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Bay Men’s Basketball advances to regional championship

Courtesy: Bay College
(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Bay College Norse (9-14) advanced to the Region 13 Championship Game with an 82-58 victory over The United Tribal Technical College Thunderbirds (4-19) in Semi-Final action.

The Norse made a statement in their first game of the Regional Tournament, leading from start to finish against the Thunderbirds.  Bay started off the game on a 10-3 run.  Matt Wagner (SO, Marinette, WI) scored eight of those points, hitting a jumper to start the scoring off and burying a couple of three-pointers in the opening minutes.

The Thunderbirds were able to close the gap to five on a couple of occasions, but the Norse were able to open up a double-digit lead midway through the quarter.

The Norse only turned the ball over once, while forcing nine Untied Tribes turnovers in the half.  The Thunderbirds would not be able to bring in an offensive rebound during that period as well, which allowed Bay to shoot 37 times from the field compared to the Thunderbirds 24.  The Norse hit 45.9% of those shots while United Tribes hit 37.5% from the floor.  It resulted in a 41-25 Norse lead at the half.

Bay kept their foot on the gas in the opening minutes of the second half.  An 18-3 run coming out of break opened up a big lead for the Norse.  They eventually extended their lead to 32 points with just under 13 minutes to play.  From there they would cruise to a 24-point victory.

The Norse were hot in the second half from deep, hitting seven of 15 attempts from behind the three-point arc.  They also outrebounded the Thunderbirds 21-16 in the latter half of the game.

For the game Bay shot 45.1% from the floor and hit 40% of their three-point attempts.  The Thunderbirds shot 34% from the field and hit on just seven of their 27 attempts from three.  Bay turned the ball over just four times, while United Tribes had 13.

The Norse were led by the hot hand of Matt Wagner.  He was 10 of 21 from the field, and seven of 14 from behind the three-point arc.  He ended up with 30 points.  Chris Dobessi (SO, Detroit, MI) added ten points, while Marcus Johnson (FR, Iron Mountain, MI) ended his game with nine points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Nick Velencia (FR, Fort McDowell, AZ) led the Thunderbirds with 18 points on seven of 11 shooting.  He also grabbed nine rebounds.  Khalil Grant (FR, Killeen, TX) scored 14 points and had seven rebounds, while Tate Bear (SO, Tama, IA) also had 14 points while bringing in six rebounds.

With the win the Norse earn the right to host the Regional Championship on Sunday afternoon at 3 pm.  They will face Rochester Community and Technical College who defeated Dakota College at Bottineau by a final score of 89-79 in the other semi-final game.  The two teams faced eachother this season on March 7 in Rochester.  The Yellowjackets ended up taking the win on their home floor by a final score of 73-71.  The winner of tomorrow’s Regional Championship Game earns the right to host the District Championship Game to be played on Saturday, April 10.

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