Mustang women’s basketball head coach Jamie Sale recorded the 400th win of his Morningside career when his Mustangs romped to a 79-63 victory against nationally ranked Jamestown. Photo / Gene Knudsen
Second-ranked Morningside led wire-to-wire in a 79-63 rout of No. 10 Jamestown in Wednesday’s women’s basketball action at the Briar Cliff Holiday Classic to hand head coach Jamie Sale his 400th career victory with the Mustangs.
The Mustangs led by double figures for all but five minutes and 31 seconds of the contest.
Morningside’s reigning NAIA Division II national champions climbed to 13-1 on the season and improved their all-time record under Sale to 400-105. Sale, now in his 15th season at Morningside, has led the Mustangs to four NAIA II national titles and has a 479-125 career mark in the collegiate ranks including three seasons at Briar Cliff.
Although a top 10 team in the NAIA II national rankings, Jamestown has struck out against the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) so far this season. The Jimmies, 14-4 overall, are 0-4 against the GPAC with losses against league members Morningside, Briar Cliff, Concordia, and Doane.
Wednesday’s outcome was never in doubt. Morningside scored baskets on each of its first three times down the floor to take an early 6-1 lead and pushed its lead into double figures when Allison Bachman scored on a nifty inside move for an 18-7 advantage with 2:29 left in the first quarter. Lauren Lehmkuhl bombed in a 3-pointer to make it a 14-point game, 21-7, with 1:54 left and the Mustangs maintained the 14-point differential when they took a 23-9 advantage into the second quarter.
Things didn’t get any better for the Jimmies in the second quarter. The Mustangs expanded their lead to 20 points, 33-13, when Bachman struck from 3-point distance with 3:02 left and the Mustangs eventually increased their lead to 24 points by the intermission when Brandan Tighe made a pair of free throws with 9.7 seconds left.
The Mustangs increased their lead to a game-high 29 points, 57-28, on a conventional 3-point play by Bachman with 2:50 left in the third quarter before the Jimmies trimmed their deficit back to 24 points, 60-36, heading into the final session.
Jessica Tietz scored 12 points to lead a balanced Morningside scoring attack that had four players in double figures and 11 different players score. Bachman, Madison Braun, and Audra Corbit were right behind with 11 points each, followed by Lexi Ackerman with nine and Lehmkuhl and Taylor Bahensky each with eight. The 11 points by Corbit was her season’s high.
Jessica Buck, a NAIA II first-team All-American and the reigning North Star Athletic Association Player of the Year, scored a game-high 18 points for Jamestown. Taylor Hammer joined her in double figures with 12 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Jimmies to a slight 31-30 advantage on the boards.
Tietz topped the Mustangs with six caroms.
Morningside, which shot a sizzling 55.6 percent in the first half, finished with 28 field goals in 57 attempts for 49.1 percent. Jamestown warmed up with 60 percent shooting in the second half after a disastrous 25 percent showing in the first half to finish with 24 hoops in 54 attempts for 44.4 percent.
The Mustangs will return to GPAC action with a 2 p.m. game against Midland on Saturday in Fremont, Neb.