DOWN TO THE WIRE: Norse Hold Off Glen Oaks

This story was written by Bay College SID Mike Pankow. Click the thumbnails to see RRN Sports photos and videos, and see/hear post-game comments from Diang Gatluak and Coach Matt Johnson. Also hear Ashton Janke's post-game comments.

The Bay College Norse Men's Basketball Team (2-0) ended up outlasting the Glen Oaks Community College Vikings (1-1) in a fast-paced matchup on Saturday afternoon.  The Norse escaped a last-ditch comeback attempt to win by a final score of 74-69.

Despite an ominous start in which the Vikings got a steal and basket off the opening tap, the Norse came out hot.  Carter Hudson (FR, Escanaba, MI) hit a pair of three-pointers in the following two possessions, and Lamar Grayson (FR, Richfield, MN) hit a third in the opening minutes.  Bay took a 9-5 lead early.

The game continued in a back-and-forth fashion from that point on.  Bay would have an answer for just about anything the Vikings could muster.  After Glen Oaks would tie the score at 22, the Norse found a run of their own.  A Justin Nelson (FR, Iron River, MI) basket capped off a 9-2 run.

Although Bay held the lead for much of the first half, they were never able to pull away, and clung to a 41-39 lead at the half.

That trend continued into the second half.  Diang Gatluak (SO, Sioux Falls, SD) put home a massive two-handed dunk in the early going of the latter half and was fouled on the play.  After converting the free throw, Bay found themselves up 48-43.

That gap closed quickly, and the Norse would have to attack the rim again to separate from their hosts.  Up by one, Bay turned to Nelson in the paint who hit his shot and the subsequent free throw to make the score 50-47.  Bay got to the line on the next two possessions, converting their free throws, en route to an 8-2 run.

Glen Oaks would not go away.  They wasted no time closing the gap to two points, once again putting pressure on the Norse.

With time winding down, Bay would twice grab their biggest lead of the game at nine points.  They found themselves up 71-62 with under a minute to play. 

Caleb Sullivan (FR, Riverview, MI) was able to breath life back into the Viking chances with time ticking down.  He would be fouled as he drained a three-point basket.  Sullivan completed the four-point possession making the score 71-66 with 35.9 seconds remaining.

At that point the Vikings were forced to extend the game by sending the Norse to the charity stripe.  Gatluak hit a pair, and after a failed possession from Glen Oaks, Gatluak went one for two from the stripe, giving Bay an eight-point lead.

Tyran Rodgers (FR, Indianapolis, IN) hit a three in a last gasp effort, but Bay turned the ball over on the inbounds with nine seconds left, keeping hopes alive for the Vikings.  They were unable to strike again however, and the Norse survived on the road to start the season off with a pair of wins.

"I was very pleased with our overall team effort today," commented Bay College Head Coach Matt Johnson.  "Glen Oaks is a very good basketball team , they play incredibly fast, and their crowd was very energetic and into the game.  It was a very difficult environment to play in."

"It was exactly what we want out of early season games.  To come of this weekend 2-0 shows a lot about our team character.  Our depth was the deciding factor today.  We had a couple of our 'go-to' guys not score as much as normal, but we had other guys step up and carry the load.  I thought Diang [Gatluak] was incredible.  He dominated the glass, played great on the defensive end, and had his best game offensively."

Garluak had a very big day for the Norse and ended with 21 points and was a monstrous rebounding presence throughout.  Dewayne Thompson (FR, St. Paul, MN) scored seven in the third quarter on his way to 13 points, while Grayson ended his day with ten points.

Rodgers paced the Vikings with 18 points, while Brayden Saxton (FR, South Bend, IN) put up 12 points in the first half, only to finish with 14 in the game.

Bay College prepares for their home opener on Monday evening.  They will welcome Lake Superior State's JV at 8 pm.


LISTEN: Diang Gatluak post game comments
LISTEN: Coach Matt Johnson post-game comments
LISTEN: Ashton Janke player spotlight interview