Jimmies grit out 70-67 comeback win over Northwestern

The Jimmies went 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the win.

uj womens hoops demars in combat 012823.jpg
University of Jamestown's Hannah DeMars (2) gets some unwanted help from Hali Anderson (5) of Northwestern and another hand on the ball during women's basketball action Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at Harold Newman Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Despite trailing for most of the game, the University of Jamestown showed off their toughness and their grit in a 70-67 win over No. 15-ranked Northwestern University on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Harold Newman Arena.

“It teaches us that we continue to get better and toughness is never overrated and our team’s building that,” Jimmies head coach Thad Sankey said. “It’s never a finished product, we just keep adding layers of confidence and toughness and we added one today.”

The Jimmies (17-5, 12-4) started the game on a 5-0 run before the Raiders went on an 11-4 run to take an 11-9 lead. The Raiders (15-6, 10-5) were able to stretch the lead out to 25-16 by the end of the first quarter. The Raiders’ 25 points are the most the Jimmies have given up in a quarter since they gave up 25 in the fourth quarter of their win over Doane on Jan. 23.

uj womens hoops busek passing 012823.jpg
University of Jamestown's Kate Busek passes the ball to a teammate Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at the Newman.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Early in the second quarter, the Raiders were able to stretch the lead out to double digits at 27-17, but the Jimmies were able to cut into the lead getting it as close as 38-34 on a Sarah Lenz three with 2:15 to go in the first half.

The Jimmies cut into the lead late in the third quarter at 51-49 but they proceeded to miss five shots in a row as they attempted to tie the game up. The Jimmies' cold spell was ended by a three from Lenz to cut the deficit to 55-52 with just under a minute to go in the third.


With seven minutes to go in the game, the Jimmies’ Hannah DeMars got a three to drop to tie the game up at 59. A few minutes later, the Raiders retook the lead at 65-63. The Jimmies put the ball back in Demars’ hands and she splashed a three to put the Jimmies up 66-65 with three and a half minutes to go, giving the Jimmies their first lead since 5-3. With 24 seconds to go and the Jimmies down 67-66, the Jimmies’ Kia Tower went to the stripe and hit two free throws to give her team a 68-67 lead.

“Those free throws, everyone knew, they were big free throws, just trying to stay calm do what I do,” Tower said. “We practice them all the time, we’ve shot so many free throws so just trying to do my best to stay calm, do my routine.”

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders went ice cold from the field, shooting 2-for-13, but were kept in the game by their ability to draw fouls as they shot 5-for-8 from the line.

“I thought the pace of our offense really slowed down,” Raiders head coach Kristin Rotert said. “We held the ball too much, we didn’t get it reversed from one side of the floor to the other, got ourselves really stagnant in the half-court. I thought that affected our shooting percentage quite a bit.”

The Jimmies are back in action at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they go to Dakota Wesleyan.

“It’s obviously huge, it’s awesome to split with Northwestern but we know this isn’t the end of the tough stretch,” Tower said. “We have so many more games coming up that are just as important."

uj womens hoops cordes wrestle 012823.jpg
University of Jamestown's Kate Cordes, right, gets in a wrestling match for possession of the ball with Northwestern's Kylie Foss on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at Newman Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

NWC 67, UJ 70

NWC: 25 18 14 10–67


UJ: 16 20 16 18–70

Points leaders:

NWC: Maddie Jones 13, Molly Schany 12, Hannah Nerem 10

UJ: Hannah DeMars 20, Kia Tower 14, Sarah Lenz 9

Assists leaders:

NWC: Jones 9, Taylor Vandervelde 3, Schany 1, H. Nerem 1, Hali Anderson 1, Emilee Danner 1, Lexie Van Kekerix 1, Maren Nerem 1

UJ: Kate Cordes 3, Tower 2, Kate Busek 2, DeMars 1

Leading rebounders:


NWC: Jones 7, Vandervelde 6, Schany 4, Anderson 4, Danner 4, H. Nerem 2

UJ: DeMars 12, Busek 7, Tower 4, Audrey Rodakowski 4, Hannah Hagel 3

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
What To Read Next
Get Local