Lancers stun Jimmie men's basketball

Jimmies fall to Mount Marty University on Saturday in Yankton, South Dakota

UJ MBB Walters 2020 VC.jpg
University of Jamestown sophomore forward Mason Walters (33) runs the floor hosting Valley City State University at Harold Newman Arena on Oct. 30, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Mason Walters was hitting 3-pointers with his Jimmies dominating the glass and leading Mount Marty by 16 points in the final three minutes Saturday in Yankton, South Dakota, when the proverbial wheels flew off the cart in what appeared to be a winnable conference game for University Jamestown men's basketball.

The Lancers' Kade Stearns stuck a 3-pointer in transition from the left wing at the final buzzer, capping a 21-4 Mount Marty run to close and defeat the Jimmies 80-79. Jamestown (7-3) fell to 3-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and will look to right the ship Tuesday hosting Dordt (6-3, 2-3 GPAC) at Harold Newman Arena.

"We lacked the confidence to finish a game," said UJ men's basketball coach Danny Neville. "I think that's a correlation to having some young guys out there, but it's no excuse from us. We're going to learn from it and move on."

A bit of foreshadowing arguably occurred in the first half. The Jimmies outrebounded the Lancers 21-9 and held them to 37% shooting, but only led 33-30 before back-to-back 3-pointers off the hands of Cole Woodford and Marc Kjos pushed the advantage to 39-31 Jimmies at the half.

Jamestown appeared to have the game in control moving forward. The 6-foot-9 Walters stepped out and drained a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-2 Jimmie spurt with 12 minutes to play and UJ taking command 52-39. Walters recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds.


But with the Jimmies cruising at 75-59 with three minutes to play, the Lancers turned up the heat and Jamestown turnovers began to mount.

Three critical turnovers by the Jimmies down the stretch gave them 16 total for the game, and Jamestown made 1 of 4 attempts from the field as the Lancers pulled off the comeback while defending the full length of the floor. Senior Elijah Pappas came up clutch for the Lancers, rifling off 11 points -- including 4 of 4 at the foul line -- during the home team's closing run and found Stearns in transition for the game-winning 3 at the horn.

Pappas ended the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Kjos put Jamestown out front, 79-77, with a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining before Pappas and Co. drove the length of the court and won the game.

"We had the game and we just handed it to them," Neville said. "It's frustrating, but it's a long season. You can either take it and dwell on it or make it a learning experience."

Jamestown made 12 3-pointers and shot 49% from the field, winning the battle on the glass 39-27. Kjos (16 points), Cole Woodford (16) and Allante' Pickens (10) also scored in double figures for Jamestown.

Jailen Billings nailed seven three-pointers and finished scoring 20 for the Lancers, who made 17 of 41 from behind the arc

Mount Marty (6-4, 3-2 GPAC) won its fourth game in a row. Tuesday's University of Jamestown basketball doubleheader hosting the Defenders begins at 6 p.m. with the women's game at Harold Newman Arena.

"Just gotta come and practice hard the next two days," Neville said. "Like I said, you just gotta take it as a learning experience."


Mount Marty University 80, University of Jamestown 79

UJ 39 40 -- 79

MM 31 49 -- 80

UJ -- Mason Walters 21, Marc Kjos 16, Cole Woodford 16, Allante' Pickens 10, Brock Schrom 8, Brady Birch 4, Will Cordes 3, Devon Schultz 1. Totals: 27-55 FG, 12-27 3-pointers (Kjos 4, Woodford 3, Walters 2, Pickens 2, Cordes), 13-18 FT, 39 Rebounds (Walters 10), 12 Assists (Pickens 4), 16 Fouls, 16 Turnovers, 3 Blocks, 6 Steals (Kjos 2).

MM -- Jailen Billings 20, Elijah Pappas 16, Luke Ronsiek 11, Saba Gvedashvili 9, Jonah Larson 8, Kade Stearns 6, Allen Wilson 8, Keegan Savary 2. Totals: 25-63 FG, 17-41 3-pointers (Billings 6, Ronsiek 3, Stearns 2, Larson 2, Gvedashvili 2, Wilson, Pappas), 13-17 FT, 27 Rebounds (Pappas 10), 14 Assists (Pappas 8), 17 Fouls, 7 Turnovers, 3 Blocks, 13 Steals (Pappas 3).

Records: Mount Marty 6-4, 3-2. Jamestown 7-3, 3-2.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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