MASON CITY, IA – The Bay Norse Women's basketball team (1-1) met up with the NJCAA Division 2 #10 ranked North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) Trojans (2-0) on Saturday evening. The Trojans would stay undefeated, winning the matchup by a final score of 109-74.
The Norse gave the hosts of the Konigsmark Klassic Tournament a scare early on. Bay was able to match the abnormally fast pace of the Trojans, and would hold the lead for most of the first quarter. Both teams employed a full court press throughout the contact, while offensively the teams looked to push the pace and create as many offensive possessions as possible. The result was a fast-paced, intense, and entertaining battle. The visitors would stretch their lead to as much as eight in the early going, shooting the ball extremely well in the first half. The Norse would knock down 44.4% of their attempts before intermission, but would surrender their lead for good late in the first quarter. Turnovers would be the key difference throughout the matchup, as NIACC would create 26 of them in the first half, while only committing nine of their own over the same time period. Those numbers would create a big advantage for the Trojans, as they would end up with 43 attempts from the field in the first half, while Bay would only get 27 looks at the basket. NIACC would pull away in the second quarter, taking a 51-32 lead at the break.
The high tempo play would continue during the second half, and the Trojans would benefit from the same advantages that allowed them to take control in the first half. NIACC would outscore the Norse by 20 in the third quarter, effectively deciding the game early. Bay would trail by as many as 44 points in the fourth quarter. Despite losing in the turnover battle throughout, the Norse would improve their ball control in the second half, and would outrebound their opponents 55-47 in the contest.
Despite the lopsided score, Head Coach Rob Robinson liked what he saw from his team. "Our team did a great job today! Playing a school like NIACC lets us know how hard we have to work to be a top ten team. Our players accepted the challenge and want to do whatever it takes to make it there. We made great strides this weekend and I am super proud of our players. We are looking forward to getting Brooke [Dalgord] and JuliAnn [Wickman] back going into next weekend."
Jordan Kramer (SO, Norway, MI) would lead the scoring effort for the Norse, collecting 20 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor Hunter (FR, Gladstone, MI) added 16 points and six rebounds, while Kelsea Ackerman (FR, Munising, MI) would add 13 points.
NIACC's Mandy Willems (FR, Ackley, IA) would have a fantastic night shooting for the Trojans. Showing off her range she would hit several shots from well behind the three-point arc, going ten of 22 from deep and ending the game with 45 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Jada Buford (FR, Brooklyn Park, MN) would end the game with 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Autam Mendez (FR, St. Paul, MN) added 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Norse are back in action next weekend when they travel to Minneapolis, MN and the campus of Dakota County Technical College. On Friday, November 9 Bay will match up with United Tribes Technical College at 5 pm. On Saturday they will matchup with Bismark State College at noon.