PORT HURON, MI – It took two overtime periods for the Bay College Men's Basketball Team (6-4) to finally push past the Mid Michigan Lakers (6-3) on Saturday afternoon. The Norse escaped the matchup with a 94-90 victory.
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout, as the game featured 15 ties and 22 lead changes. Neither team would relent as the Norse would see a ten-point lead midway through the first half dwindle to a tie game at intermission.
Bay grabbed a seven-point lead early in the second half, only to see the Lakers fight their way back and reclaim the lead. That seven-point spread would be the last time either team would lead by more than five points in the remainder of the contest.
Bay trailed late in regulation and missed some free throws down the stretch that could have been costly. With the Lakers leading by three, Christian Alexander (SO, Dorset, UK) stepped up big, as he would finish strong at the basket and get fouled on the play. He knocked down his free throw to tie the game with just under a minute remaining. Both teams missed opportunities to put the game away in regulation, forcing overtime.
After the teams traded baskets, Chris Dobessi (FR, Detroit, MI) proved to be clutch on back-to-back possessions. He finished at the rim to claim the lead, and after a Khalid Fleming (FR, Detroit, MI) steal, he was fouled and stepped to the free throw line. Dobessi hit both attempts, putting Bay up four with three minutes to play. The Norse were not able to finish and score for the rest of the period however, opening the door for Mid Michigan. They would take advantage of the opportunity to tie the game, but missed a chance to end it.
The Lakers took control in the second overtime, and held on to a 90-85 lead with 90 seconds to play. Dobessi did his job at the charity stripe, sinking two free throws to close the gap, and the Norse defense got a much needed stop on the following possession. Ryan Robinette (SO, Escanaba, MI) made it a one-point game with a layup with around 40 seconds remaining.
After a Bay timeout, Robinette ended up with a big steal, and found Matt Wagner (FR, Marinette, WI) who took a step back three and drilled it, sending the crowd into a frenzy and giving the Norse a two-point lead. The Lakers had one more chance to tie or take the lead, but the three-point attempt would not fall, and it was Wagner who reeled in the rebound. He was immediately fouled, and he converted two free throw attempts to secure the double overtime victory.
Robinette had a fantastic performance, leading the way for the Norse with 22 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Dobessi went six for six from the free throw line, ending his day with 17 points and nine rebounds. Wagner and Alexander each scored 16 points, while Alexander grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out.
Jaylen Rutherford (SO, Grand Blanc, MI) had a monster game. He was sixteen of 34 shooting, amassing 42 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the losing effort. Dre Tuominen (SO, Negaunee, MI) hit four of seven from three and ended with 15 points and seven rebounds. Javel Lewis (FR, Grand Ledge, MI) narrowly missed out on a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
The Norse return home and will host the Quality Inn & Suites Holiday Classic next weekend. On Saturday they will take on Harper College at 8 pm, and on Sunday they face Milwaukee Area Technical College at 4 pm.