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Jimmies survive rally from Warriors

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Aaron Schneider

FOREST CITY – The University of Jamestown held off a second-half rally by the Waldorf College men’s basketball team to take home a 99-87 victory during Saturday’s North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) matchup.
“We came out really flat,” Waldorf coach Nigel Jenkins said. “I told the team that you can’t do that against a team like Jamestown because you are going to have to run in transition.”
The Jimmies (15-9, 7-4) shot 22-of-37 (59.5 percent) from the field during the first half to charge to a 55-35 halftime lead.
Jamestown’s hot shooting continued in the second half, as the Jimmies knocked down 16-of-25 (64 percent) shots from the floor to finish the night with a 38-of-62 (61.3-percent) shooting clip. The Warriors (15-11, 5-7) connected on 30-of-64 (46.9 percent) attempts from the field.
“They’re a good team that is capable of having these kind of nights,” Jenkins said. “We aren’t going to beat teams if we give up 61 percent from the field.”
The Warriors were led by June Prowell, who tallied a career-high 35 points and matched a career-best with eight assists. The 6-foot-2 junior guard from Atlanta buried 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) shots from the field and sank 13 (92.9 percent) of his 14 attempts at the free-throw line.
“June was really aggressive,” Jenkins said. “He got to the basket and to the free-throw line. He’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
Waldorf junior Michael Morgan notched 15 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. The 6-foot-4 forward from Charlotte, Tennessee, knocked down 7-of-10 (70 percent) shots from the floor.
“Michael had some open looks and knocked them down,” Jenkins said. “He also did a good job on the glass for us.”
Seniors Erik Brewer and Tyler Parrish added 12 points apiece for the Warriors. Freshman Isaiah Curry contributed nine points and sophomore Kaden Verdin rounded out the scoring effort with four points.
Logan Brown led the Jimmies with a career-high 25 points. Brown hit 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) shots from the field and went 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from 3-point range.
Jamestown’s Jake Hagler and Brequan Tucker delivered 22 points each. Hagler sank 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) shots from the floor. Tucker contributed an 8-of-15 (53.3-percent) shooting effort from the field and racked up a game-high nine boards.
The Jimmies lit up the scoreboard from the perimeter, knocking down 11 (47.8 percent) of their 23 attempts from 3-point land. Waldorf made 7-of-20 (35 percent) shots from downtown.
The Warriors found the charity stripe 22 times and made 20 (90.9 percent) of their foul shots. Jamestown sank 12-of-15 (80 percent) shots behind the free-throw line.
The Jimmies pressed Waldorf’s offense, forcing the Warriors to commit nine first-half turnovers while claiming a 13-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the opening half.
“Any little breakdown we had, Jamestown made us pay for it with either a layup or a three,” Jenkins said.
Jamestown’s offense was not as fluid in the second half. Waldorf forced 10 second-half turnovers to outscore the Jimmies 11-0 in points off turnovers during the final 20 minutes. Jamestown committed a total of 14 turnovers while the Warriors turned the ball over 12 times.
Waldorf held the edge in transition, coming away with a 10-9 advantage in fast-break points.
Jamestown narrowly out-rebounded the Warriors by a 31-30 margin. Waldorf collected seven offensive boards to outscore the Jimmies 10-2 in second-chance points.
Jamestown attacked the lane to gain a 46-36 advantage in the paint.
Leading the contest from the get-go, the Jimmies scored seven unanswered points in the opening 2 minutes, 34 seconds. The closest the Warriors came before halftime was when they trailed 11-5 with 15:14 remaining in the half.
Waldorf came charging back, stringing together a 21-6 run in the first 4:52 of the second half.
“The second half was a nice turnaround for us,” Jenkins said. “We made quite a few stop-and-scores and got ourselves back in it.”
Jamestown expanded its lead to 71-60 with 10:58 remaining. The Warriors responded with a 10-2 run during the next 2:56, which included a 3-pointer from Prowell that brought the home crowd to life.
Waldorf trailed 73-70 with 8:02 to go and fought back to within three points once again, trimming Jamestown’s lead to 77-74 with 6:22 remaining. Brown and Tucker knocked down critical shots to help the Jimmies build an 88-80 advantage with 4:45 to play. The Warriors were only able to score one point during the following four possessions, hindering any hope of a comeback.
“Offense wasn’t the issue,” Jenkins said. “It was defense more than anything else. If we are able to clean up or defense, we’ll have a chance to get back in the win column.”
The Warriors take on Mount Mercy University (21-6) in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. nonconference matchup. Mount Mercy is ranked No. 18 in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II poll.
“Our schedule is not getting any easier,” Jenkins said. “Mount Mercy is a pretty tough team and they’re ranked in the top 25 for a reason.”
Waldorf won 99-92 over Mount Mercy in a hard-fought contest on Jan. 28 in Cedar Rapids. The Warriors expect another battle with the Mustangs.
“I’m sure after we beat them at their place, they are going to want to come in for some revenge, so we need to be ready to play,” Jenkins said.