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Jimmies power past Blue Hawks

JAMESTOWN -- Suffocating defense is the primary reason for the Jimmies' No. 7 national ranking.

This week, they showed they have plenty of offensive firepower too.

After an 83-point outing in an OT loss to Valley City State Wednesday night, the Jimmies dropped 50 in the first half and held Dakota Athletic Conference opponent Dickinson State at bay most of the night en route to an 81-67 win Saturday.

"Offensively, I thought we played two really good games this week," JC coach Matt Murken said. "The first half was probably as good as we've played all season. The second half we just missed more shots, but still had good looks."

They were typically solid defensively after a rare off night on Wednesday.

"I thought we lost our identity a little bit, but the guys didn't hang their heads," a fired up Murken said. "I was as excited for this game as any game I've coached just to see how our guys would respond. I couldn't sit down in pregame. I was pacing the halls. I thought we had a lot to prove and I really liked the way our guys played."

Senior guard Byron Jones, who had a strong all-around game with nine points, seven assists and four rebounds for the Jimmies (21-5, 2-1 DAC), said they fed off their coach's energy.

"This one was all about coach. He was really juiced for this game and we all just followed his lead," said the senior from Glenarden, Md. "We were disappointed in how we played, especially on defense (Wednesday), so this game was about getting back to what we do. ... It was a good night for us."

The Jimmies led by as many as 20 in the first half when they connected on eight of their 12 threes. Drew Preiner was a perfect 3 of 3 from deep, while Mark Hoge was 2-for-2 and Davon Thomas drained two of three.

"We had a lot of guys make plays in the first half," Murken said. "Guys were knocking down shots, moving the basketball really well. We were pretty efficient and it was all 10 guys out there from the senior starters to the freshman off the bench."

The Blue Hawks (9-16, 1-2 DAC) chipped away in the second half and got as close as eight on a three by Jarek Hansen (74-66) with 5:25 to play, but Preiner answered with a jumper and Jones fed Travis Burley for a bucket inside to push the lead back out to 12 on the Jimmies' next two possessions.

"Coach was on me about doing other things besides scoring to help out the team so that's what I tried to do," Jones said. "It's all about getting the win. That's how all our guys are. It's a fun bunch to play with."

Hansen led the Blue Hawks with 16 points. Matt Lee and Casper Hesseldal added 10 apiece, but DSU turned it over 21 times and dug the deep early hole by shooting 35 percent (9-for-26) in the first half.

Selvig is the sports editor of the Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

DICKINSON STATE (9-16, 1-2 DAC): Casper Hesseldal 3-3 4-4 10, Tevin Hurd 2-7 4-5 9, Matthew Lee 4-11 2-6 10, Jarek Hansen 3-5 8-11 16, John Hanstad 2-7 0-0 5, Jeff Hurd 1-6 0-0 3, Robbie Morey 3-4 0-0 8, Pierce Brooks 3-7 0-0 6, Isiah Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Kittleson 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0, Carl Dynneson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 21-53 18-26 67.

JAMESTOWN COLLEGE (21-5, 2-1 DAC): Name Travis Burley 6-15 4-6 16, Brandon Robbins 1-3 0-1 3, Byron Jones 3-6 2-2 9, BJ Mertens 1-6 4-4 6, Drew Preiner 6-9 2-3 17, Taylor Newton 1-1 0-0 2, Davon Thomas 5-11 0-0 13, Luke Preiner 0-0 0-0 0, Mark Hoge 4-7 3-6 13, Jared Sutherland 0-2 2-2 2, Nick Beckley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-60 17-24 81.

Halftime: JC 50-31. Total fouls: DSU 22, JC 21. Fouled out: DSU, T. Hurd, JC Thomas. 3-point goals: DSU 7-14 (Hansen 2-3, Morey 2-2, T. Hurd 1-3, Hanstad 1-3, J. Hurd 1-2, Brooks 0-1), JC 10-21 (D. Preiner 3-4, Thomas 3-4, Hoge 2-3, Robbins 1-2, Jones 1-4, Mertens 0-4). Rebounds: DSU 32 (Lee 11), JC 43 (Burley 8). Assists: DSU 11 (T. Hurd 4), JC 17 (Jones 7). Steals: DSU 3 (Lee 2), JC 4 (four with 1). Blocks: DSU 1 (Lee 1), JC 3 (Burley 2). Turnovers: DSU 10 (Hesseldal 3, T. Hurd 3), JC 9 (Mertens 3).