INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN – The Bay Norse (1-2) would notch their first win of the season, holding off the United Tribes Technical College Thunderbirds and taking the win by a final score of 88-81.
The Norse would never trail, and extend their lead in the first to as many as 21. Thirteen different Norse players would step on the court in the first half, as Head Coach Matt Johnson chose to go deep into his bench. The high paced pace of play coupled with a number of players missing practice this past week due to various illnesses would make the game a complete team effort for Bay in this matchup. The Norse would look to be well in control of the contest, as they would take a 50-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Thunderbirds would chip away in the second half and change the momentum. Late in the game they would pull within single digits. With just under a minute to play, United Tribes had what initially looked to be an open look from the right wing for three. Alfonzo Fields (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would elevate and get a piece of the attempt, getting credit for a block. The ball was rebounded by Bay, and they were immediately fouled to stop the clock. The Norse would convert free throws down the stretch, and that six-point deficit was as close as the Thunderbirds would get. Bay College would hold on for the seven-point victory.
United Tribes came into the matchup averaging 92 points per game. The Norse would hold them to just 29.3% shooting from the field in the first half while they built their lead. The Thunderbirds are a team that relies heavily on shooting from behind the arc, but would hit on just eight of their season low 33 attempts. The Norse would get to the free throw line 43 times, converting 29 of those attempts.
"I thought all in all it was a good effort from our guys," said Head Coach Matt Johnson. "It was great for them to be able to get that first win under their belts. We definitely improved on some of the things that did not go well last weekend. We had a bunch of different people step up and contribute. It is definitely a step in the right direction but as we talked about in the locker room after the game we all feel like we have room for growth."
Reggie Dean (FR, Milwaukee, WI) would hit four of six three-point shots on his way to 18 points for the evening. Kobi Lumsden-Barnes (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would add 17 points, while Ryan Robinette (FR, Escanaba, MI) and Christian Alexander (FR, Dorset, UK) would add ten points. Tyler Willette (SO, Escanaba, MI) would grab 12 rebounds.
United Tribes' Rob McClain Jr. (SO, Red Lake, MN) led all scorers with 23 points, while grabbing 12 rebounds. Montel Carlow (SO, Ft. Yates, ND) would end with 20 points, while Chayton York (SO, Philadelphia, MS) would add 13 points.
The Norse return to action tomorrow at 2 pm. They will match up with Bismark State College on the campus of Inver Hills Community College.