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Thursday April 22, 2021
LOST OPPORTUNITY: Norse Slump In Minnesota

Story written by Bay College SID Mike Pankow
RRN Sports photos and video clips
Click the AUDIO buttons to hear Coach Matt Johnson's post-game comments, and Juston Henderson's player spotlight interview.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN –
The Bay College Norse (6-10) saw a five game win streak snapped, and a chance to sweep the season series with the Dakota County Technical College Blue Knights (4-6) fall by the wayside as they struggled from the floor.  The homestanding Blue Knights won the game by a final score of 79-57.

 

The poor shooting day haunted the Norse throughout the matchup, as the offense started cold and could never really get going.  Finding themselves down 6-0, Matt Wagner (SO, Marinette, WI) hit a jumper with his toes on the three-point line, but it did not prove to be the spark Bay needed. 


Dakota County got a long two from Matho Ojullu (FR, Lakeville, MN) on the next possession, and followed that with a three from Ariyontai Hatcher (SO, Valdosta, GA).  By the time the clock hit 12 minutes remaining in the first half, the Blue Knights had engineered a 15-4 run.


The Norse tired to claw back in the game.  Ashton Janke (FR, Dollar Bay, MI) knocked down a three-pointer.  Tyler Sundling (FR, Rapid River, MI) was fouled as he finished at the basket and knocked down the free throw to finish the three-point possession.  Joe Gibbs (SO, Gladstone, MI) connected on baskets in three straight possessions, and with 4:55 remaining in the first half, the Norse were down four.


Just when the Bay offense looked to start getting it going, it sputtered again.  The Norse would not score again in the first half, allowing Dakota County to go on an 8-0 run to finish it out. 

The Blue Knights took a 34-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

 

The second half momentum stayed in favor of the host team.  The Norse would put together an effort to cut the deficit early in the second half.  Chris Dobessi (SO, Detroit, MI) buried a three to put Bay within ten, and then finished at the rim moments later to but the lead to within single digits.


Dakota County put an end to any momentum the Norse had from there.  Hatcher got to the lane and made a tough shot off of a spin in traffic.  The Blue Knights then created a turnover and found Ojullu wide open for a layup to get their lead back to 12.


Marcus Johnson
 (FR, Iron Mountain, MI) knocked down a shot from behind the arc with 11:30 remaining in the game.  That made the score 50-39 in favor of the Blue Knights.  The game went into a quick downward spiral from there for Bay College, however.  The Norse found themselves down 15 with just under ten to play, and really could not find a way to slow down the DCTC attack.  By the 4:13 mark the Blue Knights held a comfortable twenty-point lead, and they were able to cruise to a 22-point victory.


The loss evens the seasons series.  The Norse now need to beat Gogebic Community College on Wednesday, March 24 Ironwood in order to force a tie at the top of the Eastern Sub-Region Standings.  For the third year in a row the host of the sub-region tournament game would be then decided by a coin flip.


Dante Aganmwonyi (SO, St. Paul, MN) led all scorers with 20 points.  Hatcher finished with 18, while Hatcher had 14 and Josiah Jordan (GR, Burnsville, MN) added 11.  Manny Montgomery (FR, Bloomington, MN), who scored 42 in the first matchup between the two teams, was held to just nine points.


Johnson led the Norse with 12 points.  Gibbs added ten, while Ashton Janke finished with nine points.


The Norse will play Rochester Community and Technical College Sunday afternoon.  Because of COVID related concerns the women's game that was originally scheduled has been cancelled.  As a result the men's game tomorrow has been moved to a 1 pm start time.
 









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