MILWAUKEE, WI - The Bay College Norse (15-8) would not be able to keep pace with the Bryant & Stratton Bobcats (17-7) and fall behind in the second half, allowing the Bobcats to remain undefeated at home with a 97-80 victory.
The two teams would find themselves deadlocked at 19 with ten minutes to play in the first half, when the Bobcats would go on a 12-2 run to build a lead. Bryant & Stratton looked to be holding a comfortable lead with time winding down on the half, but the Norse would find a way to answer back. Bay would outscore their hose 12-3 in the final four minutes of the first half, and trail by just three points (45-42) heading in to the locker room at the half.
The tides would turn quickly in the second half as the Bobcats would open with a 10-0 run before the Norse could respond, but Bay would not be able to slow down a red hot Bryant & Stratton offense. The hosts would outscore the Norse 21-6 in the first five and a half minutes of play in the second half, opening a deficit that would prove to be too much for the road team. The Norse would cut the lead to ten with just over ten minutes to play, but the Bobcats would quickly slam the door on any attempt by Bay to get back in the game with seven unanswered points over the next minute of play. At that point Bryant & Stratton would be in control of the matchup and cruise to a 17-point victory.
The Bobcats would shoot the ball well from deep, knocking down 15 of 37 three-point attempts, while shooting 47.1% for the game. The Norse shot well themselves, hitting 46.2% of their attempts, including ten of 23 from behind the arc, but they would turn the ball over 16 times, while the home team would turn it over just eight times. Bryant & Stratton would also gain an advantage by getting to the free throw line 24 times in the matchup, connecting on 18 of those attempts. The Norse would outrebound their opponents 45-36.
Alfonzo Fields (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would lead the attack for Bay, scoring 22 points, while collecting six rebounds and five assists. Tyler Willette (SO, Escanaba, MI) added 14 points and four rebounds, while Kobi Barnes (SO, Milwaukee, WI) would finish with 13 points and seven rebounds. Logan Hardwick (FR, Rapid River, MI) ended his evening with ten points and six rebounds.
The Bobcats' Joe Duty (SO, Adams, WI) would lead all scorers with 28 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds. Manny Jingco (FR, Roseville, MN) added 22 points, while Justin Brookens (FR, Milwaukee, WI) would score 19 points and amass 12 assists. Kyle McDermed (SO, Franfort, IL) would finish with ten points off the bench.
These two teams will meet again in Escanaba on February 9. Meanwhile, the Norse will be on the road as they travel to Silver Lake College on Saturday. That game is a rematch from January 5, a game the Norse won by a final of 98-93.