One of just two undefeated teams left playing in NAIA Division II women's hoops made it difficult for the Jimmies to take care of the basketball Saturday at Harold Newman Arena.
The fourth-ranked Hastings Broncos scored 27 points off 26 University of Jamestown turnovers and sailed to 17-0 with a 77-52 victory over the Jimmies. Indiana's Taylor University topped Spring Arbor, Michigan, 78-39 on Saturday to also stay unbeaten at 16-0.
Meanwhile, Jamestown fell to 9-6 overall and 4-5 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with a trip to No. 1-ranked Concordia University (14-1, 9-1 GPAC) on the docket next Saturday (Jan. 11) in Seward, Nebraska.
"They do a good job of pinching gaps and really contesting every dribble, and that was something that got our eyes down and we didn't make good decisions after that," UJ women's basketball coach Thad Sankey said of his team's effort against the Broncos. "We saw in the first quarter right away that whenever we put the ball on the floor we didn't make good passing decisions and it really hurt us."
Jamestown trailed just 22-16 after turning the ball over eight times in the opening quarter. UJ sophomore Noelle Josephson, coming off a 21-point performance in Thursday's 85-76 victory at Midland, hit a 3-pointer late in the frame, as the Broncos led by as many as 11.
UJ fought back to within three at 28-25 with 5:25 remaining in the half, following a 3-pointer off the hands of UJ senior Paige Schmidt and back-to-back buckets in the paint from Mackensi Higlin and Olivia Anderson. But the UJ spurt was countered by six points off the bench from Hastings' freshman guard Ali Smith, part of a 14-4 run by the Broncos to close the second quarter.
Freshman Hannah DeMars led the Jimmies with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. All of DeMars' points came after the break. UJ trailed 42-29 at the half.
"I thought there were two times in the first half that we did a good job of battling back," Sankey said. "We lost our focus in the last two minutes of the half, and from there we weren't able to pull back that third time.
"That's a lesson for us to learn. We can't put ourselves in that position to need three times to dig back in and cut leads."
Hastings ballooned the advantage to 26 at 58-32 with a 16-3 run to start the second half. The Broncos, who haven't lost since falling by 31 to the College of the Ozarks in the second round of the national tournament last March, had outscored the Jimmies 23-2 off turnovers by that point and eventually led 60-38 after three frames.
Second-team All-American Shandra Farmer, Gabby Grasso and Sophia Pankratz all scored 14 points to pace Hastings. Grasso also grabbed 12 rebounds, while Farmer notched five of Hasting's 19 steals. Josephson finished scoring nine for the Jimmies, while Higlin and Courtney Mosloski both chipped in with eight.
The Broncos have reached the national tournament in each of the past six seasons, advancing twice to the quarterfinals and once to the semifinals. Jamestown will host nonconference rival Valley City State this Tuesday at 6 p.m. before its date at No. 1 next weekend.
"We were reluctant to move," Sankey said. "And when I say that, I mean we weren't willing to move two feet to meet a ball or to create a better pass, and that was something that really hurt us. We've got to be able to fight for the ball when it's in the air and we just weren't willing to do that tonight."
(4) Hastings College 77, (RV) University of Jamestown 52
HC 22 20 18 17 -- 77
UJ 16 13 9 14 -- 52
HC -- Gabby Grasso 14, Shandra Farmer 14, Sophia Pankratz 14, Ali Smith 10, Dawson Knode 7, Taylor Beacom 6, Kaitlyn Schmit 4, Karli Hale 4, Emma Grenfell 2, Jordyn Fiddelke 2. Totals: 29-63 FG, 4-10 3-pointers (Pankratz 2, Schmit, Smith), 15-18 FT, 41 Rebounds (Grasso 12), 14 Fouls, 19 Assists (Farmer 8, Grenfell 7), 14 Turnovers, 4 Blocks (Grasso 2), 19 Steals (Farmer 5, Grenfell 4).
UJ -- Hannah DeMars 10, Noelle Josephson 9, Makensi Higlin 8, Courtney Mosloski 8, Olivia Anderson 5, Kia Tower 5, Macy Savela 3, Paige Schmidt 3, Macy Nilsen 1. Totals: 21-65 FG, 5-22 3-pointers (Josephson, Anderson, Schmidt, Tower, Savela), 5-10 FT, 47 Rebounds (DeMars 10), 20 Fouls, 15 Assists (Emma Stoehr 3, Tower 3), 26 Turnovers, 4 Blocks (Josephson 2), 4 Steals (Mosloski 2).
Records: Hastings 17-0, 9-0 GPAC. Jamestown 9-6, 4-5.