HAPPY HOMECOMING: Johnson, Bay Win, 94-67
Click the thumbnails to see pictures and video highlights, listen to Mayson Brown's halftime interview, and hear post-game comments from Norse Coach Matt Johnson and Player of the Game Lamar Grayson. Story was written by Mike Pankow, Bay College Sports Information Director.
HIBBING, Minn.---The Bay College Norse Men's Basketball Team (4-0) pushed their winning streak to four games to start the season, taking down the Hibbing Community College Cardinals (1-1) by a final score of 94-67.
In what was a bit of a homecoming celebration for the Norse, as Head Coach Matt Johnson returned to the Hibbing gymnasium for the first time since he ended his seven-year coaching stint with the Cardinals, and Mayson Brown (FR, Hibbing, MN) made his first appearance in a basketball uniform in his hometown since his illustrious high school career ended last year.
The Norse were able to make it a joyous celebration, as they pulled away in the middle of the first half and never looked back, staying in control throughout the contest.
The Cardinals took the lead by hitting a three-pointer on their first possession, but it was a short-lived one. Lamar Grayson (FR, Richfield, MN) was fouled on a layup, converting the three-point play to tie it up.
The Norse started to take over from there, but Hibbing was not quite ready to go away. With just over 13 minutes left in the first half, the Cardinals' Stephon Smith got a layup to pull within two.
A 10-0 Bay College run from that point opened up the game for Bay. While Hibbing closed the gap to under double digits twice in the half, the Norse took control with a 46-30 lead at the half.
It didn't take long for the Norse to extend their lead to twenty points in the second half, but Hibbing had some fight left in them. They slowly chipped away at that lead, and with just over 12 minutes left, a Kionte Cole three-pointer made the score 61-51 in favor of the Norse.
Bay wasted no time in shutting down the Cardinal comeback. A 10-1 run which included a pair of threes by Marcus Harris (SO, Brimley, MI) put the Norse back up by 19 points.
Bay would cruise from that point on and extended their lead as they closed out the game. It would be the second-largest margin of victory for the Norse on the young season, as they have won all four of their games by double-digits.
"It was a great team effort this evening," said Head Coach Matt Johnson. "Hibbing plays very fast, very athletic, and really tries to take you out of your comfort zone. I thought there were stretches that we let them dictate what we were going to do a little bit too much, but all in all I feel like our guys stayed disciplined and did a good job of playing our pace and style. We can enjoy this one tonight and get back at it tomorrow."
Diang Gatluak (SO, Sioux Falls, SD) was the leading scorer for the Norse, putting up 15 points and grabbing six rebounds. Aloung Kang (SO, Apple Valley, MN) ended his night with 14 points and five rebounds, while Grayson and Justin Nelson (FR, Iron River, MI) each scored 12 apiece. Nelson grabbed five rebounds while Grayson picked up four.
Moe Washington set the pace for the Cardinals as he scored 13 points and dealt out five assists. Schuyler Pimentel added 12 points while Smith ended with ten.
Rasonte Smith, who played at Bay College during the first season of the current edition of Norse basketball started for Hibbing Community College. He hit a pair of free throws, and had two rebounds and an assist against his former team.
Bay will look to extend the current winning streak tomorrow afternoon as they pay a visit to Mesabi Range Community College. That game will tip at approximately 4 pm.