Gordon routs Lesley 85-52 with reserves playing significant roles

Craig McFarlane(#22) played a big part in the Gordon win over Lesley

Craig McFarlane (#22) played a big part in the Gordon win over Lesley

(Amesbury) That’s more like it.

Gordon ended a three-game losing streak with a very convincing, 85-52, win over Lesley University in Cambridge on Saturday night in non-league action.

The Scots (3-6) broke a 16-15 game wide open with a run of fifteen unanswered points over an eight minute stretch in the first half.  The cold-shooting Lynx (1-6) trailed 36-20 at halftime and things went downhill for them rapidly in the second half.

The Scots had terrific contributions off the bench against Lesley.

GC Coach Tod Murphy found time early in the game for Craig McFarlane and the seldom-used senior had a big part in Gordon’s breakaway.

Freshman Carter Bras had a remarkable 15-point second half with no missed shots and three rebounds.

Udoka Obiora had his best game (6 points and 8 rebounds) for Gordon against Lesley

Udoka Obiora had his best game (6 points and 8 rebounds) for Gordon against Lesley

Udoka Obiora has his best game for GC getting six points and eight rebounds.

During Gordon’s 15-point run away in the first half Hans Miersma provided eight of the points including a dunk.  While the Scots were making shots, the home team had eleven straight misses with three turnovers tossed in.

Efficiency

Carter Bras 15

Hans Miersma 15 (15 points and 7 rebounds)

Obiora Udoka 13

Craig McFarlane 12 (8 points and 3 assists)

Terrell Toney 12 (21 points and 4 rebounds)

Boxscore

Gordon finishes the 2014 part of their schedule with a solid win.  The next game will be at WPI on January 2nd versus Worcester State.

The Lesley win aside, the Scots will have fifteen Commonwealth Coast Conference games after the 2015 opener with Worcester State to improve their 1-2 league record and get positioned to defend their CCC title in the New Year.

Christmas, the time we remember what God did and rejoice that He cared that much for us.  How blessed we are!

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Turnovers key in Gordon’s 79-76 loss to nonleague Fisher

Hans Miersma (18 rebounds)

Hans Miersma (18 rebounds)

Taylor Bajema (21 points)

Taylor Bajema (21 points)

Jason Dempsey (18 points)

Jason Dempsey (18 points)

 

 

 

 

 

(Newtown CT) Gordon did almost everything right.

When the game with Fisher ended, however, an ongoing Scots’ deficiency overrode the positives and led to a 79-76 loss on Thursday night.

(My wife and I are in Newtown tending our granddaughters.)

Negligent ball care (26 turnovers) ruined the glow of outstanding performances by Hans Miersma, Jason Dempsey, and Taylor Bajema.

The contest was non-league and played in Lynn (MA).

Even factoring in the frightening turnover total, the Scots (2-6) were more efficient (96) than were the 8-3 Falcons (88).  For those new to what “efficient” means let me explain how the total is figured: I take the negative stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers) and subtract them from the positive stats (points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists).  Usually the losing team comes out on the wrong end of the efficiency stats but not this time.

A look at the efficiency numbers however did reveal remarkable games by Hans (37), Jason (23), and Taylor (19).  If all you knew were those personal efficiency numbers you’d almost be certain a GC win had happened but instead even those numbers weren’t enough to avert a third straight loss.

Gordon had a field day in close to the basket getting 46 points in the paint.  Taking most of their shots in high-percentage areas helped the Scots shoot a remarkable 55.4%, which was a season high.

This game was close throughout.  The Falcons from Boston took the lead for good with five minutes left.  The rest of the way backbreaking 3’s by Kyle Holmes (2) and Tyler Shuler (1), plus seven straight made free throws in the last thirty-four seconds, denied GC comeback attempts.

Kyle ended up with sixteen points and four steals.  Tyler added eighteen points and three steals.

Carter Bras - 7 points and five rebounds vs Fisher

Carter Bras – 7 points and five rebounds vs Fisher

This was easily Gordon freshman Carter Bras’ best game.  The newcomer contributed seven points and five rebounds.

The Falcon’s game-long tenacity on defense was the ultimate game decider.  Fisher forced twenty-six Gordon turnovers and even more important turned the miscues into thirty-three points!  So the average cost to GC for every turnover was over one point.  That is very heavy price to pay.  From my long-range vantage point that looks like a game with an overdose of “steal-two’s” to me.

In the games I’ve actually seen, most of the turnovers have happened because guards try to dribble through double teams or because players in the paint are untuned to weakside defense giving help.  In both scenarios GC players are getting ganged up on by multiple defenders and are still trying to dribble in such a high risk setup.

The bottom line is that if Gordon had tamed the turnovers they would have won the game.  The Scots will get a chance to attempt some of that “taming” at 5PM on Saturday versus 1-5 Lesley in Cambridge.  Last game before the Christmas break.

Name drop for me from the Lesley roster: Casey Blanchard.  The name seemed familiar to me.  Sure enough research revealed that the last time I saw the Lesley junior play was in the Division 3 Massachusetts state baseball championship against Newburyport in June of 2011. Casey had two hits in Pioneer Valley’s 9-4 loss.  That game was played on the same day the Stanley Cup Boston Bruins had their parade through the streets of Boston.

It is hard to imagine a college, like Fisher, not having its own gymnasium, isn’t it.  But it wasn’t that long ago that Gordon played its home games at Beverly Memorial.  Okay, it was long ago but the luxury of having an on-campus athletic facility is not lost on those of us who go back to those off-campus days.

Efficiency
Hans Miersma 37 (16 points/18 rebounds/7 blocks)
Jason Dempsey 23 (18 points/8 rebounds)
Tyler Shular 21 (18 points/3 steals)
Taylor Bajema 19 (21 points/4 assists)
Kyle Holmes 15 (16 points/4 steals)

Gordon 96
Fisher 88

Boxscore

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Nichols defense takes down Gordon 68-57

Tight Bison defense caused seventeen first-half Gordon turnovers

Tight Bison defense caused seventeen first-half Gordon turnovers

Irving Eggleston (23 points) beats Dominic Paradis to the basket

Irving Eggleston (23 points) beats Dominic Paradis to the basket

(Wenham MA) Impressive win for the visiting Nichols Bison, 68-57, over Gordon on a rainy Tuesday night of Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball.

Nichols (5-3/3-0) continues undefeated in the CCC despite their lack of size and depth.

How do the Bison do it?  Defense.  They pressured the Scots to death in the backcourt and swarmed them in the halfcourt.  On this night that ever-present defense was done without any of their starters getting into foul trouble despite playing long minutes.

The short answer reason for the Gordon loss?  Seventeen turnovers in the first half!  That may be a record but I’m not checking to find out.

Gordon (2-5/1-2) put four of those turnovers together in the first half with two missed shots and slid from a 15-13 advantage at 9:56 to a 24-15 deficit 2 1/2 minutes later.  There was no recovering on this evening.  Gordon was within seven (57-50) with four minutes left in the game but never got closer.

Nichols went with three guards (Christian Horton -5-9, Gustave Koumare – 6-1, and Irving Eggleston – 6-1) and made it work.  Not only did they create turnovers with their quickness but they were also able to get past taller defenders around the basket.  The Bison had thirty points in the paint…….most of them were layups off drives.

Gordon has two non-league games (Fisher away Thursday and Lesley away Saturday) before the Christmas break.  Lots of work to be done and plenty of season left to get it done in.  Those seventeen first-half turnovers will surely cause every future opponent to try full-court pressuring Gordon.  The quicker the Scots show they can handle it the sooner it will go away as something opponents try.

Irving Eggleston (23 points/3 assists/2 steals) and Matt Langadas (19 points/6 rebounds) put up the big numbers for the team from Dudley.  Matt had fifteen points in the Scots error-filled first half.

Jason Dempsey (21 points) on the rim

Jason Dempsey (21 points) on the rim

Lost in the loss was yet another career game for Jason Dempsey.  The senior’s twenty-one points tops the twenty he had less than a week ago at Endicott.  As teams continue to double (triple?) team Hans Miersma, Jason has discovered and capitalized on openings like he never has before.  I wonder if his 1000-point brother David has finally shared some of his how-to-score secrets?

I have to give credit to anyone driving to tonight’s game.  I found road closings and deep water where roads used to be.

GC won the battle of the boards by a whopping 47 to 21 including nineteen offensive rebounds.  That would normally be the key to why a team won………but not in this game.

It was interesting to me to hear Jaren Yang call for “Laker” on offense.  That was a play from the Mike Schauer era that was run for Jon Marstaller who played for the Lake Region Lakers.  Why interesting?  Matt Langadas of Nichols played for the Lake Region Lakers.

Efficiency

Jason Dempsey 24
Irving Eggleston 21
Matt Langadas 18
Hans Miersma 15

Nichols 74
Gordon 63

Boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Jake Hart goes past Christian Horton

Jake Hart goes past Christian Horton

Jaren Yang defended by Christian Horton

Jaren Yang defended by Christian Horton

Jason Dempsey jams

Jason Dempsey jams

Gustave Koumare breaks away

Gustave Koumare breaks away

Irving Eggleston draws a foul on Hans Miersma

Irving Eggleston draws a foul on Hans Miersma

Dylan Marshall

Dylan Marshall

Taylor Bajema breaks free in the early going

Taylor Bajema breaks free in the early going

Hans Miersma had eleven rebounds for Gordon

Hans Miersma had eleven rebounds for Gordon

Christian Horton and Matt Langadas converge on Taylor Bajema

Christian Horton and Matt Langadas converge on Taylor Bajema

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Wentworth defeats Gordon 72-61 with 3’s and tight interior defense

Nico Donato led Wentworth with sixteen points

Nico Donato led Wentworth with sixteen points

(Amesbury) Wentworth used accurate long-range shooting (nine 3’s) and tight defense (on Hans Miersma) to defeat Gordon, 72-61, in Boston on Saturday afternoon in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game.

The Leopards (3-4) have now won three straight including two in a row in the CCC.

Wentworth was a warm 9-for-19 on 3-pointers as seven different players contributed.

Gordon (2-4) did not display against WIT the inside dominance they displayed on Wednesday night at Endicott.  In that memorable game, Jason Dempsey had 20 points and 14 rebounds while Hans Miersma added 23 points and 24 rebounds.  All those numbers were career marks for Jason and Hans.

Wentworth denied Hans the ball as much as possible, sent help to keep him from spinning into the paint, and kept the 6-9 senior off the offensive glass.  The result of the good defense was a 5-rebound, 8-point afternoon for the GC big man.  WIT has held Hans under double-figures in points for three straight meetings.

Jason Dempsey had 11 rebounds and points versus Wentworth

Jason Dempsey had 11 rebounds and points versus Wentworth

The Scots fell behind in the first four minutes of the game and never fully recovered.  WIT was able to extend its lead to ten (46-36) midway through the second half.  Gordon had the deficit cut to six (54-48) but on this afternoon couldn’t generate the high-percentage inside game to get closer.

The last minute of the first half was a killer for the visitors.  A successful jump shot by JohnMichael Fragnoli was followed by a block by Cam Sennick of Taylor Bajema’s layup attempt.  Nico Donato then found Tim Juitt for an NBA-length three that tickled the twine as the halftime buzzer sounded.  A one-point deficit turned into six points in a hurry.

Nico Donato came out on top of the Efficiency chart at 21 with sixteen points, four assists, and four rebounds.

Freshman Cesar Fulcar had an excellent second half getting ten points with two assists and two steals.

Worrisome to me was Gordon’s eighteen turnovers against a defense that wasn’t pressing full-court.  Too many players making mistakes in the offensive end.  That better improve fast because GC’s next opponent is Nichols (Tuesday night – 7:30PM) which had seventeen steals in a four-point win over Salve Regina today.

I saw two of WIT’s freshmen, Cesar Fulcar (Watertown) and Sam Knollmeyer (Winnacunnet – Hampton NH), play last year.

Sam Knollmeyer (11)

Sam Knollmeyer (11)

Cesar Fulcar (3) and Ryan Roach in D3 semi-finals

Cesar Fulcar (3) and Ryan Roach in D3 semi-finals

The video from the Wentworth website was excellent.

Efficiency:
Nico Donato 21
Jason Dempsey 20 (11 points/11 rebounds/3 assists)
Cesar Fulcar 15
Ray Bessette 14

Wentworth 78
Gordon 65

Boxscore

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Hans Miersma and Jason Dempsey dazzle in 75-71 Gordon OT win over Endicott

Jason Dempsey (20 points and 14 rebounds)

Jason Dempsey (20 points and 14 rebounds)

Hans Miersma had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (24)

Hans Miersma had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (24)

Gordon fans celebrate

Gordon fans celebrate

(Beverly MA) It took overtime and career games by Jason Dempsey and Hans Miersma for Gordon to defeat Endicott, 75-71, on Wednesday night at revved up MacDonald Gymnasium.

This was the Commonwealth Coast Conference opener for both squads.

The Scots (2-3) nearly won this game in regulation.  In overtime inside scores by Taylor Bajema and Jason Dempsey put GC in front for good.  Gordon converted nine-of-eleven free throws the rest of the way to offset two Endicott 3’s to get their fifth straight win over the Gulls.

Hans Miersma dunk

Hans Miersma dunk

The big story in this one is about the remarkable games of Jason and Hans.  Both seniors broke their career records in points, rebounds, and efficiency.

Here are their numbers versus Endicott:
Hans – 23 points, 24 rebounds, efficiency 39
Jason – 20 points, 14 rebounds, efficiency 24

Despite two opponents having career games, EC (2-2) rode the long ball (made twelve 3’s), Gordon miscues (twenty-four turnovers), and a loudly supportive home crowd and came very close to winning.

The Gulls scored the first ten points and later had a two-point (63-61) lead with 1:17 left to play after a Max Motroni 3-pointer.  But Gordon recovered from the bad start and had a 40-28 advantage at halftime.  After Max’s late three near the end of regulation, Hans Miersma made a layup to send the game into overtime.

Endicott was content to fire from long range.  Although they made twelve, they also missed twenty.  Meanwhile, Gordon opted for the high-percentage approach getting forty-four points in the paint.

Daquan Sampson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Gulls

Daquan Sampson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Gulls

Sophomore Daquan Sampson had a terrific game for the Gulls.  He had a double/double (21 points/11 rebounds) and three steals.  Daquan also drove a dunk over Hans Miersma that ignited the home folks.

Hans had a dunk of his own earlier.

Efficiency:
Hans Miersma 39
Daquan Sampson 25
Jason Dempsey 24
Max Motroni 12

Gordon 75
Endicott 69

Got my first look at freshman Carter Bras.  Carter saw twenty-two minutes of action filling in for foul-plagued Dominic Paradis.

Endicott visits UNE on Saturday while Gordon will be in Boston versus Wentworth on the same afternoon.

Boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Great chance for GC late in regulation

Great chance for GC late in regulation

Andre Makris charges Jason Dempsey

Andre Makris charges Jason Dempsey

Hans Miersma guarded by Tell White

Hans Miersma guarded by Tell White

Carter Bras blocked by John Henault

Carter Bras blocked by John Henault

Jake Hart (15) chased by Max Motroni

Jake Hart (15) chased by Max Motroni

Mine!

Mine!

Jaren Yang organizes the GC offense

Jaren Yang organizes the GC offense

Dominic Paradis drives on John Henault

Dominic Paradis drives on John Henault

Hans Miersma secures one of his 24 rebounds

Hans Miersma secures one of his 24 rebounds

Hans Miersma comes up a little short from the foul line in the last minute

Hans Miersma comes up a little short from the foul line in the last minute

Max Motroni (four 3-pointers) shoots over Dominic Paradis

Max Motroni (four 3-pointers) shoots over Dominic Paradis

Daquan Sampson jams over Hans Miersma

Daquan Sampson jams over Hans Miersma

 

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Salem State pressures Gordon into 77-67 loss

Hans Miersma dominated Salem State with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks

Hans Miersma dominated Salem State with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks

(Newtown CT) Gordon fell to non-league Salem State, 77-67, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

I am still in Connecticut with family and probably, on this occasion, was spared from watching a pretty ugly game.

The Commonwealth Coast Conference part of Gordon’s schedule starts on December 3rd (Wednesday) at Endicott at 7:30PM. There appears to be plenty of work needed for the Scots to be ready for CCC play.

Gordon (1-3) trailed from beginning to end. They didn’t take care of the ball (21 turnovers) and missed an alarming twelve free throws.

What helped GC stay in the game was that the Vikings (3-1) missed eighteen free throws.

I suspect that Gordon got its first taste of serious defense from Salem State. The Vikings’ eleven steals is a testimony to its effectiveness. The twenty-eight points they tallied off turnovers will encourage every future GC opponent to try their own version of defensive pressure. And you can’t blame them!

The Scots have had seasons in the past where ball care was a problem. In most seasons things in this area got better as the season progressed. We’ll get a better idea of the progress in the five December games.

The big positive out of the Salem State game was the continued good play of Hans Miersma. His stats have improved in each of the four games. He dominated the Vikings with seventeen points, twelve rebounds, and six blocks.

Efficiency

Hans Miersma 28
Anthony Hodge 15 (11 points/3 assists)
Jason Dempsey 13 (12 points/5 rebounds)
Jon Perez 13 (15 points/1 steal)
Hamed Akanni 13 (12 points/1 assist)

Salem State 81
Gordon 71

Julie and I have so much to be thankful for……….and so do you. I trust that Thanksgiving will be a time of doing exactly that for all of us.

Box score

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Gordon prevails in tight OT win over New Paltz 78-73

Hans Miersma had 15 points and 11 rebounds

Hans Miersma had 15 points and 11 rebounds

Sam Johnson collected nine points and nine rebounds

Sam Johnson collected nine points and nine rebounds

(Newtown CT) Gordon scored the last six points of overtime and defeated New Paltz, 78-73, on Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Chuck Resler Tournament held at Rochester, New York.

The Scots trailed by a point with 1:20 left in overtime but took the lead for good on layups by Hans Miersma and Jason Dempsey.  Jaren Yang closed out the scoring with two free throws in the last second.

Gordon gets its first win in a game that was there for the taking for both teams.  I watched on Rochester’s Live Stats and there was no comfort zone for either team.

The largest lead for either team?  Six points.  Tie scores? Eleven.  Lead changes? Sixteen.

Playing on short rest, Gordon struggled to take care of the ball and the Hawks (0-4) had fourteen steals.  I had to go back two years to a game against Leslie to find a similar game.

The shaky Gordon ball care was offset by a dominating inside effort.  The Scots had a 53-34 advantage on the boards.  The key stat of the game?  Gordon had 25 second-chance points.  New Paltz was limited to 10 points in that category.

Hans Miersma recovered from a foul-plagued, five-minute first half to pace Gordon with fifteen points and eleven rebounds.  The GC senior topped the Efficiency list with a 22.  Hans now has two straight double/doubles

Sophomore Sam Johnson played an important part in keeping Gordon in contention in the first half.   Sam had nine rebounds and nine points in easily his best game so far.

New Paltz didn’t have the size of GC’s first-round opponent (Rochester).  The Hawks opted to fire away from long range.  Kevin Roach (20 points) made his only three late in regulation to get the game into overtime.  The Scots had the ball for the final 22 seconds of regulation but could not draw a foul or make a shot during that time.

Freshman Jaren Yang finished with twelve points and three assists and was named to the All-Tourney team.

Efficiency List:
Hans Miersma 22
Kevin Roach 18
Sam Johnson 17
Jaren Yang 13
Andrew Seniuk 13
Taylor Sowah 13

Gordon 93
New Paltz 80

Gordon (1-2) returns to the Bennett Center on Tuesday night (7:30PM) facing Salem State.

Where’s New Paltz?  In eastern New York halfway between New York City and Albany.

Game boxscore

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