Jimmies fall to Defenders in Josephson's return
Erika Feenstra scored nine unanswered points for Dordt in the second half, on her way to a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds, lifting the Defenders to an 81-64 victory
University of Jamestown women's basketball was glad to have Noelle Josephson back in uniform Tuesday night at Harold Newman Arena.
But after missing Jamestown's last two games, plus an exhibition win over Presentation College, UJ's top defender and clutch performer was unable to help lift the Jimmies past eighth-ranked Dordt University. Standout senior forward Erika Feenstra scored nine unanswered points for Dordt in the third quarter, on her way to a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds, lifting the Defenders to an 81-64 victory.
"She's a good player," Josephson said of the 6-foot Feenstra. "She's an All-American, so next time we're going to adjust and we're going to do better."
Josephson didn't show much rust after emerging from a couple-week stint in COVID-19 protocol. She buried a 3-pointer and assisted freshman post Audrey Rodakowski for two points in transition during a 14-4 UJ run that cut a 41-27 Dordt lead at the half to 45-41 with five minutes to play in the third.
The 5-9 Josephson, who leads the Jimmies in steals (4.2 spg), never tested positive for the virus but was identified as a close contact.
"Honestly, I'm just happy to be back with the girls," Josephson said. "I've been able to go outside and do some of my own stuff, like running by myself ... but it's nice to be back practicing (with the team). I'm feeling good."
Jamestown (4-3, 2-3 Great Plains Athletic Conference) was unable to draw any closer, even as Dordt's 6-2 junior Ashtyn Veerbeek was shown to the bench with four fouls as UJ got to within four points. Feenstra put the Defenders on her shoulders, converting a pair of old-fashioned 3-pointers at the foul line as part of her nine straight markers that catapulted the visitors back into command at 56-41 and 62-46 after three quarters.
The Jimmies never led and were unable to find a consistent rhythm on offense, converting 22 of 55 from the field. The aptly named Defenders had something to do with that, converting 22 UJ turnovers -- including 15 Dordt steals -- into 33 points.
"When you watch our offensive possessions we were just tentative," said UJ women's basketball coach Thad Sankey. "We were tentative with our cuts, tentative with passes, tentative with our screens and finishes. Part of finding ourselves as a team is figuring out how we dictate the game."
After leading 20-17 after the opening 10 minutes, Dordt scored 15 unanswered points in the first 6 minutes, 32 seconds of the second quarter before a pair of Kia Tower 3-pointers late helped the Jimmies stop the bleeding. Tower led UJ with 16 points.
The Jimmies made just nine field goals in the opening 20 minutes. The reigning NAIA player of the week, UJ's Hannah DeMars, finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, while the true freshman Rodakowski scored 12 points
"I was pretty disappointed with our effort in the first half ... we were just not zoned in tonight," Sankey said. "We saw in the third quarter what we can do when we are cued in and when we are ready to go. That was the stretch we played as hard as them."
UJ pressed to begin the second half but was unable to mount a second charge after Feenstra pushed the lead back out to double digits. With Josephson back in action, UJ is hoping to be at full strength hosting Dakota Wesleyan (3-1, 1-1 GPAC) at 2 p.m. this Saturday with junior guard Kayla Buchanan scheduled to be in uniform.
Dordt (4-5, 3-3) had lost three of its last four.
"Not every team is gonna let us just pressure, pressure, pressure," Sankey said. "Some teams are gonna make us work and make us play half-court offensively and make us work half-court defensively, and Dordt definitely did that."
(8) Dordt University 81, University of Jamestown 64
DU 20 21 21 19 -- 81
UJ 17 10 19 18 -- 64
DU -- Erika Feenstra 23, Bailey Beckman 15, Ashtyn Veerbeek 11, Baylee Tetzlaff 10, Mya Chmielewski 7, Macey Nielson 6, McKenna Klecker 3, Hilary Albrecht 3, Diane Hurst 2, Jordyn Winterfeld 1. Totals: 26-60 FG, 8-19 3-pointers (Tetzlaff 2, Nielson 2, Veerbeek, Klecker, Chmielewski, Albrecht), 21-26 FT, 39 Rebounds (Feenstra 8), 25 Fouls, 16 Assists (Beckman 5), 17 Turnovers, 15 Steals (Tetzlaff 4, Beckman 4).
UJ -- Kia Tower 16, Hannah DeMars 14, Audrey Rodakowski 12, Noelle Josephson 7, Emma Stoehr 7, Macy Savela 3, Jordynn Toliver 3, Gracie Bohl 2. Totals: 22-55 FG, 6-14 3-pointers (Tower 3, DeMars, Josephson, Savela), 14-21 FT, 33 Rebounds (DeMars 8), 21 Fouls, 16 Assists (DeMars 4, Stoehr 4), 22 Turnovers, 1 Block (Rodakowski), 9 Steals (DeMars 3, Josephson 2).
Records: Dordt 4-5, 3-3 GPAC. Jamestown 4-3, 2-3.