ALPENA, MI – The Bay College Norse Women's Basketball Team (12-6) pulled out a closely contested decision against the Alpena Community College Lumberjacks (2-9). The Norse wound up with a 57-51 win after trailing for most of the game.
Haley Trudell (SO, Rock, MI) got things going by hitting a three-point basket in the first possession for Bay, but Alpena responded. After the teams traded baskets on multiple possessions, the host team hit a three-point basket that gave them the lead with 6:08 remaining in the first quarter. The Lumberjacks would not surrender that lead for the majority of the game.
Bay pulled to within two at the end of the first quarter, but a 6-2 Alpena lead gave the Lumberjacks their biggest lead of the game at 24-18. Both teams suffered a two-and-a-half-minute scoring drought before the Norse were able to cut into that lead. Alpena took a slim 32-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lumberjacks continued to fend off the Bay Norse, even though both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter. Alpena was just three of 16 from the floor during that time period, which included just one three-point conversion on six attempts. Bay was not able to take advantage of the situation, shooting just four of 15 from the field themselves, and found themselves down 40-39 as they went into the final quarter.
Bay continued to trail well into the fourth quarter. Trish McGuire (FR, Gwinn, MI) hit a jumper with 5:45 remaining to pull within one. After a defensive stop, a Kaitlyn Hardwick (SO, Gladstone, MI) hit a jump shot that gave Bay the lead with the game clock showing 4:47. It was the first lead for the Norse since Alpena took the lead with 6:08 showing on the clock in the first quarter.
That lead would not last long, as Alpena responded. Trailing by two, JuliAnn Wickman (SO, Felch, MI) hit a big three that gave Bay a 49-48 lead with just over three minutes remaining. The Lumberjacks split a pair of free throws, the two teams traded scoring possessions and it ended up being a tie game with 90 seconds left to play. After an Alpena timeout, Wickman converted a jumper to give Bay the lead. The Norse forced a key turnover on the defensive end, allowing Madison Olsen (FR, St. Ignace, MI) to put the Norse up four with a jump shot. It would force the issue as Alpena was forced to foul to stop the clock. Although Bay only hit two of their four attempts in the waning minutes, they were able to force a turnover and a missed desperation three, giving them the six-point victory.
Olsen provided a big spark off the bench for the Norse, and ended as the teams leading scorer. She ended her night with 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot. Brooke Dalgord (SO, Garden, MI) scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Wickman added nine points and four rebounds.
Alpena's Dakota Prevo (SO, Alpena, MI)_wound up leading all scorers with 16 points while collecting 13 rebounds. Mollie Girard (FR, Alpena, MI) added 12 points to the effort.
The Norse are at home on Wednesday night. They will host U.P. and Region 13 rivals the Gogebic Community College Samsons in an important matchup that has postseason implications. That game will tip at 6 pm.