Hannah DeMars scored the second-most points in a single game by a University of Jamestown women's basketball player Wednesday, and the Jimmies needed all of the big-time performance.
The 5-foot-11 sophomore from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, scored eight of a career-high 39 points in overtime -- sinking 6 of 8 shots at the foul line -- to lift UJ to a 90-81 victory over Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. DeMars also tied a career-high with 12 rebounds and set a new personal mark by dishing out six assists.
"It's a cool milestone, but it's much more important because we needed it," said UJ women's basketball coach Thad Sankey.
The Jimmies were on cruise control, leading 60-40 in the third quarter, before falling flat in the fourth. Doane turned Jamestown over five times during a 16-0 run that flipped the lead in favor of the Tigers at 74-72 with 1:54 remaining in regulation.
The Jimmies were able to recover, sending the game into overtime tied at 77-77, after being held off the scoreboard for 3 minutes, 11 seconds.
"We got tight and we worried about making mistakes, and then -- self-fulfilling prophecy -- we made mistakes," Sankey said. "But what I was really happy with is we got into overtime and got a couple stops when we needed to down the stretch."
UJ senior Emma Stoehr opened the extra frame with a 3-pointer, and true freshman Audrey Rodakowski knocked down a jumper to put UJ ahead 83-79 as UJ never trailed in OT. DeMars then took control by getting to the foul line.
The 6-foot Rodakowsi, who has proven she can step away from the basket and knock down shots, finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
"I think her feel for the game is probably her best attribute," Sankey said of Rodakowski. "She understands when it's her turn and when and where she can take those shots, and she had a big one down the stretch for us here tonight."
Kia Tower added 17 points for the Jimmies and Macy Savela knocked down four 3-pointers for 12 points.
Sankey said communication and connections lacked between Jimmie teammates in the fourth, arguably exacerbated by the absence of junior forward Noelle Josephson. UJ's best defensive player is in COVID-19 protocol and missed a second consecutive game.
Josephson averages seven points per night and has 141 career steals.
"She puts up incredible steal numbers, but so much of what she does is not stats," Sankey said. "Anytime we miss a player, it's always a puzzle to solve who's going to fill those gaps and Noelle is a big hole to fill. But that's where we're at and the answer for us will be how committed we are to solving problems and who needs to fill a void."
DeMars wrapped up a solid two games in Nebraska after posting 22 points and 12 rebounds in Monday's 70-68 loss at Hastings College. Her 39 markers scored Wednesday stands second to only Jimmie great Kathi Fischer's 49.
Fischer was selected North Dakota colleges' female athlete of the year in 1980.
"She's done a great job of settling and reading where and when she can pull up and hit her shots," Sankey said. "Hannah's worked so hard on her individual finishes and midrange stuff that she's got confidence to be able to finish over the defense."
The Jimmies are scheduled to play an exhibition game at Presentation College on Dec. 2 before returning to GPAC play on Dec. 5 at Mount Marty.
University of Jamestown 90, Doane University 81, OT
UJ 22 16 25 14 13 -- 90
DU 11 16 23 27 4 -- 81
UJ -- Hannah DeMars 39, Kia Tower 17, Macy Savela 12, Audrey Rodakowski 10, Emma Stoehr 7, Gracie Bohl 4, Emily Stier 1. Totals: 22-77 FG, 10-32 3-pointers (Tower 4, Savela 4, Stoehr, DeMars), 14-20 FT, 17 Turnovers, 48 Rebounds (DeMars 12, Correy Hickman 9), 2 Blocks (Rodakowski 2), 14 Steals (Hickman 4), 16 Assists (DeMars 6, Stoehr 5), 23 Fouls (Savela).
DU -- Heits 24, Roth 14, Teten 13, Nall 12, Miller 9, Davis 5, Jansky 2, Konz 2. Totals: 28-72 FG, 3-19 3-pointers (Roth, Nall, Teten), 22-37 FT, 50 Rebounds (Teten 14), 21 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Heits 2), 9 Steals (Davies 4), Fouls 19.
Records: Jamestown 4-2, 2-2 GPAC. Doane 3-3, 1-2.