By Peter McClelland
(Bangor) They chanted “over-rated, over-rated” in the last minute. My only question was why did they wait so long?
The Husson Eagles took control midway through the second half and won easily, 70-53, in non-league action on Thursday night at Bangor.
Husson Coach Warren Caruso was delighted with the result. “This was as good as we’ve been on both ends this whole semester.” The Eagles are now 7-1 and you have to wonder who ahead can give them a second loss. They do have a trip in January to face currently undefeated Bates in Lewiston. Bates better be ready.
Sometimes the game score is misleading but the box score generally isn’t. One stat in this one that’s nearly as excruciating as some of that pre-game music at Gordon is the Scot’s second half shooting percentage (6/24 – 25%).
To see a team that so far has been able to run up and down the court averaging 82 points per game, miss so many attempts, was an eye-opener. Credit Husson. There weren’t too many open shots to be had.
“They do a nice job with their motion offense,” explained Coach Caruso. “In this game we were able to get to their shooters enough to disrupt their rhythm.”
“Disrupt?” I guess. Gordon’s leading scorer, Mike Herr, was defended by sophomore Scotty Kissinger into a 1-for-6 evening while 1st team ALL-CCC Jon Marstaller was confronted by freshman shot-blocker Martin Cleveland and made only one of eight attempts.
Was this ever a competitive game? Yes, it was. In fact, with three minutes left in the half the score was tied at 29 after Gordon had a run of seven straight thanks to a lay-up by freshman Aaron Trigg and a lay-up and a trey from sophomore Tim DeLuca.
The rest of the half this game started to get out of hand. The Eagles dominated the inside while the Scots had shots blocked and turnovers. The Eagles were up, 37-31, at halftime.
Six minutes into the second half Gordon was only down, 48-40, after a Tim DeLuca three put an end to six straight possessions with no points including three turnovers. There was still plenty of time (14 minutes) but on this night the Scots didn’t have what it takes to hang in.
The Eagles hit 3’s, jumpers, lay-ups, you name it and five minutes later a relatively close game (48-40) turned into a, 62-41, laugher for the home team. Gordon Coach Mike Schauer certainly wasn’t laughing about it afterwards.
“I expected a basketball team that was going to compete and I didn’t get it,” he explained. “Tonight wasn’t an X’s and 0’s problem. It was a coaching error of motivation and discipline.”
Maybe it’s good for the team’s sake that they won’t be practicing again until December 28th.
It certainly didn’t help Gordon’s chances when Justin Kaufman carried no points and three turnovers into the second half and then went out with an ankle injury two minutes into the second half.
This team has a great chance to win when each of the Big Four (Check out the Gordon online media guide) contributes positively. “Positively” doesn’t have to just mean points. It can be assists, blocks, steals, rebounds, and good defense. In this one Jerry Logan (16 points/4 assists) was truly the Lone Ranger and even his good game was offset by four turnovers.
Anyhow, that makes Gordon 6-2 and once again they go into a Christmas break on a losing streak. A look ahead at the schedule shows their next opponent to be Northwestern Bible of Minnesota at the Bennett Center on January 2nd. You’re thinking it might be an easy one? Forget about it! They’ve only lost one game.
“People have been making fun of our schedule,” said Coach Schauer. “What they haven’t noticed is that we’re in the middle of facing three teams (Salem State/Husson/Northwestern) that are a combined 21-3.”
It will be interesting to see which Gordon team shows up on January 2nd – the one that gave Salem State a scare or the one that looked to be in over its head against Husson.
Martin Cleveland (6’6” – freshman) is as good a young big man as you’ll see in D3. I’d say he’s at least a D2 player. He has quite an arsenal of in-close shots. The Eagles made all sorts of attempts to lob in to him early…………Senior Tyler Muzzy joined Gordon’s Mike Herr in the 1000 point club………………Jon Marstaller, Tim DeLuca, and assistant Coach Jeremy Martin each had played a game at Husson in a former life.…………………What can you say about parents driving seven hours to a game? I’m sure Justin will think of something…………………Warren Caruso has coached at Husson for 14 years and has a record of 245-111 including a 141-37 slate in the North Atlantic Conference. Those conference numbers look like Endicott’s and Colby-Sawyer’s…………………For a while in the second half we saw freshmen Brady Bajema, Jeff Derr, and Aaron Trigg on the floor together……………………For unto us a Son is given. Thank you, Father, for that gift!