The Bay College Women’s Basketball Team (5-11, 1-1) picked up their first conference win in school history on Wednesday evening in front of a boisterous home crowd. The Norse saw the North Central Michigan College Timberwolves (3-10, 0-2) erase a double-digit lead but held on to earn a 58-52 victory.
Both o nses started the game o 2hot and the teams traded the lead multiple times in the first quarter. The Norse shot 53.3 percent from the floor, including four of 11 from behind the three-point arc during the first ten minutes. Not to be outdone, the Timberwolves hit on 58.3 percent of their shots, including two of three from deep. Bay came out of the exchange trailing 20-18 heading into the second frame.
While both teams were not quite as e_cient in the second quarter, the back-and-forth nature of the contest continued in exciting fashion. With just under three minutes remaining in the first half, Claire van Ginhoven knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions, giving the Norse a five-point lead that they would never give up. For van Ginhoven, the pair of triples were just a part of her big second quarter, as she knocked down four of five behind the arc in the period, and was good for 14 points. Bay led 37-33 going into the locker room at halftime.
Unbeknownst to either team at the time, NCMC’s failure to respond at the end of the first half was just the start of a disastrous scoring drought that changed the trajectory of the game. The Timberwolves would not connect on a field goal for nearly ten minutes of game play, allowing the Norse to go on a 19-1 run. Six di rent Bay players scored in that run to help extend their lead to 50-33.
North Central Michigan was able to regain their composure and hold the Norse scoreless for the remainder of the quarter, cutting the lead to 11 heading into the fourth.
Neither team was able to take advantage of a late offensive swoon and the first basket of the final period would not come until just over four minutes remaining in the game. Back-to-back three-pointers from Sydney Mann cut the lead to single-digits for the first time since the middle of the third quarter, and the Norse led by just seven with two minutes to play.
A free throw made it a two-possession game, but with time ticking down Bay got a big basket to seal the deal. Tianna Taylor got loose in the lane and finished with 28 seconds left to give the Norse a 58-50 lead. The Timberwolves would get a pair of free throws late, but fell by six points.
North Central Michigan College held a distinct rebounding advantage over the Norse (43-33) and shot 32.7 percent on the evening. They left points on the line however, going eight of 15 from the charity stripe.
The Norse hit on 40 percent of their attempts overall and were seven of eight from the free throw line.
Claire van Ginhoven finished with a career-high 20 points on six of 11 shooting from three-point. Alyssa Cretton added 12 points and five assists.
Caley Zukowski tallied a double-double, pacing the Timberwolves with 17 poitns and grabbing ten rebounds. Mann connected on four three-pointers for 12 points, while Alyssa Thompson ended with 11 points.
Superior Central alumna Emma Rutter started the game for the Norse. She ended with four points, four rebounds and three steals.
Bay will welcome Muskegon Community College to campus on Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks are 10-5 on the season and 1-1 in conference play, having suffered a 68-67 loss at Delta College on Wednesday evening. That game is scheduled to tip at 1 pm. Building Community Engagement Through the Power of Local News.