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No. 9 Jamestown stymies Dickinson State

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson State senior Casper Hesseldal, left, steps into the defense of Jamestown College seniors Travis Burley, middle, and Brandon Robbins on Saturday during a Dakota Athletic Conference men's basketball game at Scott Gymnasium.

Jamestown College was the car headlights and Dickinson State was the deer in the middle of the road Saturday night.

The Jimmies' defense blinded the Blue Hawks for the final 24 minutes of their final Dakota Athletic Conference game and allowed No. 9-ranked Jamestown to break away for a 64-53 victory and clinch the final conference title at Scott Gymnasium.

"You expect a grind-'em-out game and it was tonight," Jamestown head coach Matt Murken said.

DSU (11-17, 3-3 DAC) led by as much as six, 25-19, in the first half before the Jimmies made their move.

Jamestown's Mark Hoge made a back-door cut for a layup with just under 4 minutes to play. Over the next 13½ minutes, the Jimmies (24-5, 5-1 DAC) outscored DSU 23-7.

Hoge and Byron Jones led Jamestown with 12 points.

DSU trailed 32-28 at halftime, but Jamestown came out firing in the second half.

B.J. Mertens hit a pair of 3-pointers to open the second half and helped give the Jimmies a 40-28 advantage as the Blue Hawks struggled to find the basket.

DSU didn't score in the second half until Casper Hesseldal hit a pair of free throws with 15:02 left.

The Blue Hawks were just 1 of 11 from the field in the first 10 minutes of the second half as Jamestown built a 44-32 lead.

"We kind of shut down," DSU head coach Ty Orton said. "We didn't attack. We didn't go the way we needed to. Things just didn't go our way and I just don't think I had them ready. I don't think they were ready for the right defense."

Jeff Hurd made DSU's first shot from the field of the second half with 10:24 remaining. The Blue Hawks didn't make another shot from the field for nearly 5 minutes when Jeff Hurd sank a jumper in the lane.

By that time, the Jimmies led 51-38.

Tevin and Jeff Hurd, the senior brothers from Fairfield, Calif., took the Blue Hawks in their hands as the game wore on.

They were a combined 7 of 14 from the field in the second half and made up 18 of their team's 25 points. DSU shot just 8 of 21 from the field and 6 of 13 from the free-throw line as a team in the second half.

"The second half, for me, it could have been one of my last games so I just wanted to go as hard as I could and play to the best of my ability," Jeff Hurd said. "Coach put us in the right position. We just, as a team, didn't execute. We didn't play as hard as we could until it was too late."

Tevin Hurd had 16 points while Jeff Hurd added 12 points and four rebounds in their final home game.

They were the only DSU players to score from the field for the first 19:24 of the second half. Hesseldal finally hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining.

Hesseldal had 16 points and six rebounds, but was mostly productive in the early part of the first half.

Travis Burley, Drew Preiner and Davon Thomas each added nine points for the Jimmies, who were 19 of 26 (73 percent) from the free-throw line.

"I don't think we played very well at all," Orton said. "I think Jamestown played a tremendous game. I just think we got hesitant. They sat back in that deep, sag man (defense) and we didn't attack."

The Jimmies swept the season series and the teams could very well meet again, too.

Jamestown will likely take the No. 1 seed into the NAIA Division II Independent tournament in Madison, S.D., next week. The Blue Hawks, nearly a lock to make the tournament, are expected to be either the No. 3 or 4 seed.

"We need to make sure we're continuing to attack on offense," Orton said. "There's things that we can work on. ... It's step by step, day by day."

Notes: DSU President D.C. Coston sang the national anthem before the game. ... DAC Commissioner Lavern Jessen was honored at halftime by DSU athletic director Tim Daniel, former University of Mary athletic director Al Bortke, Jamestown College athletic director Lawrie Paulson and Dave Bass, an administrator for Valley City State and the DAC. Jessen was given a plaque and a gift by the schools he represented over the years.

JAMESTOWN COLLEGE (24-5, 5-1 DAC): Travis Burley 2-5 5-7 9, Brandon Robbins 0-2 0-0 0, Byron Jones 3-6 5-6 12, B.J. Mertens 2-5 0-0 6, Drew Preiner 3-9 2-2 9, Taylor Newton 0-0 0-0 0, Davon Thomas 3-4 3-4 9, Mark Hoge 4-8 4-5 12, Jared Sutherland 3-4 0-2 6. Totals 20-44 19-26 63.

DICKINSON STATE (11-17, 3-3 DAC): Casper Hesseldal 6-9 2-2 16, Tevin Hurd 5-13 3-6 16, Matt Lee 2-4 1-5 5, Jarek Hansen 0-4 0-0 0, John Hanstad 0-2 2-4 2, Jeff Hurd 5-11 1-1 12, Robbie Morey 1-2 0-0 2, Pierce Brooke 0-3 0-0 0, Ryan Kittleson 0-2 0-0 0, Connor Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-49 8-18 52.

Halftime: JC 32-28. Total fouls: JC 18, DSU 22. Fouled out: DSU, Brooks. 3-point goals: JC 4-20 (Robbins 0-1, Jones 1-4, Mertens 2-4, Preiner 1-5, Thomas 0-2, Hoge 0-3, Sutherland 0-1), DSU 6-21 (Hesseldal 2-3, T. Hurd 3-6, Hansen 0-3, Hanstad 0-1, J. Hurd 1-4, Brooks 0-3, Kittleson 0-1). Rebounds: JC 36 (Thomas 5, Hoge 5), DSU 27 (Hesseldal 6). Assists: JC 10 (Preiner 5), DSU 11 (three with 2). Steals: JC 4 (Mertens 2), DSU 5 (J. Hurd 2). Blocks: JC 3 (Thomas 3), DSU 2 (Lee, T. Hurd). Turnovers: JC 16 (Jones 5), DSU 15 (T. Hurd 5, Lee 5).

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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