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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Mayville State tops University of Jamestown 82-72

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MAYVILLE, N.D. — Mayville State won the rubber match, and as a result, the hardware.

The Comets used a late 9-2 run to get separation from the University of Jamestown en route to an 82-73 win in the North Star Athletic Association tournament championship game Tuesday night at Lewy Lee Fieldhouse in Mayville.

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It was just the third loss of the season for the No. 3-ranked Jimmies, with two of the three coming to the 11th-ranked Comets (24-3). Both teams will advance to the NAIA Division II national tournament, which begins March 12 in Sioux City, Iowa. Pairings will be released tonight at 7 p.m. at naia.org.

“Our girls gave it all they had. I was really proud of their effort,” said Jamestown coach Greg Ulland, a former UND assistant. “You have to give Mayville credit. They’re a very good team. It was a great game.”

Like the first two meetings between the teams, this one went down to the wire.

Morgan Mathison’s third 3-pointer of the game with 3 minutes, 10 second remaining put the Jimmies ahead 69-68.

But Jamestown scored just four points the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, the Comets got a pair of buckets from Liza Hoglo in the 9-2 run. Hailey Longtin chipped in with a pair of three throws and Samantha Heier added a driving bucket and the Comets pushed their lead to 78-71.

Neither team led by more than six points until the waning seconds.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mathison and Chelsey Frydenlund put the Jimmies ahead 44-38 with 15:30 to play in the second half, but the Comets stormed back with a 15-3 run capped by a jumper from Brooke McNary that gave Mayville State a 55-49 advantage midway through the second half.

The Jimmies had 12 players score, while the Comets had six girls tally eight points or more.

“We played a lot of kids like we normally do and tried to wear them down, but they didn’t break at all,” Ulland said. “We played pretty well. There were a few things here and there we could’ve done better. We just came up a little short.”

Hannah Steele sank three 3-pointers and led the Jimmies (26-3) with 21 points. Morgan Mathison added 13 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds, but nobody else had more than six points. Jamestown was sitting in good position to get one of the four No. 1 seeds for the 32-team national tournament. How the loss affects that will be determined tonight.

The Comets likely improved their seeding a little. Longtin led the way with 17 points. Hoglo (16), Heier (13) and Rude (11) were also in double figures. All-American post Marcisa McMillan had just eight points before fouling out late.

McMillan was named the league’s MVP, while Steele was named the most valuable graduating senior. Steele and Jordan Bridges were named first-team all-conference, while Jessica Buck was selected for the second team. Kyra Dewald was named newcomer of the year.

Mayville State’s Dennis Hutter was named coach of the year.

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