IRONWOOD, Mi. The Bay College Norse Men's Basketball Team (16-9) led from wire to wire Wednesday night, beating the Gogebic Community College Samsons (6-19) 82-54 to stay alive for the region's top seed.
The win swept the season series between the two U.P. rivals, and guaranteed at least one NJCAA Region 13 playoff home game for Bay.
The Norse had five players score in double figures on offense and the defense forced 22 Samson turnovers in the victory.
"I thought did some really good stuff defensively, to hold somebody to 19 in the first half is a heck of an effort," Head Coach Matt Johnson said. "That's a credit to our guys. They played their tails off and really made sure we stayed focused on the game plan. We executed it really well on that end of the floor."
Bay jumped to a 9-1 lead early on and watched the lead balloon to 25-12 late in the first half as Ryan Robinette (SO, Escanaba, MI) scored nine points and Matt Wagner (FR, Marinette, WI) added eight. The Norse led, 34-19, at halftime, and GCC never made a run.
"I'm proud of guys; we played our butts off," Johnson said. "It was a heck of a lot of fun to see those guys do it, and we had some other guys step up and make plays, like it has been the case just about every night for us. Every one of the ten guys did something really well."
Chris Dobessi (FR, Detroit, MI) had 15 points and six rebounds, while Dondre Yohe (SO, Ishpeming, MI) came off the bench to score 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor. He also had three rebounds and three streals. Wagner also scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Robinette had 12 points in making five of his eight shots from the floor, and Austin Forbes (FR, Gwinn, MI) came off the bench to score ten points. He made both three-point shots he took and he sank four free throws. Christian Alexander (SO, Dorset, UK) scored only six points, but four of them came on two more slam dunks, and Alexander dominated the glass with 14 defensive rebounds. He also blocked four shots on defense.
Gogebic got 14 points from Mitch Borseth, but he made just three of his 11 shot attempts. Dachau Lyle added 12 points and Yaser Kahn contributed ten points.
The Norse outrebounded the Samsons, 47-39, and GCC was just 5-for-24 on three-point attempts.
The win means the Norse finished 3-1 in regional seeding games, tied with Dakota County Technical College. Gogebic finished 0-4.
The top seed for the eastern half of the NJCAA Region 13 playoffs (and a first-round bye) will be determined by a coin flip for a second straight year, between Bay and DCTC. Whoever loses the coin toss will host Gogebic on Feb. 22, while the winner will host the regional semifinal game on Feb. 26.
Bay College closes the regular season with two games in Chicago. The Norse face Richard J Daley College at 7:00 ET on Friday, and will face Harry S. Truman College at 4:00 ET on Saturday.