26 Rebounds (4 with 4), 13 Fouls, 6 Assists (Parrish 2), 19 Turnovers, 1 Block, 8 Steals.

UJ—Leighton Sampson 15, Jon Purintun 14, Ben Weisbeck 10, Kevin Oberweiser 9, Sam Johnson 6, Jace Allard 6, Jack Talley 6, Brock Schrom 5, Jake Reuther 4, Carter Keller 3, Brady Birch 2, Isaiah Dobson 2, Stefan Jevdjenijevic 2, Colton Lund 2. Totals: 36-70 FG, 6-8 FT, 8-32 3-pointers (Oberweiser 3, Johnson 2, Allard 2, Keller), 49 Rebounds (Christian Kvilvang 6), 18 Assists (Talley 5), 15 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 12 Steals (Purintun 3).

Records: Jamestown 17-7, Trinity Bible College 7-14.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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