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Monday July 22, 2024
Norse Lose Tight Battle At End To Palm Beach State

Cilick the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear post-game comments from Coach Matt Johnson. Also hear Cade LaFavor's player spotlight interview

The Bay College men's basketball team let one slip away in the final seconds Friday night, falling to the Palm Beach State College Panthers, 90-89, in West Palm Beach. The Norse had a six-point lead in the closing minutes of the game, but Genesis Kemp and Tyrel Creger both missed the front end of one-and-one free throw opportunities in the closing seconds, setting up the Palm Beach winning basket.


The Norse had a blown assignment on defense after missing those big free throw opportunities, and out of a time out, Torrin Andrews drove the middle of the lane and slammed it home, tying the game at 89.

He was fouled on the play by the late-arriving Norse defense, and Andrews made the free throw to make it 90-89.


Bay still had a chance to win it with five seconds left when the Norse inbounded the ball in the front court. But once the ball went to Carter Hudson in the corner, there was nobody in a prime shooting position on the play that was designed in a time out. Creger was forced into a despearation heave, which missed as time expired.


The first half of the game was played at a break-neck pace. The Panthers jumped to an 18-5 lead just 3:39 into the game as Jaiden Wynn and Andrews both did their work inside. The Panthers made six triples in the first half, with Caleb Muller and Ryan Moore each getting two of them, and Bay was trailing, 40-33, with still almost nine minutes left in the first half.


The Norse stabalized on defense for the remainder of the first half, allowing only 13 points. A Jaylen Flaniken triple, along with two NBA-length triples by Joc Overstreet, brought the Norse back into the game. An Overstreet pass sprung West Iron County graduate Justin Nelson for a slam dunk, and Escanaba's Carter Hudson sank a triple.


Nelson, however, would land hard on the floor when he was fouled and missed the rest of the game. Palm Beach State led at halftime, 53-52, after a wild 20 minutes.


The second half was tight throughout, with Lamar Grayson continuing to carry his team on his back offensively. He had scored eight straight points late in the first half, and scored eight more in the second half. Hudson and Genesis Kemp both scored three times in the paint, and the Norse were seemingly in control as the clock ticked away.


But Jaiden Wynn scored a big basket late, and he made nine of his ten free trow attempts as part of scoring a game-high 26 points for the Panthers. And it came down to the final seconds, when Andrews scored the big dunk that set off a celebration on the court that included a Panther player who ran onto the court to lead the celebration.


By rule, that should have been a technical foul against the Panthers, and Norse Coach Matt Johnson argued the point profusely, but the referees did not change the call. And seconds later, the Norse had suffered a loss some 1,650 miles from home in a game that had they made a few more plays down the stretch, they would have easily won.


Palm Beach (7-6) had five players score in double figures. Besides Wynn's 26 points, Andrews added 15 points, Eduardo Diaz scored 14, Muller chipped in 12 points, and Moore scored ten points. The Panthers made eight triples, which is actually fewer than they are accustomed to making.


Bay (9-3) had four players score in double figures. Grayson led the way with 21, followed by Overstreet with 17 points, Kemp with 16 points, and Flaniken scored ten.


The Norse made only 7-of-13 free throw attempts, and even worse, those two one-and-one bricks in the closing seconds were in actuality four missed free throw opportunities.


After a wild Friday night match-up, we will have an encore Saturday night. The team from Connecticut that Bay was scheduled to play dropped out, so the Norse will play the Panthers again Saturday night at 7:00. The game will be broadcast on FM-106.3, and on-line at www.radioresultsnetwork.com.

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