HOUGHTON, MI – After a delay and change of venue, the Bay College Norse (14-7) would get a late run to open up a big lead over the Finlandia University Lions (4-14) on Saturday evening. The Norse would end up winning big on the road by a final score of 96-76.
A malfunction in the game clocks on Finlandia campus caused the game to be delayed. Originally slated for a 3 pm start, the two teams boarded the buses in Hancock, and travelled across the bridge to the campus of Michigan Tech. The game would not tip until three hours after the original start time.
Once the game finally got underway, it was the Norse who gained an early advantage. Solid shooting in the first half and eight FU turnovers would give Bay a 31-18 lead with just over five minutes left in the opening frame. The Lions would find a spark to close that gap, as a 17-8 run would close the gap. The Norse would hold on to a four-point lead at intermission.
The second half would remain tight as the Lions would tie the game at 40 on a three-pointer from Geoff Smart (SO, Kingsford, MI) just over a minute in. The Norse would respond on the next possession as Dre Tuominen (FR, Negaunee, MI) would hit a three of his own, sparking a 7-0 run. Finlandia would get as close as four with just over nine minutes to play, but fouls and turnovers would start to take their toll. The Norse would step to the charity stripe 21 times, converting 18 free throws. The Lions would also turn the ball over 13 times in the second half.
Finlandia would make one last run to close the gap, and with 5:22 remaining the score stood at 74-70 in favor of the Norse. Bay would be up for the challenge in a big way, and finish the game on a 22-6 run, burying any hope Finlandia would have. After a tightly contested game throughout, the Norse would end up with a 20-point victory.
Tuominen would lead all scorers with 27 points on eight of 14 shooting, including hitting three of his six attempts from behind the arc. Kobi Barnes (FR, Milwaukee, WI) would turn in another strong performance, netting 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Alonzo Fields (FR, Milwaukee, WI) would add 17 points and five rebounds, while Tyler Willette (FR, Escanaba, MI) would end the game with ten points and five rebounds.
Smart would bury four three-pointers in seven attempts on his way to 16 points and six rebounds for the Lions. Teammate Myles Ellington (FR, Detroit, MI) would also score 16 while grabbing eight rebounds, and Brandon Robinette (JR, Escanaba, MI) would end one rebound shy of a double-double, tallying 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Norse will be on the road this Wednesday as they travel to UW-Marinette. The game is a rematch from the season opener for the Norse, a game they lost at home in overtime by a score of 97-92. Wednesday's game is scheduled for an 8 pm (EST) tipoff.