Jamestown makes 30 free-throws to beat DSU
JAMESTOWN -- Giuli Varriano opened the game Friday night by missing three of her first four free-throw attempts. Fortunately for Jamestown College, it wasn't an omen of things to come. Varriano made 15 of her final 16 free throws, helping lead Ja...
JAMESTOWN -- Giuli Varriano opened the game Friday night by missing three of her first four free-throw attempts.
Fortunately for Jamestown College, it wasn't an omen of things to come.
Varriano made 15 of her final 16 free throws, helping lead Jamestown to a 53-48 come-from-behind Dakota Athletic Conference victory over Dickinson State on Friday night at the Jamestown Civic Center.
"Fortunately for us, they put us on the free-throw line a lot in the second half," said Jimmies coach Mark Wiest, whose team finished 30 of 39 from the stripe. "If you can make two free throws every time, it's just as good as a field goal."
It was a defensive battle in which points were tough to come by for both teams.
The Blue Hawks, behind a first-half flurry of 3-pointers, built a 12-point lead early.
Elise Doughton led the Blue Hawks with 14 and Bakich added 11.
The second half was all Jamestown, which managed just four field goals but cashed in frequently at the free-throw line.
Jamestown outscored DSU 30-17 over the final 20 minutes, hitting 21 of 24 free throws.
"We let them shoot too many free throws," said Blue Hawks coach Guy Fridley. "They did a good job in getting to the line. And we did a poor job of jumping and trying to block shots instead of staying down and playing defense."
The Jimmies (11-13, 4-6 DAC) got to the line by being aggressive, getting the ball inside and going to the basket.
"All week long, we felt like if we could get the ball inside, we could score," Wiest said. "And we might not have been scoring, but we were getting to the free throw line."
Neither team shot the ball well from the field.
DSU (5-18, 2-8) shot 33 percent from the field. But after hitting 6 of 13 3-pointers in the first half to take the lead, the Hawks went 0 of 9 from long range in the second half.
"They move so well, they pass and cut well," Wiest said. "We talked about having to get through the screens and defend the 3. I thought our defense the second half was incredible, to hold them to 17 points."
Jamestown shot 32 percent from the field (11 of 34) and just 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
The Jimmies opened the second half on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 33-33. Jamestown eventually built a five-point lead before the Blue Hawks rallied.
Ashley Bakich hit three free throws to pull DSU within two, and the Hawks had a chance to take the lead in the final minute.
But they couldn't convert on back-to-back 3-point attempts. Varriano put the game away at the line on the other end.
"Down two, we had our two best perimeter shooters get good looks," Fridley said. "They just didn't go in."
Varriano led the way with 16 points for the Jimmies, who improved to 11-13, 4-6 in the DAC. Heidi Fiechtner added 12 points off the bench.
"It was an ugly win," Wiest said. "It was not a great game by any means. But we persevered and showed we can win a game like that."
(The Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.)