Bay men blast LSSU 90-61

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Bay College’s Alfonzo Fields (4) puts up a floater over Lake Superior State’s Jacob Holzhei (14) during the first half Monday at Bay College.

ESCANABA — The Bay College men continued their winning ways Monday night as they rolled to a 91-60 basketball triumph over the Lake Superior State jayvees.

This marked the fourth straight victory for the Norse, who improved to 4-3.

“Anytime you get a 31-point win, it’s a good thing,” said Bay College coach Matt Johnson. “Although there’s plenty for us to improve upon, that’s for sure. We turned the ball over a lot late when there was no reason for us to be pressing. Plus, we didn’t shoot well from the (free throw) line at all.”

Bay led 44-28 at halftime. Freshman forward Kobi Lumsden-Barnes then hit the first seven points of the second half to put the Norse up 51-28.

“Our big guys have been playing real well, which opens things up for our perimeter kids,” said Johnson. “You look at what Kobi, Tyler (Willette) and Dontae (Ellis) did and you realize they contributed in a big way.”

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press Bay College’s Dre’ Tuominen (right) drives baseline against Lake Superior State’s Jacob Holzhei (left) during the first half Monday at Bay College.

Willette finished with 22 points and guard Dre’ Tuominen added 14.

“Tyler is one of those kids every coach likes to see have success,” said Johnson. “He’s a blue-collar, lunch bucket type of kid. You can’t have too many guys like that. Everything we want to do starts with our big guys. Overall, this is a step in the right direction. We had a few guys get career highs.”

Bay got its biggest lead with 12 minutes, five seconds left in the game when freshman guard-forward Jace Briggs drained a pair of free throws on a technical foul for a 69-35 advantage.

The Norse gained a 25-12 cushion on a gifter by Ellis midway through the first half.

Lake State, however, trimmed its deficit to 31-24 on a trio of charity tosses by freshman guard Jacob Holzhei with 5:29 remaining in the first half of its season-opener.

“At Lake State we get only 1-2 practices a week,” said coach Ted Stowe. “I thought our guys played well, only they got a little too anxious at times. There were a lot of jitters out there tonight. This was a great experience, great atmosphere and a great crowd.”

Bay responded with nine unanswered points, gaining a 40-24 advantage on a two-handed dunk by forward Joe Gibbs at 1:45.

Lumsden-Barnes finished with nine points and Ellis had eight for the Norse, who hit 24-of-39 free throws and committed 14 turnovers, including nine in the second half.

Hunter Schultz, a freshman guard from Republic-Michigamme, scored his first collegiate field goal with less than five minutes remaining in the contest.

Holzhei paced the Lakers with 17 points. Tanner Huotari, a sophomore guard from Iron Mountain, added 14 and junior forward Ryan Laprade of Sault Ste. Marie had 12.

LSSU finished 17-of-28 from the line and had 16 miscues.

Bay travels to Ironwood to play in the Lindquist Classic at Gogebic Community College this weekend, facing Hibbing (Minn.) Community College Saturday at 4 p.m. and Wisconsin-Sheboygan Sunday at 1 (EST).

“That will be a good test,” said Johnson, who coached at Hibbing from 2007-14. “I don’t know too much about Sheboygan, but I coached at Hibbing for eight years. It will be interesting to coach against them. Those are two solid teams. We’ll have to play well to get two W’s.”

The summary:

LSSU jayvees 28 32 — 60

Bay College 44 47 — 91

Lake Superior State jayvees — Laprade 12, Arnold 5, Gutierrez 2, Holzhei 17, Purchase 8, Huotari 14, Jones 2. FT: 17-28; F: 25; Fouled out: Laprade, Arnold; Technical foul: Dines; 3-piont field goals: Laprade 3, Holzhei 3, Purchase 2, Huotari.

Bay College — Fields 6, Gibbs 6, Ellis 8, Tuominen 14, Schultz 2, Willette 22, McKenney 4, Smith 6, Finkbeiner 2, Richmond 4, Lumsden-Barnes 9, Briggs 7. FT: 24-39; F: 20; Fouled out: Fields; 3-point field goals: Fields, Briggs.