ALPENA, Mi. The Bay College Norse Men's Basketball Team (12-6) saw a big lead dwindle late, but were able to hang on as they beat the Alpena Community College Lumberjacks (0-11) by a final score of 70-60.
The Norse relied on a stifling defensive effort in the first half to build a lead. Alpena hit just eight of 33 attempts from the floor, and just two of 13 shots from three-point. Bay also forced 11 turnovers in the first half. Bay used a 16-4 run to build a double-digit lead early. Bay shot 38.2% during the first half and took a 16-point lead into the locker room at the half.
The Norse looked as though they were going to cruise to victory, as they held their biggest lead of the game at 21 with 12:51 remaining. A 16-4 run by Alpena changed the storyline, as Bay found themselves ahead by just nine points with just under eight minutes left to play. The Lumberjacks shot 46.9% in the second half, including six of 13 from three-point. They outrebounded the Norse 22-17 in that time period, but Bay was efficient with the ball, turning it over just four times in the second half. Alpena would never get any closer than nine points, as Bay took a ten-point victory on the road.
Bay shot 35,8% from the floor and only connected on two of twenty attempts from three-point. The Norse gained an advantage by putting pressure on their hosts in a couple of different ways. First they got to the free throw line 28 times and connected on twenty of those attempts, while Alpena hit on six of eight from the charity stripe. Bay also forced 23 Lumberjack turnovers while only turning it over ten times themselves.
Chris Dobessi (FR, Detroit, MI) led the Norse with 15 points and three rebounds. Ryan Robinette (SO, Escanaba, MI) added 11 points and five rebounds, while Christian Alexander (SO, Dorset, UK) finished just shy of a double-double, scoring ten points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Chris DeRocher (FR, Ossineke, MI) had a monster game for Alpena, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Logan Guenther (SO, Cheboygan, MI) tallied 17 points and six rebounds.
The Norse return home for a big week of Region 13 matchups that have postseason implications. On Wednesday they host Gogebic Community College at 7 pm. On Saturday they welcome Dakota County Technical College into town. That game tips at 3 pm.