After a two-game sweep over the weekend, the University of Minnesota, Morris women's basketball team stepped out of conference play for a tilt against NAIA opponent Jamestown College. The Jimmies came into Morris boasting an 11-2 record and a No. 6 ranking nationally in NAIA Division II.
Hot shooting and pressure defense kept the Jimmies in front all night as they cruised to a 79-45 victory over the Cougars Wednesday night. The loss moves the Cougars' record to 5-2.
From tipoff, the Jimmies' trapping press and transition offense boosted them to a 17-0 lead before the Cougars could get on the board. Coach Tim Grove began substituting liberally in order to energize his team. Every Cougar saw minutes in the first half.
UMM regrouped, shifting to a 2-3 zone defense and holding Jamestown scoreless on nine straight possessions at one point, cutting the lead to 10 behind a pair of three-pointers from Tara Thielke. But the effort required a lot of energy out of the scrambling Cougars. Jamestown eventually increased their lead again, going into the intermission leading 36-21.
The halftime stats told the story. Jamestown shot 50 percent to UMM's 27 percent. The Cougars committed 14 turnovers to the Jimmies' nine.
In the second half the Cougars cut the Jimmies' lead to 13 at one point, but a flurry of threes late in the game made for a more lopsided score than the play indicated.
Thielke led the Cougars with 10 points. Kara Norris grabbed a team-high four rebounds.
It will not get easier this weekend as the Cougars host Black Hills State University, a team ranked No. 7 in NAIA Division II, on Friday. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m