JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Eighth-ranked University of Jamestown used a stifling defense to secure a 57-44 victory over the Bellevue University women's basketball team Friday night in North Star Athletic Association action at Newman Arena.
The loss dropped BU to 16-12 on the season and 9-5 in the NSAA. Jamestown improved to 25-3 overall and a perfect 14-0 in league play. The Jimmies clinched at least a tie for first place in the regular-season standings.
The Jimmie defense held the Bruins to 23.2 percent shooting on the night. BU was just 3-of-11 from behind the arc as well. Morgan Cuffe led the BU offense with eight points while adding three rebounds. Elexis Martinez and Shayla Dean each chipped in with seven points. Beth Walker scored five points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
McKayla Orr (18) and Allison Jablonsky (16) combined for 34 points to pace the Jimmie offense.
After the Bruins grabbed an early 11-7 advantage, the Jimmies hit four of their next six shots, scoring nine-straight points to take a 16-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
A pair of free throws by Dean and another by Ryleigh McCartney brought the Bruins to within one point at 21-20 with 1:36 left before intermission. The Jimmies, however, scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 25-20 halftime edge.
Neither team shot well in the opening half as the Jimmies held a 29.6 to 18.8 percent advantage in shooting percentage. Both teams shot 20 percent from behind the arc in the first half. Orr led UJ in the first half with eight points and four rebounds. Dean, Caletria Curtis, and Cuffe paced BU with four first-half points.
The Bruins were held scoreless for the first eight minutes of the third quarter as UJ opened the second half on a 17-0 run to take a 42-20 lead, before settling for a 46-28 advantage heading into the final stanza.
A 5-0 BU run brought the Bruins to within 13 points at 49-36 with 6:51 left in the contest. A pair of free throws by Cuffe drew BU to within 11 points at 55-44 with 1:51 remaining before the Jimmies settled for the 57-44 victory.
The Bruins will travel to Mayville, N.D. tomorrow for a 3 p.m. contest at Mayville State University.