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Minnesota West: Bluejays sweep in hoops doubleheader

MITCHELL, S.D. — Jordan Thomas scored 26 points and the Minnesota West Bluejays defeated Dakota Wesleyan JV 86-75 in a road men’s basketball game Tuesday. In the early contest, the Minnesota West women edged Wesleyan JV 84-81.

The results made both West teams 2-0 against Dakota Wesleyan this season.

Minnesota West will be in action at home Friday and Saturday. Vermillion will come to Worthington for 6 p.m. women’s and 8 p.m. men’s games on Friday while on Saturday in 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. starts, Mesabi Range takes on the Jays.

Lady Jays 84, Wesleyan 81

Somewhat to the surprise of head coach Mike Fury, the Lady Jays are displaying a special capacity for performing on the road during the early part of 2013-14. In improving their record to 5-2, the West women have won three straight road games since Nov. 23, beating Iowa Lakes, Morningside JV and now Dakota Wesleyan JV in succession.

“It’s a great road win,” Fury said about the latest. “Gee, we’re really playing really good on the road.”

Hard play, and poised play, have aided the effort, said the veteran coach. On Tuesday, freshman Lydia Kemper led the way with 22 points and four steals. Tiffany Gehl scored 19 points while Kristen Andersen tallied 13. Bridget Kramer and Lindsey Drooger both added 11.

Drooger, Andersen and Kemper all had six rebounds and Drooger had five assists.

Minnesota West started the game sluggishly, falling behind 15-5 early in the first half.

Lady Jays 40 84

Dakota Wesleyan 36 81

LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Kemper 4-2-6-22, Hermeling 0-1-0-2, Kremer 1-3-2-11, Gehl 0-7-5-19, Drooger 0-4-3-11, Andersen 0-4-5-13, Tish 0-2-2-6. Totals 5-23-23-84.

WESLEYAN (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Meinder 3-7-1-24, Deneke 1-3-3-12, Little 1-3-5-14, Drey 0-3-0-6, Cheeseman 0-1-0-2, Keefe 0-1-1-3, Berryhill 1-6-5-20. Totals 6-24-15-81.

Bluejays 86, Wesleyan 75

In moving their record to 5-2, Minnesota West converted 50 percent of its field goals while hitting 31 of 42 free throws. Dakota Wesleyan made just 13 of 22 free throws in the contest.

“We did not play our best game, but we played well enough to win,” said West coach Justin Heckenlaible.

Thomas, a sophomore guard from Sioux City, Iowa, had six rebounds to go along with his team-high 26 points. Jackson Seitzinger added 15 points and Derek Buysse pulled down six rebounds while scoring eight points.

Matt Henriksen scored 27 points for Dakota Wesleyan.

Bluejays 44 86

Dakota Wesleyan 41 75

BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — 3 3 11-26, Murry 0-1-5-7, Seitzinger 0-5-5-15, Buysse 0-3-2-8, Fischer 0-3-0-6, Hodges 0-2-1-5, Bell 0-1-2-4, Lupton 0-1-4-6, Bennett 2-1-1-9. Totals 5-20-31-86.

WESLEYAN (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Vorwald 1-0-0-3, Warkenthien 1-2-1-8, Karst 1-1-1-6, Henriksen 2-8-5-27, Fischbach 0-0-1-1, Uthe 0-1-0-2, Morgan 2-3-0-12, Brace 0-2-2-6, Widow 1-0-1-4, Alford 0-2-2-6. Totals 8-19-13-75.