Playing tougher on the road is something University of Jamestown men's basketball coach Danny Neville said the Jimmies will need to develop following Saturday's loss at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska.
The Bulldogs defeated the Jimmies 81-70 inside Friedrich Arena, scoring 52 points in the paint. The Jimmie women also fell to the Bulldogs, 67-61.
"I didn't think we played tough enough," Neville said. "(Concordia is) really well-coached and they come after you, so you just gotta be ready and be on top of your game. We didn't play our best game and you can't do that when you're on the road against a good team."
Junior guards Carter Kent (20 points) and Justin Wiersema (16) directed a fluid Concordia offense that broke the game open in the second half. Leading the Jimmies 38-36 at the half, the Bulldogs scored 16 of its next 22 points in the lane, increasing their advantage to 13 at 60-37 with 11:30 remaining in the contest.
Concordia's 6-foot-6 junior forward Gage Smith added 22 points, helping the Bulldogs improve to 12-6 overall. Jamestown defeated Concordia by two points in overtime on Dec. 18 at Newman Arena, overcoming a 13-point deficit in the second half behind a career-high 38 points from Mason Walters.
The Jimmies (12-4, 8-3 GPAC) weren't as fortunate the second time around, turning the ball over 16 times and leaving seven points at the foul line.
"We were guarding screens different ways pretty much every possession and (Wiersema and Kent) just capitalized," Neville said. "We'd go over and chase it and they'd get to the rim, and then we'd go under it and they were hitting shots. It was just difficult to guard them."
Walters finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while UJ forwards Brock Schrom (two minutes) and Brady Birch (six minutes) played sparingly against the Bulldogs.
Jamestown fought out of a 15-5 hole to start the game. Senior Jack Talley buried two of his three 3-pointers as Jamestown briefly led by as many as two in the first half.
Three-pointers knocked down by Wiersema and Kent, however, contributed to the Bulldogs' one-possession lead at the half.
The Jimmies' Allante' Pickens (14 points) and Cole Woodford (10) each hit a pair of 3-pointers. Talley scored 12 points, converting 3 of 5 from behind the arc, and is regaining his all-conference form following a rough battle against COVID-19 back in the fall.
"He's just gotta concentrate on the defensive end, sitting down and guarding," Neville said.
Concordia's high-percentage shots in the key resulted in 58% shooting (33 of 57). The Bulldogs missed seven 3-pointers in the first half and still shot 62% (16 of 26) after 20 minutes.
The Jimmies were coming off a low-scoring, 49-47 victory won at the buzzer Thursday night at Midland University, after pouring in 98 five days earlier at home in an 18-point victory hosting Hastings College.
The Jimmies continue GPAC play on the road next Thursday (Jan. 14) at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. Dordt (13-4, 8-4 GPAC) defeated Mount Marty 94-83 on Saturday.
UJ handled the Defenders 91-74 at Newman Arena last month.
"Just coming out ready to go. We missed a lot of bunnies and a lot of free throws," Neville said. "We gotta get tougher and figure out ways to win on the road."
Bulldogs 67, Jimmies 61
A strong third quarter by Concordia women's basketball trumped a solid first half by the Jimmies in Seward.
Trailing 35-27 at the half, the Bulldogs scored the first nine points of the third period and a later 13-0 run put the home team firmly out front 49-37 with two minutes to play before the fourth. UJ's scoring drought during the run measured 4 minutes, 30 seconds.
Concordia's Taylor Cockerill (14 points), Taysha Rushton (12) and Bailey Conrad (10) led the way offensively for Concordia, which was held to 33% shooting by the Jimmies. Neither team shot over 30% in last month's 55-50 win by the Bulldogs over the Jimmies at Newman Arena. Jamestown led that one with three minutes to play in the game.
Looking to finally get past the Bulldogs for the first time in more than six years (0-12), the Jimmies led by double-digits in the first half. An early 13-0 run fueled by 3-pointers from Hannah DeMars, Kia Tower and Emma Stoehr had the Jimmies leading 30-20 with five minutes to play in the second quarter.
The Jimmies fared better hitting shots Saturday, converting 11 of 22 3-pointers. Macy Savela hit 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and led the Jimmies with 15 points and five assists.
Kia Tower hit a trio of 3s and finished scoring 13 points. Hannah DeMars led UJ with five steals and Audrey Rodakowski posted a team-leading seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Jimmies were coming off a stinging, 75-74, loss at Midland University on Thursday, having possession of the basketball at the end of the game after fighting back from nine points down in the fourth quarter.
Five of the Jimmies' six losses this season have now been settled by seven points or less.
The Jimmies (9-6, 6-6 GPAC) continue conference play on the road next Thursday at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. Dordt (10-6, 9-4) defeated Mount Mary 90-46 on Saturday
Concordia University 81, University of Jamestown 70
UJ 36 34 -- 70
CU 38 43 -- 82
UJ -- Mason Walters 22, Allante' Pickens 14, Jack Talley 12, Cole Woodford 10, Marc Kjos 8, Will Cordes 4. Totals: 26-53 FG, 10-20 3-pointers (Talley 3, Pickens 2, Woodford 2, Kjos 2, Walters), 8-15 FT, 30 Rebounds (Walters 13), 13 Assists (3 with 3), 14 Fouls, 16 Turnovers, 0 Blocks, 4 Steals (Pickens 2).
CU -- Gage Smith 22, Carter Kent 20, Justin Wiersema 16, Ryan Holt 8, Grant Wragge 6, AJ Watson 6, Cory Davila 2, Klay Uher 1. Totals: 33-57 FG, 7-23 3-pointers (Kent 3, Wiersema 2, Smith, Holt), 8-16 FT, 31 Rebounds (Wiersema 9, Smith 9), 19 Assists (Smith 4, Holt 4), 19 Fouls, 10 Turnovers, 1 Block (Wiersema), 11 Steals (Watson 4).
Records: Concordia 12-6, 9-4 GPAC. Jamestown 12-4, 8-3.
Concordia University 67, University of Jamestown 61
UJ 14 21 10 16 -- 61
CU 15 12 24 16 -- 67
UJ -- Macy Savela 15, Kia Tower 13, Hannah DeMars 9, Emma Stoehr 8, Audrey Rodakowski 8, Anni Stier 5, Correy Hickman 2, Noelle Josephson 1. Totals: 20-51 FG, 11-22 3-pointers (Savela 4, Tower 3, Stoehr 2, DeMars, Stier), 10-19 FT, 35 Rebounds (Rodakowski 7), 13 Assists (Savela 5), 20 Fouls (Savela) 18 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Rodakowski 2), 5 Steals (DeMars 3).
CU -- Taylor Cockerill 14, Taysha Rushton 12, Bailey Conrad 10, Taylor Farrell 9, Mackenzie Koepke 7, Rylee Pauli 5, Chloe Schumacher 5, Chaise Pfanstiel 3, Mackenzie Toomey 2. Totals: 21-63 FG, 8-28 3-pointers (Farrell 3, Conrad 2, Rushton, Koepke, Pfanstiel), 17-23 FT, 44 Rebounds (Cockerill 9, Koepke 9), 12 Assists (Pauli 3, Cockerill 3), 15 Fouls, 12 Turnovers, 6 Blocks (Koepke 3), 7 Steals (Pauli 4)
Records: Concordia 11-6, 10-4 GPAC. Jamestown 9-6, 6-6.