ESCANABA, MI – The Bay Norse (7-4) would shoot the ball extremely well to fend off an early threat from the Alpena Community College Lumberjacks (0-4) and eventually cruise to a 113-91 victory on Wednesday night.
The Lumberjacks looked as though they were going to control the contest early. A 10-2 run would have them up by nine just five minutes into the game. The Norse would go on a run of their own and tie the game after just a couple of minutes, but Alpena would answer back. A second stretch where the Lumberjacks would outscore the Norse ten to two, would put Bay College in a double-digit deficit. The Norse would answer with a 15-2 run and with just under four minutes to play in the opening half, they would hold a three-point lead that they would never surrender. The home team would finish the half strong and take a 51-42 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lumberjacks would never really be able to wrestle control of the matchup back, as the closest they would get would be seven points for the rest of the game. The hot shooting of the Norse was too much for Alpena to overcome as Bay would slowly push the game out of reach as time went on. The Norse would shoot 54.5% from the floor, and hit 12 three-pointers out of 25 attempts. In the end a 44.9% field goal percentage and eight of 29 from three was not enough for the Lumberjacks to keep up, and they would fall by a 22-point deficit.
"We wanted to speed up the tempo of the game in an attempt to wear Alpena down," said Head Basketball Coach Matt Johnson. "I think we did a great job pushing the ball up the floor and applying pressure on them with the speed of our play. It was an awesome team performance by us on the offensive end. I've been saying all year that I think the biggest strength of our team is the depth, and we definitely showcased that tonight. Three of our four leading scorers on the night came off the bench. DeAndre Magsby, Ryan Arndt, and Christian Alexander all played huge roles in our success this evening. It's great to see those three have some success, gain some confidence, and I will look for big things to come for those three."
Seven Norse players would end the night with double-digit point totals. DeAndre Magsby (FR, Milwaukee, WI) would score 16 points, grab four rebounds, and collect three assists, and two steals. Ryan Arndt (FR, Bark River, MI) would hit four of five attempts from three-point, ending his night with 16 points. Christian Alexander (FR, Dorset, UK) would score 13 points, while Marcus McKenney added 13 points and five rebounds. Alfonzo Fields (SO, Milwaukee, WI) finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Kobi Barnes (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would record a double-double, scoring ten points, grabbing 11 rebounds, while blocking four shots. Ryan Robinette (FR, Escanaba, MI) would get in the mix as well, scoring ten points, grabbing five rebounds, and collecting five assists.
For Alpena, Logan Guenther (FR, Cheboygan, MI) continued his strong campaign, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Tristan Smith (SO, Gaylord, MI) ended with 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while Cam DeCaire (SO, Alpena, MI) would add 12 points.
The Norse are on the road this weekend, taking on Harper College on Friday. That game will tip at 6 PM. On Saturday they will make a stop to play Milwaukee Area Technical College at 3 PM.