By Peter McClelland
(Bristol,RI) – “Any road win is a good road win,” explained Gordon coach Mike Schauer after watching the Scots hang on for a, 51-48, Commonwealth Coast Conference victory on the road against unfortunate Roger Williams.
“Everyone will talk about their comeback but the bottom line is we won and now have Colby-Sawyer at home next Tuesday,” added coach Schauer.
The Scots are really on a roll. They are now 13-2 overall as well as 6-0 in the CCC. They are riding a seven-game winning streak and have won every road game (six) they’ve played.
The Hawks (1-11, 1-5 CCC) never led in this one but only a rimmed-out, last-second three kept them from tying the game and sending it into overtime. The biggest guy on the court (6’8” Brian Scharrenweber) launched that near-miss. “Granted he was our 5th option on the play but he still has that kind of range,” said Roger Williams coach Mike Tully afterwards.
Coach Schauer told his team before the game that, “Roger Williams was probably the best 1-10 team in the history of college basketball.”
It was sure hard to believe that in the first half, though. It took the Hawks 5 ½ minutes to score a point. Meanwhile Gordon ran off 11 straight. Five minutes later the Scots put together a 13-point run and put themselves comfortably ahead, 25-9. Gordon led, 28-14, at halftime.
“We struggled in the first half,” explained coach Tully. “A lot of that, however, can be attributed to their tight defense. They denied the wings and wouldn’t let us run our man offense.”
When Scott Beebe opened the second half canning a jumper and Hayes Murray followed with a three, to make it, 33-14, early in the second half, you had the feeling that this one could become a laugher before too long. Wrong.
The momentum swing happened shortly after the Hawks switched into a high zone defense. The number of open 3’s decreased for Gordon and the Hawks started to make shots.
A 13-2 Hawk spurt narrowed the lead to, 37-29, before Scott Beebe was fouled and made all three free throws with ten minutes left to quell the momentum for the moment. Later, the Hawks put together a 9-point run, keyed by two 3’s from freshman Chris Cormier, to make things real interesting, 46-44, with three minutes to go.
But that was as close as Roger Williams would get. Scott Beebe drained his biggest three of the game and when he missed his next one Josh Sylvester was on hand to put back the rebound and provide the winning points.
“Gordon is tough to defend,” said coach Tully. “They have plenty of shooters and three of those kids (Josh Sylvester, Joe Witherspoon, Scott Beebe) have played a lot of basketball together.”
“I was not unhappy with our defensive effort in this game at all,” explained coach Schauer. “They only got 48 points. We got tentative on offense in the second half, though, and that has happened before. We need to take the open shots when they come up.”
Coach Schauer had high praise for Josh Sylvester. “He was our best player this week. He did get a technical today though and that forced me to have him on the bench for a lot of minutes in the second half. We need him on the court.”
Both teams struggled from beyond the arc. The Hawks missed all nine attempts in the first half while Gordon was a meager 3 for 13 in the second half. However, with the game in the balance Scott Beebe did make one.
Scott paced Gordon scorers with 13 points while Josh Sylvester and Joe Witherspoon added 11 each.
Chris Cormier and Brian Scharrenweber led the Hawks with 13 each.