JAMESTOWN â€” Despite being unranked all year, the Valley City State University womens basketball has shown it can play with rival Jamestown College. The problem has been in the finish.
The first time the teams met, last month in the championship of the Dakota Athletic Conference Tip-Off tournament, Valley City lost 61-60 in overtime.
In the rematch, it was nearly the same results as the Vikings lost by only two points, 49-47, to the No. 11 Jimmies at the Jamestown Civic Center.
"It's going to be a battle, apparently, between the two of us," said Valley City coach Jill DeVries. "It's a good competitive rivalry basketball game."
The Vikings struggled to find an offensive rhythm early in the game.
The Jimmies got behind points from Casey Geffre and Amber Ramlo to go ahead 10-0 in the first five minutes.
It wasn't until Alyssa Hummel hit a layup with 14:33 left in the first half that the Vikings got on the board.
Hummel provided the majority of the Vikings' points early in the game, finishing with 11 of the Vikings' 20 first half points.
Though Jamestown only shot 31 percent in the half, the Jimmies were able to connect on five 3-pointers and went 4-5 from the free-throw line to take a 27-20 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Vikings got behind early points from Courtney Titus and Hummel to take a 34-33 lead with 12:10 left in the game.
The Vikings continued on a run and took a four point lead when Titus was fouled going for a shot with 8:24 left. She not only hit the shot, but nailed the ensuing free throw as well to take a 41-37 lead.
But after that, VCSU had trouble scoring and were blanked for nearly four minutes.
In that four minutes, Jamestown's Bridget Schuneman led her team on a run of its own to go up 44-41, and the Jimmies later extended the lead to 47-42 with 2:51 left.
The Vikings narrowed the lead to two points on a 3-pointer by Sadiqah Jihad with two minutes left that made it 47-45.
In the final minute, Jamestown struggled shooting, but Schuneman was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and hit one of two free throws to extend the lead to 48-45.
The Vikings inbounded the ball with 16 seconds left and got it to Katelyn Ralston in the post, who put it a layup with 12 seconds to go. On the ensuing inbounds, it took the Vikings nearly eight seconds to make the foul on Schuneman, who went 1-2 in free throws with five seconds left.
Though VCSU got the rebound on the second free throw and worked the ball past midcourt, Sadiqah Jihad was called for traveling as time expired.
Hummell led VCSU with 19 points and Titus had 14. The Vikings next top scorer from there was Ralston, with four.
Schuneman was Jamestownâ€™s leading scorer with 13 points and the only Jimmie to score in double digits.
The Vikings return to the court Saturday at home against Mayville State at 2 p.m. and have a rematch with Jamestown Wednesday night.