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Jimmies defeat No. 21 Defenders

University of Jamestown sophomore forward Brady Birch (50) goes up for a bucket earlier this season at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

University of Jamestown men's basketball made a statement Saturday, Dec. 1, in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Not only can the Jimmies beat opponents from the perimeter with the likes of senior guards Jon Purintun and Kevin Oberweiser. They can also go on the road and take down ranked opponents relying on their men in the middle.

Sophomore forward Brady Birch stole a pass, scored a layup and blocked a shot—all in the final 40 seconds of regulation—to send the Jimmies and the No. 21-ranked Dordt College Defenders into overtime tied at 84-84. The 6-foot-6 sophomore from Melrose, Minn., finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and a pair of steals off the bench, as Jamestown upset Dordt 96-89 in OT and improved to 10-2 on the season.

"He's Mr. Reliable. He's just a winner," said Jimmie men's basketball coach Danny Neville of Birch during a postgame interview with AM 1400 ESPN Jamestown. "I thought Dordt's bigs were good, too, and credit them. They've got a good coach and a good program, but I thought our bigs came back at them."

Jamestown's 6-8 sophomore Brock Schrom scored 15 points before fouling out in the extra 5-minute frame, in what proved to be a nice outing overall for the Jimmies' sophomore class. Forward Jack Talley, the Jimmies' third sophomore and a starter with Schrom, hit a pair of second-half 3-pointers and tallied nine points and 10 rebounds, helping Jamestown outrebound Dordt 50-45.

Jamestown trailed 39-32 at the half and by as many as 12 after the break, but a solid day on the road defensively was arguably the difference. The Jimmies were able to force Dordt into 16 turnovers and 7 of 22 from 3-point range in its home gym.

"We got stops when we needed to, we boxed out when we needed to," Neville said. "I thought we competed. It's awesome."

After falling behind 46-34 early in the second half, Talley's first trey of the game completed an 18-5 comeback that gave the Jimmies a 52-51 lead with 14 minutes left in regulation. Purintun (19 points), Oberweiser (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Isiah Dobson (14 points) all connected from long range down the stretch, but Dordt's Josh Van Lingen answered nearly every bell.

The 6-6 forward hit three game-tying 3-pointers in the final 4:12 of the second half and led all scorers with 21 points.

Birch, however, had the last laugh.

After stealing a Chandler Brunsting pass and taking it the distance for two—tying the game at 84-84 in the final minute—Birch then blocked Dordt sophomore Jesse Jansma in the lane with just 9 seconds remaining to set up OT

The lead changed hands five times in overtime, but the last came when Purintun drove and scored to put the Jimmies up for good at 90-89 with 1:35 to play. Birch pushed the orange and black cushion to three points with another bucket in the paint a minute later.

"We were struggling to score there for awhile. We started going with sets, and I think it disrupted our flow a little bit and we just went to motion," Neville said. "We just moved the ball and cut. We were unselfish, just credit the guys."

Jamestown is rolling, winners of six of its last seven and improving to 4-2 in Great Plains Athletic Conference play. The Jimmies host Northwestern (Iowa) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Harold Newman Arena. The Red Raiders are 7-4 and 2-2 in the GPAC.

Jamestown 96, (21) Dordt College 89 OT

UJ 32 52 12 -- 96

DC 39 45 5 -- 89

UJ—Jon Purintun 19, Kevin Oberweiser 18, Brock Schrom 15, Isaiah Dobson 14, Brady Birch 13, Jack Talley 9, Jack Frazier 5, Terrell Alfred 3. Totals: 34-75 FG, 12-32 3-pointers (Oberweiser 4, Dobson 3, Purintun 2, Talley 2, Alfred), 16-24 FT, 50 Rebounds (Talley 10, Oberweiser 10, Birch 8), 13 Assists (Frazier 5, Oberweiser 4, Purintun 3), 25 Fouls (Schrom), 9 Steals, 3 Blocks (Birch 3), 21 Turnovers.

DC—Josh Van Lingen 21, Zach Bussard 17, Garrett Franken 14, Jesse Jansma 14, Chad Barkeman 11, Chandler Brunsting 7, Alec Henrickson 5. Totals: 31-74 FG, 7-22 3-pointers (Van Lingen 3, Jansma 2, Henrickson, Brunsting), 20-27 FT, 45 Rebounds (Bussard 10), 14 Assists, Brunsting 5), 20 Fouls (Franken), 10 Steals, 4 Blocks, 16 Turnovers.

Records: Jamestown 10-2, 4-2 GPAC. Dordt 8-4, 2-3.

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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