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Jimmies women's hoops celebrate 50 years in 69-47 win over Mount Marty

Feb. 17—JAMESTOWN — The University of Jamestown put on a show for their alumni in attendance as they got a 69-47 win over Mount Marty University on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Harold Newman Arena, on the day they honored the 50 years of the program's existence.

"It's awesome," Jimmies head coach Thad Sankey said. "We'll get a chance to celebrate it with them, just a long legacy of outstanding players. So, really cool to see and it'll be a lot of fun."

The game was attended by multiple generations of Jimmies women's basketball players including Jeanne Tews, a member of the team's inaugural roster.

"I'm kind of speechless just that awe that it's been 50 years," Tews said. "I don't feel that old but it's very deserving. These women have come so far just watching them, look at how they shoot perfect and all the hard work and dedication that they've put in, very deserving."

Some of the alumni were more recent like Jory Mullen and Courtney Mosloski, who got the added benefit of watching their former head coach Greg Ulland coach the Jimmies men's basketball team. Mullen said watching Ulland coach is one of the reasons they wanted to come back.

"He belongs on the sidelines for sure," Mosloski said.

The two said their favorite memories playing at Jamestown involve the relationships they built with their teammates.

"The girls, you make lifelong friendships with them and Greg Ulland, Andy Crummy, Amy Joseph, they're awesome and just seeing them brings back so many good memories that they built with us," Mullen said.

In the game, the Jimmies (16-10, 12-8) got out to a quick 6-2 lead before the Lancers (5-21, 1-19) took their first lead since 2-0 at 9-7. The Jimmies called a timeout in response and went on a run to take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter.

The Jimmies went into the half up 37-22, with the biggest difference in the game being the turnover differential. In the first quarter, the Jimmies turned the ball over five times and gave up two points off those turnovers. On the defensive side, in the first quarter, the Jimmies scored two points off four turnovers.

The Jimmies forced a turnover with 8:16 to go in the second and 10 seconds later, Kate Cordes hit a three to push the lead out to 22-15. That was the first of six turnovers the Jimmies forced in the second quarter and they scored 13 points off those giveaways, pushing the lead out to 37-22. The Jimmies turned it over five times and didn't give up a single point on those giveaways.

"That was a big thing, we got shots and they didn't," Sankey said. "It always helps us out but we had a combination in that run of Kai and Kate Cordes and Samantha Paulsen, I thought that trio was really effective and created great shots and made the other team uncomfortable offensively and open up the game that way."

The Jimmies kept it up in the third quarter, outscoring the Lancers 20-7, and were able to hold onto the win despite the Lancers' best efforts in the fourth quarter.

This season, the Jimmies have five freshmen including Samantha Paulsen, who is averaging 4.5 points per game while appearing in 24 games.

"That we just worked hard, played as a team, pushed each other in practice and we did really good," Paulsen said, when talking about what she wants her and her fellow first-year player's legacies to be with the program.

One of the former Jimmies women's basketball players honored alongside her compatriots at halftime of the men's basketball game was Noelle Josephson, who graduated in 2022. As a result, Josephson still knows many of the Jimmies on the current roster.

"It was great being able to celebrate 50 years and to be able to see some teammates I haven't seen in a while," Josephson said.

The event was also a family gathering for some, including Amy Sparrow Schye, who graduated in 1988 and got to spend time with her niece who is also a former Jimmie hooper.

"I have a niece who played here too, she married my nephew, Megan Feekner (Sparrow) is her name, Schye said. ".. At family gatherings, we talk about Jimmie basketball and Jamestown. It's been a good mix, it's been a good gathering.

As far as what he wants his current players to get out of their interactions with the alumni, Sankey said he wants them to understand what it is like and what it means to play the sport of women's basketball. When he thinks about what the next 50 years of Jimmies women's basketball will look like, Sankey said he is hopeful.

"It's gonna be pretty exciting," Sankey said. "One thing won't change and that is that we'll continue to have team after team of fantastic women on our team and high achieving and competitive and women that really represent our university well."

Over the first 50 years of basketball at the university, Tews said she has seen the sport grow exponentially.

"It's a lot faster than we played," Tews said. " We were pretty raw. I think we basically ran, jump and shot. They set plays, we had a couple plays but besides that it was just run and gun. The physical attributes of these women is just amazing. When I was playing, if you had a tall girl she was basically under the basket getting rebounds, now they're shooting three-pointers and everything else."

The win sees the Jimmies win by double digits for the 11th time this season. The lopsided margin of this game saw Sankey go down his bench and play 16 different players with 11 of those players finding the scoresheet.

The Jimmies are back in action at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, when they host Briar Cliff.

MMU 47, UJ 69

MMU: 13 9 7 18 — 47

UJ: 15 22 20 12 — 69

Points leaders:

MMU: Kaela Martinez 15, Jaydn Jensen 9, Sidney Thue 8

UJ: Kia Tower 15, Audrey Rodakowski 14, Kate Cordes 11

Assists leaders:

MMU: Thue 2, Martinez 1, J. Jensen 1, Maria Parsley 1, Emma Jarovski 1

UJ: Cordes 4, Tian Freier 2, Tower 1, Rodakowski 1, Hannah Hagel 1, Kate Busek 1, Sarah Lenz 1, Halle Crockett 1, Jailyn Martinson 1

Leading rebounders:

MMU: Parsley 5, Thue 4, Briona Jensen 4, Martinez 3, J. Jensen 3, Jarovski 3, Kaity Hove 3, Kyra Griese 2, Brielle Bussinger 1, Remedy Morrison 1

UJ: Busek 8, Rodakowski 6, Hagel 6, Samantha Paulsen 5