Jimmies use big first half to get 95-77 win over Concordia

The Jimmies shot 53% from the field in the win.

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University of Jamestown's Colby Vazquez (3) moves to the hoop while surrounded by Concordia defenders, Logan Wilson (24), Payson Gillespie (20) and Noah Schutte during the GPAC tournament on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Harold Newman Arena. Looking on is UJ's Jimmy Llinas.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — The No. 11-seeded University of Jamestown has booked its spot in the GPAC Championship game behind a big first half in a 95-77 win over Concordia University on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Harold Newman Arena.

“We got the crowd into it, we were diving on balls, getting dunks, we looked alive, we looked confident,” Jimmies head coach Danny Neville said. “We looked like Jimmie basketball.”

The first half was all Jimmies (25-5) as they sprinted out to a 22-9 lead and never looked back from there going into the half up 53-26. It was their 12th half this season in which they put up 50 points or more. In the first half, the Jimmies' defense showed out as they forced 13 turnovers and scored 14 points off those turnovers. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (18-12) were only able to score one point off seven Jimmies turnovers. Both teams struggled in foul trouble as the Jimmies had 12 fouls and the Bulldogs had 14 fouls. The Jimmies were able to spread the scoring out as eight different players scored. One of those players was Jimmy Llinas who finished the first half with six points.

“We followed the game plan and got up in them and made them uncomfortable,” Llinas said.

The Jimmies immediately kept it going as on the first possession of the second half, Marc Kjos splashed a three to push the lead out to 56-26. Over the course of the first ten minutes of the second half, the Bulldogs attempted to fight back into this one getting it as close as 21 points but their longest run over that stretch was an 8-0 run to turn a 67-38 deficit into a 67-46 deficit. The run was ended by a Mason Walters putback layup to push the lead out to 69-38 with 11:40 to go in the game. The Jimmies were able to stretch the lead out to as large as 31 points at 84-53 with 6:23 to go on a bucket by Walters.


“This team’s got a lot of heart,” Bulldogs head coach Ben Limback said. “Like I said, we were down a couple guys tonight, and guys got a lot of heart. We said we wanted to come out of the half and play with some pride and I felt like we did that. I felt like we didn’t lay over and kept fighting with them but certainly, they’re too good of a team to build a 20-point deficit.”

The win means the Jimmies will not be playing for their first conference title since 2019 at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28, when they host Dordt.

“We just played them and we thought we didn’t play very well against them,” Neville said. “Here’s another opportunity to play them in what? It’s been a week, so it would be nice to play them. They’re a great team, they’re well-coached. It will be a fun game.”

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A lot of hands and arms are reaching for the ball over Mason Walters' head on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, including Concordia defenders, Logan Wilson, left, Joel Baker and Garrett Seagren, right front, during the GPAC tournament at Harold Newman Arena.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

CUNE 77, UJ 95

CUNE: 26 51–77

UJ: 53 42–95

Points leaders:

CUNE: Noah Schutte 21, Logan Wilson 14, Garrett Seagren 9


UJ: Mason Walters 33, Cole Woodford 17, Marc Kjos 9, Jimmy Llinas 9, Reid Gastner 7, Will Cordes 7, Camron Ketchum 5

Assists leaders:

CUNE: Schutte 3, Wilson 2, Seagren 2, Joel Baker 2, Kelly Vyhnalek 1, Zac Kulus 1, Trey Scheef 1

UJ: Walters 3, Woodford 3, Kjos 3, Cordes 3, Colby Vazquez 1, Cooper Olson 1

Leading rebounders:

CUNE: Schutte 5, Wilson 3, Baker 3, Seagren 2, Vyhnalek 2, Kulus 1, Jaxon Weyand 1

UJ: Gastner 11, Walters 5, Kjos 4, Vazquez 4, Llinas 4, Cordes 2

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.
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