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Jimmies face Davenport with Elite 8 on the line

Down to just 16 teams, the Jimmies face a tall task, literally and figuratively this morning at the NAIA national basketball tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. In No. 6-ranked Davenport University (Mich.), the University of Jamestown women's basketb...

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Opening ceremonies are conducted at the NAIA women's national basketball tournament on Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa. Mark Schuttenhelm / Special to The Sun

Down to just 16 teams, the Jimmies face a tall task, literally and figuratively this morning at the NAIA national basketball tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.

In No. 6-ranked Davenport University (Mich.), the University of Jamestown women's basketball team will be facing a team with six players 5-10 or better, including three 6-footers.

The 10th-ranked Jimmies (26-5), among the smaller teams in the field, stood up just fine in the opening round against another big team-Oregon Tech-in a 24-point win. Today, it's an early-riser's special with tipoff set for 8:30 a.m.

"They got some big, athletic kids," UJ coach Greg Ulland said of the 31-3 Panthers. "They've got some shooters. They're good. This is what you expect to see at this point."

The Jimmies are riding high after an impressive rout of Oregon Tech on Wednesday in the opening round. The Jimmies sank 13 3-pointers and outrebounded the Owls, 41-32.

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"If we play like we did (Wednesday), I like our chances," Ulland said.

Davenport ranks in the top 10 nationally in rebounding, defense and blocked shots. Much like the Jimmies, they're balanced offensively with nobody averaging more than 10 points per game.

Nine players scored in UJ's rout of Oregon Tech with Kyra Dewald's 18 points leading the way. Paige Emmel scored 13 of the Jimmies' 25 points off the bench.

The on-court tactics are obvious today. The Jimmies need to hold their own on the glass and continue to knock down shots, but Ulland places nearly as much importance on attitude.

"They've kinda taken on my personality to the point where I don't have to say much," he said. "I asked them (Wednesday) how bad do you want it? They want it pretty bad. You could see it. Hopefully, we bring that same mentality (today)."

Notes

The Jimmies are the last North Star Athletic Association team standing in Sioux City.

Late Wednesday night, Dickinson State lost to 12th-ranked Southern Oregon 80-71.
Ashley Bentz-Laub poured in 28 points in a losing effort for the 21st-ranked Blue Hawks. Lorna Shepherd added 25 points. Megan Klein pulled down 18 rebounds as DSU ended the season with a record of 23-8.

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Valley City State also went down in the opening round.

Trailing 36-33 to unbeaten and fifth-ranked Southeastern, Fla., at halftime, the Vikings were outscored 51-25 in the second half in an 87-58 season-ending loss.

Georgia Williams led the Vikings (24-9) with 18 points. Lexi Lennon, Kennedy Henningsgard and Rebecca Eberle had 10 each. The game started at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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