Savela helps Jimmies sink Chargers at Newman Arena

Macy Savela converted 5 of 7 shots from downtown Tuesday at Harold Newman Arena, helping the Jimmies roll 78-62 over Briar Cliff University.

UJ women hoops Savela celebration 121520
Big cheers go out to University of Jamestown's Macy Savela (21) who sank several three pointers Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, against Briar Cliff at the Newman. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The finish to last Saturday's three-point win over Dakota Wesleyan at Newman Arena could've possibly irked University of Jamestown's Macy Savela.

The sophomore shooting guard missed a couple of potential 3-point daggers in the closing minutes, moments after burying two 3s in the fourth quarter to help UJ lead by a pair of possessions. UJ's Hannah DeMars eventually nailed the game-winning trey in the final minute after the Tigers tied the game late at 61-61.

But, like any good 3-pointer shooter, Savela's job description includes having a short memory. The 5-foot-6 marksman converted 5 of 7 shots from downtown Tuesday at Harold Newman Arena, helping the Jimmies roll 78-62 over Briar Cliff University.

"I think I have the easy job," said Savela, who turned in three steals and four rebounds to go along with a career-high 19 points. "My teammates are the ones driving through the pressure and setting me up."

The Jimmies flexed their physicality against a Chargers' team that had already logged wins over Great Plains Athletic Conference opponents Concordia and Morningside, two teams ranked inside the NAIA preseason coaches' top 25. UJ (6-3, 4-3 GPAC) held Brair Cliff (8-3, 6-3) to an abysmal 17 of 62 from the field (27%), including 2 of 16 from 3-point range.


UJ women hoops Savela celebration 121520
The Jimmies react as the University of Jamestown's Macy Savela (21) sinks a 3-pointer Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, against Briar Cliff at the Newman. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jimmies were fortunate that defending shots was enough, however, as UJ was clobbered on the offensive glass, 20-4. Briar Cliff outrebounded UJ 44-32 all told.

"If you're happy with just playing defense and not getting a rebound, we did a great job tonight," quipped UJ women's basketball coach Thad Sankey. "But I was really happy with how we guarded in the first half. I think we had three 45-second-long possessions and we guarded to the end on every single one of them."

Savela buried 4 of 5 from beyond the arc -- and also took a charge courtesy of the Chargers' Payton Slaughter -- to help UJ lead 36-26 at the half. BC was unable to convert its first 13 shots from the field, with UJ's Audrey Rodakowski and Noelle Josephson each collecting a blocked shot, as UJ stormed out to an early 11-2 lead in quarter No. 1.

Rodakowsi finished the game with 12 points and seven of UJ's 10 blocks. DeMars led the Jimmies offensively, scoring 16 of her game-high 24 after the half.

The Chargers, paced by Konnor Sudmann's 20 points, converted just 7 of 32 from the field over the first two quarters. Sudmann, a sophomore guard averaging 15 points per game, was a first-team all-conference selection last season and the GPAC's freshman of the year.

"I was impressed with how ready we were to guard the ball and with Audrey's defense on (Madelyn Deitchler and Mya Hendry) in the post and making their drivers second guess if they wanted to get to the rim early," Sankey said. "Just that deterrent right there really helped us lock in on the ball-screen action that they have."


The Jimmies maintained a 10-point, 54-44, lead after three quarters, leading by as many as 15 before nine straight scored by the Chargers kept BC in striking distance to begin the final 10 minutes.

The Chargers mustered one final run -- a 9-2 spurt -- in the fourth, slashing the UJ advantage to 60-56 with UJ senior guard Emma Stoehr on the bench with five fouls. But a clutch 3-pointer by UJ sophomore Kia Tower kicked off 12 unanswered points by the Jimmies, who picked up a massive win in the GPAC.

Tower finished with 16 points. Tower, Rodakowski, Noelle Josephson and Savela all carried four fouls to the finish line.

"I think our whole focus was just bringing the intensity to start the game," Savela said. "The past few games we've been kinda starting slow and just haven't brought the intensity, so that's just kinda been our focus as a team."

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University of Jamestown's Anni Stier looks to pass around a couple of Briar Cliff defenders Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Jimmies, winners of three of their last four, host 11th-ranked Concordia on Friday at 6 p.m. Concordia (7-5, 6-3) defeated Midland 67-59 Tuesday night.

"If you show up and you're ready to play, and you're ready to win every night, good things happen," Sankey said. "You have to be patient to be able to do that ... to know that that plays out over the course of two or three months of the season."


University of Jamestown 78, Briar Cliff University 62

BC 10 16 18 18 -- 62

UJ 16 20 18 24 -- 78

BC -- Konnor Sudmann 20, Payton Slaughter 12, Kennedy Benne 10, Madelyn Deitchler 8, Michaela Lange 6, Mya Hendry 4, Josie Condon 2. Totals: 17-62 FG, 2-16 3-pointers (Slaughter, Lange), 26-33 FT, 44 Rebounds (Slaughter 10), 16 Fouls, 8 Assists (3 with 2), 19 Turnovers, 1 Block (Sudmann), 8 Steals (Sudmann 3).

UJ -- Hannah DeMars 23, Macy Savela 19, Kia Tower 16, Audrey Rodakowski 12, Noelle Josephson 8. Totals: 31-55 FG, 9-15 3-pointers (Savela 5, Tower 3, DeMars), 7-14 FT, 32 Rebounds (DeMars 5, Josephson 5), 26 Fouls (Emma Stoehr), 25 Assists (DeMars 8), 18 Turnovers, 10 Blocks (Rodakowski 7), 8 Steals (DeMars 3, Savela 3).

Records: Jamestown 6-3, 4-3 GPAC. Briar Cliff 8-3, 6-3.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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