By Peter McClelland
(Newport) – Gordon withstood a furious second half comeback attempt by Salve Regina and remained undefeated (4-0) in Commonwealth Coast Conference action, 68-55 in a game played on Saturday afternoon in scenic Newport. The final score does not indicate that this was a game that saw the Scots ahead by as many as 20 (44-24) early in the second half only to see the Seahawks reduce that margin to, 52-46, with 5 ½ to go. Gordon foul shot its way to victory thereafter, in fact, the Scots last 18 points were from the foul line.
“I thought we gave a gutty effort,” said Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards. “I didn’t think we played real well but that was partly because Salve played very hard and took a lot of our offense away.”
That wasn’t true in the first half, however. Against the Seahawk man-to-man Gordon patiently turned up open outside shots and drilled over half of them creating leads of, 12-2, 23-7, and 34-16, before going off at halftime up, 40-23.
“We’ve gotten off to slow starts lately,” lamented Salve coach Sean Foster. “They had some guys hot early. With our low shooting percentage playing from behind is never e
But changing defenses nearly turned the trick for the hosts in the second half. Salve went into a high match-up zone and Gordon struggled to find answers. “We had problems with their zone,” explained coach Schauer. “When Scott (Beebe) missed his first two open looks against it the rest of the team seemed to lose confidence.”
Salve, meanwhile, started turning turnovers (Gordon had 14 in the second half) into points. A steal and a 3-pointer by 1000-point scorer Rafael Cardoso got the crowd revved up and the outcome was seriously in doubt with Gordon’s lead reduced to six (52-46) with 5 ½ minutes remaining.
That was the best the Seahawks could do, however. Two missed foul shots (one an ugly air ball) and Salve was forced to foul in order to stop the clock and attempt to force more turnovers. It didn’t work. Gordon converted six foul shots in a row pushing their advantage to 58-46, and the Seahawk comeback was foiled.
The overall Gordon record is now at 10-2. Salve is at a surprising 2-8 overall but 2-2 in the CCC. “It was a great win for us against the team that was picked to win the Southern Division of the CCC,” said coach Schauer.
“Gordon is solid,” explained coach Foster. “A shooting team like theirs is always dangerous.”
Gordon’s next opponent, in more CCC action, is arch-rival Endicott on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center. The Gulls pinned a loss on powerful Colby-Sawyer recently.
This game has some statistical surprises. How often does Scott Beebe score 20 points? Most of the time but how often does he get 10 rebounds? Another surprise was that the Scot took only 11 shots in the entire second half. I guess with 14 turnovers and 26 foul shots there wasn’t much time for regular shooting!
Hayes Murray was also in double figures for Gordon with 10 points, all in the first half. It was nice to see freshman John Beebe ring up his first trey of the season in the first half.
Rafael Cardoso paced the Seahawks with 18 (13 in the second half) followed by Greg Kawula (14) and Bryan Dlugolenski (10).