ESCANABA - After a cold couple of games shooting, Escanaba found their rhythm on Friday night as they scored a 60-40 Great Northern Conference win over Kingsford.
The Eskymos faced zone looks from the Flivvers all game but were able to find open looks against the Kingsford zone as they jumped ahead 15-8 after a quarter of play.
"We feel comfortable playing against man or zone," Esky head coach Tracy Hudson said. "We were patient, we moved the ball around and found good looks. We just wanted to go inside-out first."
Jon Young | Daily Press
Escanaba’s Sam Molnar (14) drives baseline as Dan Harrington (22) of Kingsford looks to defend during the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game at Escanaba.
Jon Young | Daily Press
Escanaba’s Jamie Hiltunen (10) fires a no look pass as Kingsford’s Joe Hofer (12) defends during the first half of Friday’s game at Escanaba.
Escanaba was able to go deep into their bench as they kept fresh legs on the floor all game. Junior guard Chris Rose scored eight points off the bench, including two 3-pointers in the second quarter.
"I felt Chris Rose gave us a boost of the bench, it was his best game," Hudson noted. "We have a bench we can trust and we probably play more kids than anybody in the conference and its worked out for us."
The Eskymos shot 23-of-53 for the game and connected on eight 3-pointers. Hudson said he was happy his team's unselfhisness.
Escanaba 15 13 14 18 - 60
Kingsford 8 9 10 13 - 40
Escanaba - Hardwick 2, Hiltunen 8, Kleiman 4, Molnar 13, Rodman 4, Ogren 5, Robinette 15, Rose 8, Lamb 1, FT: 6-8; F: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point goals...8-25: Hiltunen 2, Molnar 2, Ogren 1, Robinette 1, Rose 2
Kingsford - Gregory 9, Hofer 3, Jennings 8, Voss 1, Harrington 8, Stanchina 5, Tengesdahl 2, Glodowski 4; FT: 6-13; F: 13; 3-point field goals: Hofer 1, Jennings 2, Harrington 1.
"We're not a bad shooting team," he said. "We haven't showed that in the last couple of game but we showed that tonight. We had great balance and we shared the ball."
On defense the Eskymos showed flashes of full court press, half-court man and even through a few zone looks at the Flivvers. Escanaba held all of Kingsford's scorers in single digits.
"We did a good job defensively," Hudson said. "We really tried to keep (Joe) Gregory from getting looks. I thought we did a good job stopping the people we were looking to stop."
Both teams snagged 27 rebounds apiece and Escanaba had 11 turnovers, compared to 13 for the Flivvers.
Escanaba improves to 9-3 overall and 5-1 in the GNC. Kingsford drops to 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the GNC. The Eskymos sit just a game out of first place behind Marquette in the GNC.
"We're one game back and I don't know what is going to happen," Hudson said. "We just told the kids anything can happen, just keep working. Being 5-1 in the GNC, with the caliber of coaches and players in this conference, we feel good.
Escanaba hosts Iron Mountain on Tuesday and they travel to Marquette next Friday.