Off and winning
The start and finish to the first half of the opening game of the season went about flawlessly for the Jimmie men Saturday afternoon. As a result, win No. 1 came pretty comfortably too. The Jimmies scored the first 12 points of the game, and then...
The start and finish to the first half of the opening game of the season went about flawlessly for the Jimmie men Saturday afternoon.
As a result, win No. 1 came pretty comfortably too.
The Jimmies scored the first 12 points of the game, and then for good measure, finished the opening half on an 11-0 run building a big 20-point lead en route to a 76-57 victory over the University of Winnipeg.
The Jimmies put the clamps on the Wesmen, who committed 32 turnovers and made just 17 of their 43 shots.
"For a first game, I thought it was good, especially defensively," JC coach Matt Murken said. "I thought we really pressured them and made things really hard for them."
The Wesmen came into the game with three wins and a narrow loss to Valley City State the night before. But they were never in this one.
Winnipeg missed their first seven shots, which were all contested by the Jimmies, and could never get on track.
"For us to be successful, we're going to have to bring that level of energy on the defensive end of the floor each game," Murken said. "More than anything, I thought our guys just worked really hard guarding them. That to me was the most encouraging thing."
Murken played 13 guys and 10 of them registered 10 minutes or more.
"We played seven guys who were playing here for the first time," he said. "No matter how good of a player you are, or where you've played previously, there is an adjustment to this level and you can only learn that by playing. But for the most part I thought our guys did a really nice job."
The Jimmies played in front all night. After the 12-0 start, the Wesmen got the lead under 10 only once and it was brief.
Two late jumpers by reserve Davon Thomas and a three by Mark Hoge right in front of the first-half horn turned a 29-20 JC lead into a 40-20 runaway.
The Jimmies followed 40 in the first half with 36 more points over the final 20 minutes. All-DAC returner Travis Burley had 19 points in 27 minutes. Mark Hoge, a sophomore, had 14. B.J. Mertens had 10 points, 5 assists and just 1 turnover. Byron Jones also had 10 as nine Jimmies scored in all.
Thomas had 8 points in his first game and Jared Sutherland chipped in with 6 more off the bench.
The Jimmies take a big step up in the level of competition this weekend as No. 16 Dordt and No. 7 Northwestern are here Friday and Saturday.
"We'll have a good week of preparation and I think our guys are really looking forward to those games," Murken said.