University of Jamestown men's basketball and head coach Danny Neville were glad to escape Fremont, Nebraska, with a win on Thursday.
An oddball game offensively culminated in UJ's Cole Woodford taking an inbounds pass from Marc Kjos the length of the court in 4.1 seconds and sinking the game-winning shot off the glass at the buzzer. The Jimmies, who were averaging more than 87 points per game entering the night, skated out of Dodge with a 49-47 victory over the 3-11 Midland University Warriors.
"I didn't draw it up completely like that, but we'll take it," said Neville. "Their record doesn't tell you how good they are. Midland is young and they're tough. To come out with a win on the road is big for us."
The Jimmies' 49 points is the lowest offensive output in Neville's six years as coach -- win or lose -- coming in 10 points shy of a now second-place 59-50 victory over Mayville State University in 2017.
UJ's Mason Walters continued his breakout sophomore season with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, but nobody else scored more than seven points for the Jimmies, who shot 17 of 48 from the field and converted just 5 of 23 from 3-point range. Walters scored 12 in the first half, as an 8-0 Midland run to close the opening 20 minutes had the Jimmies leading 23-22
"(The game) had a weird feel to it, too," Neville said. "Just the pace. I felt like we had good looks."
But Midland struggled worse.
The Warriors converted just 1 of 17 beyond the arc and didn't get to the free-throw line all evening. The Warriors' Bo Sandquist converted the home team's only 3-pointer with 3:21 remaining in the game, which sorta miraculously gave Midland its first lead at 45-43.
Midland's Emanuel Bryson (0-3), Jake Rueschhoff (0-4), Laurence Merritt (0-3) and Arturo Montes (0-2) all had looks rim out from deep, while Sandquist missed another four.
Josh Lambert, the Warriors' 6-foot-8 freshman center, led the home team with 14 points.
"We fought hard and for whatever reason, we just played a play short, but I also don't want to take the pain away," said Midland men's basketball coach Oliver Drake in an interview with local Fremont radio. "These losses, there should be a sting to them and that sting then motivates you for the next day to get a little bit better."
Walters' final bucket of the night edged the Jimmies out front by two in the final 10 seconds, but a Rueschhoff jumper tied the game in the final five seconds, setting up Woodford's coast-to-coast dagger.
"A couple of those possessions we'd like to have back offensively, but then a couple we had really good looks and we just didn't make them," Drake said. "If somebody woulda said you're not gonna shoot a free throw and you're gonna be 1-for-17 from 3, I would've said we're gonna get taken to the woodshed. Credit goes to our guys. I thought the fight was there."
Woodford and Cordes opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Jimmies a bit of breathing room at 29-22, but offense, for the most part, was a struggle.
"They were doubling and digging on Mason and he kicked it out, they just weren't falling," Neville said.
The Jimmies improved to 12-3 overall and 8-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with a date at Concordia (11-6, 8-4) in Seward, Nebraska, on Saturday. The Jimmies defeated Concordia 89-87 in overtime on Dec. 18 at Harold Newman Arena.
"I can't wait to get out of here, man," Neville said. "We grinded out a win and I'm proud of the guys. I just told them, let's not play like that, ever."
Jimmies fall to Warriors
The University of Jamestown women's basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped Thursday night, falling 75-74 to the Warriors.
Hannah DeMars scored 17 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Jimmies nearly rallied from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit. Trailing 71-62, UJ went on an 8-0 run with all eight points coming from DeMars to make it a one-point game.
The Warriors answered with a three-pointer by Lexis Haase to go ahead by four with 46 seconds left, but following a DeMars layup, the Jimmies were unable to capitalize on a Midland turnover in the final seconds.
Peyton Wingert scored 20 points to lead Midland. Jamestown returns to action Saturday at Concordia University, Nebraska.
University of Jamestown 49, Midland University 47
UJ 23 26 -- 49
MU 22 25 -- 47
UJ -- Mason Walters 22, Marc Kjos 7, Cole Woodford 7, Will Cordes 6, Jack Talley 3, Allante' Pickens 2, Brady Birch 2. Totals: 17-48 FG, 5-23 3-pointers (Kjos 2, Cordes 2, Woodford), 31 Rebounds (Walters 12), 12 Fouls, 8 Assists (Birch 3), 9 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Birch 3), 2 Steals (Cordes, Brock Schrom).
MU -- Josh Lambert 14, Jake Rueschhoff 10, Colby Tichota 8, Bo Sandquist 7, Emanuel Bryson 4, Laurence Merritt 4. Totals: 23-58 FG, 1-17 3-pointers (Sandquist), 0-0 FT, 33 Rebounds (Sandquist 11), 14 Fouls, 4 Assists, 6 Turnovers, 4 Steals (Merritt 2).
Records: Jameston 12-3, 8-2 GPAC. Midland 3-11, 1-10.
(RV) Midland University 75, University of Jamestown 74
UJ 14 23 14 23 -- 74
MU 24 10 20 21 -- 75
UJ -- Hannah DeMars 28, Kia Tower 12, Audrey Rodakowski 12, Macy Savela 9, Noelle Josephson 8, Emma Stoehr 3, Correy Hickman 2. Totals: 26-62 FG, 6-22 3-pointers (Savela 3, DeMars 2, Tower), 16-20 FT, 39 Rebounds (Rodakowkski 9, DeMars 9), 17 Fouls (Rodakowski 5), 12 Assists (Tower 3, Stoehr 3), 17 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Josephson, Stoehr), 9 Steals (4 with 2).
MU -- Peyton Wingert 20, Emma Shepard 12, Lexis Haase 11, Makenna Sullivan 10, Katy Gathje 10, Erin Prusa 8, Lexi Kraft 4. Totals: 26-61 FG, 6-25 3-pointers (Shepard 2, Wingert 2, Kraft, Haase), 17-23 FT, 30 Rebounds (Gathje 7), 16 Fouls (Prusa), 14 Assists (Kraft 3), 14 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (3 with 1), 9 Steals (Haase 4).
Records: Midland 11-5, 8-5 GPAC. Jamestown 9-5, 6-5.