Kraemer boosts Bay
ESCANABA — Jordan Kraemer is like a microwave oven. She heats up quickly when she gets on the hardwood and keeps sizzling all game long.
The sophomore from Norway exhibited that ability again here Wednesday night as she led Bay College to an 87-60 conquest of Alpena Community College in women’s basketball.
In the right spot at the right time, Kraemer scored several times just moments after a brief bench break, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including all six free throws. She also had five rebounds, four assists and six steals in an all-around solid outing that has been typical of her game.
Kraemer said her “basketball IQ improves every day. We have a pretty good connection on the court. We know where each other is going to be.”
The former All-U.P. standout did most of her damage in the first half to break the game open against the Lumberjacks, who only had three reserves. The Norse has eight reserves and they all played extensively, allowing coach Rob Robinson to rotate players to keep everyone fresh.
An 11-2 outburst over a 94-second span late in the first half enabled the Norse to expand a 32-26 lead to 43-28, with Kraemer hitting two free throws and freshman Haley Trudell of Rock sinking two triples.
That helped offset Alpena’s offensive rebounding edge earlier in the half.
“We have to do better controlling the offensive glass because there are so many missed shots at this level,” said Robinson.
Kraemer said Robinson emphasized rebounding during the halftime break. “Coach told us we have to rebound the ball and we have to keep them out of the paint,” said Kraemer. “We knew they were good on the offensive boards. We were a little shell-shocked at the start.”
The first half rebounding was surprisingly even, at 21 apiece, with the majority of Alpena’s scoring within feet of the rim.
Bay ended up with a 40-36 rebound edge, with Brooke Dalgord grabbing six in relief after the break. The Big Bay de Noc freshman also scored seven points, including six in the final 1:46 of the third quarter as the Norse opened a 74-47 cushion with a decisive 30-16 margin in the stanza.
Full-court defensive pressure was also beneficial for the Norse, who forced 29 turnovers. “We’re getting more rotation on the press,” said Robinson, noting his players are constantly defending all over the floor and providing good help defense to boot. Bay had 21 turnovers, with Robinson noting “we need to take care of the ball better.”
The Norse hit 9-of-18 shots beyond the arc (29-of-62 overall), with five players hitting triples. Freshman Kelsea Ackerman of Munising was 4-of-5 on triples. “We have good shooters,” said Robinson.
Kraemer said she is feeling more comfortable, and as that happens her teammates are also moving forward, especially after a 100-36 setback Friday against Mid-Michigan Community College.
“That big loss was really a big learning experience,” said Kraemer. “We stepped back and looked at what we needed to change. This win tonight is our first step in the right direction. We are building confidence. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and that helps a lot.”
Kraemer has also settled in, which makes it easier when the leader is comfortable.
“The game has kind of slowed down. In the game, everything seems to be in slow motion. You don’t make as many mistakes when you slow down,” she said.
The Norse (7-4) visit Milwaukee this weekend, facing Harper College Friday and Milwaukee Area Tech Saturday.
Alpena CC 16 15 16 13 – 60
Bay College 20 24 30 13 – 87
Alpena – Nguyen 4, Livington 11, Dewald 8, Seaver 9, Jore 2, Feighner 13, Prevo 11, Larsen 2. FT: 9-15; F: 19; Fouled out: Dewald; 3-point field goals – Livington 1, Feighner 2.
Bay – Welch 10, Hunter 9, Kraemer 23, Trudell 9, M. Ackerman 1, Wickman 4, K. Ackerman 12, Dalgord 7, Belleville 6, Davis 6. FT: 20-28; F: 13; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals – Welch 1, Kraemer 1, Trudell 3, K. Ackerman 4, Belleville 1.