Monthly Archives: January 2008

More Fine Shooting Leads to Win 13 – Game #17

(Wenham) You never saw such shooting.  I know, I said that after the last game when Gordon blew out Curry but this was different because both teams, Gordon and New England College, shot over 50% for the game.

The bottom line was that the home team, your Fighting Scots, emerged victorious, 87-78, over the visiting Pilgrims on Thursday evening at the Bennett Center.

Gordon is now, 13-4, with a 5-2 Commonwealth Coast Conference record.  Ahead they have three extremely difficult games (Endicott-away, Bates-away, and Husson-home).  The Endicott game is Saturday afternoon at Beverly and those paying attention know that the Scots have NEVER won over there.  If the Gordon rooting section shows up it could be a full house with plenty of excitement.

New England never led in this game but for most of it they matched the Scots shot for shot.  “They hung in there,” said Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards.  “We just couldn’t stop them.  Give them credit.”

The way the Pilgrims stayed competitive throughout was very surprising considering that they’re winless in the CCC and during their previous five visits to the Bennett Center, they’ve lost by at least 18 points.  The effort his team displayed in this one pleased Pilgrim coach Charlie Mason.  “I hope it will give us some momentum the rest of the way.”

The pattern in the previous games between the two teams has been for Gordon to jump out to a big lead early and coast in.  When Gordon ran nine straight points and surged to an 11-2 advantage 4 ½ minutes in I thought the same type of game was about to unfold.  It didn’t happen.  Both teams scored 76 points apiece the rest of the way.

Gordon’s seniors had big contributions and big minutes.  “I thought that our seniors (Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT), Mike Schnackenberg (senior-6′6″-South Portland ME), and Jon Marstaller (senior-6′5″-Naples ME)) wouldn’t let us lose,” said Coach Schauer.  “We rode them a little bit tonight.”

Justin has found his shooting touch over the last four games totaling a remarkable 13-for-26 long range during that stretch.  “(Justin) Kaufman hit some big shots for them,” said Coach Mason.  “Last year another senior, Jerry Logan, hurt us.  The year before that it was the senior guard from Vermont (Scott Allenby). Is every time we come here Senior Day?”

Justin’s three with 2:44 left gave Gordon a ten-point lead (81-71) and enough of a cushion to keep even the torrid shooting Pilgrims from catching up.  Justin finished with 22 points of which 19 came in the second half. 

Mike Schnackenberg’s 19 points were his highest of the season.  He shoots over 50% for the season and didn’t hurt that stat at all with a 9-for-11 effort in this game.  The Scots had 23 assists and Mike was on the scoring end of quite a few of them. 

Coach Schauer wasn’t comfortable with all the scoring his team allowed but thought that his team needed a game like this one.  “This has been an odd year because we’ve either blown teams out or gotten blown out in most of them.  There has been none that has been tight down the stretch where we had to grind one out.  This was that game and we persevered.”

It proved to me that even in a game where holding the opponent to their CCC-leading 60.7 points per game goes out the window with 7 ½ minutes left Gordon has the scorers to take an offense that is averaging 69.7 points per game and pour in 87 points.  Whether the Scots can take that great shooting on the road against Endicott and Bates will go a long way toward our getting a read on how Gordon will do come tournament time because a road win or two may be required then.

After falling behind 11-2 early the Pilgrims got back to within one point several times but left trailing, 36-32, at the half.

Coach Schauer was delighted to be ahead at the half.  “We had both Justin and Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) in foul trouble for the first time together all season.  That forced us to play lineups that we haven’t played all season against a team that I didn’t think we could play those lineups against.  But we got through it.”

The second half was an amazing display of offense by both teams.  Gordon shot 65.4% and put up 51 points.  In fact, by my figuring, the Scots didn’t miss a shot during the last eight minutes.  And the way New England was shooting (57.6%) the Scots needed every point they could put up.

Gordon did get up by ten points (50-40) after an Aaron Trigg layup but consecutive 3’s from Rafael Salado put the Pilgrims within four points in a hurry.  Later a Brady Bajema (sophomore-6′2″-Whitinsville MA) three pushed Gordon’s advantage to nine (66-57 – 8:52) but the visitors answered with five of their own to close the gap to, 66-62, with 7 ½ minutes left.

The teams then swapped turnovers before Gordon went on a run of seven straight possessions with no missed shots or turnovers.  During this stretch of solid offense the Scots collected 15 points to the Pilgrims 9.  This put Gordon on top, 81-71, with 2:44 left and the Pilgrims didn’t have enough time to catch up.

Ryan Jaziri came in with a 23.8 points per game average and got 24 points in this one.  You never saw a quicker release on a 3-point shot.  He leads the CCC in scoring.

Kingsley Onyechi had a 14-point second half on his way to 22 points. 

The Pilgrims are 5-13 overall and 0-6 in the CCC.  Their next opponent is Salve Regina. 

Coach Schauer was never comfortable with the tempo of this game.  “There were no fouls.  There were no free throws.  The game just went back and forth.  We can’t play like that.  We’re not athletic enough.”

The lack of fouls on New England late in the game hurt them.  Gordon was trying to run time off the clock and every time the Pilgrims would foul it didn’t result in free throws.  Instead, the Scots kept the ball, the shot clock went back to 35 seconds, and they could play keep-away as more time went off the clock.

Anyhow, Gordon has three games in the next six days.  Each presents its own special challenge; the team has never won at Endicott, the team has never (?) beaten Bates, and Husson beat Gordon by 17 in Bangor in a game that was over at halftime. 

We know that Gordon can defend and we know that at home they can score points.  Can they do these things on the road versus Endicott and Bates?  I guess that’s why they play the games……..so we’ll be able to find out.

boxscore New England January 31st

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Gordon College Men’s Basketball Record Holder Jim Petty Joins Hall of Honor

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Gordon College inducted Jim Petty of the Class of 1995 into their Hall of Honor on January 26, 2008.

A mere check of the Fighting Scots records in their media guide makes it easy to see that Jim deserved such an honor.  He holds a couple of all-time numbers that could be in the books for a long time – most points scored (1,902), highest career average (18.2).

Realizing that Jim might be at the Curry game (January 26th), I decided that I would try to interview him for this blog.  I also hoped to do the same with his coach Steve Heintz.  Things worked out with Jim but Coach Heintz was involved in a Lexington Christian Academy basketball game and was not available.

Jim attended Gordon from 1991-95 and I had seen him play a couple of times.  I remembered him as tall, thin and a very good outside shooter.  Even before catching up to Jim, I learned that thirteen years after graduating he could still play.  I got that information from 2007 graduate Mike Herr who matched up against him at the Alumni Game held in the morning.

When informed about how he had impressed a much younger, former basketball player he said, “I don’t know how impressive I was.  I still enjoy the game and it’s hard for me to let it go.  I invested so much of my life into the game early on.  I still play with some church guys but it’s not organized or consistent.”  Jim still looked to be at his Gordon playing weight.

I was curious to know how someone from Philadelphia ended up at Gordon.  “I was a 10th grader and Steve Heintz came to recruit another player who was the star of the team I was on.  He saw me play and told me that some day he would like to talk to me about coming to Gordon.  That started a relationship that has not ended.”

Jim said that he knew that because he had grown up in a big city he needed a big-city connection while at college.  “Boston seemed like a great place to have a college experience.”

I asked him about his memories of the teams he played on from 1991-95.  “As a freshman I just remember playing with some really great juniors and seniors that I just admired so much and they taught me a lot.  Then as a sophomore, I really had to step up and carry the team from a scoring standpoint.  That was a whole new experience for me.  My junior and senior years I really developed incredibly close friendships with a few of the guys on the teams. We’ve really bonded, and we’re still friends to this day.  So I have great memories both on the court and off the court especially those last few years.”

One of the most difficult parts about coming back to Gordon after being away for a while are the changes you’re confronted with.  Many of the changes are for the greater good but it does take some getting used to.  For any Gordon athlete who played prior to 1996 the Bennett Center is a site to behold.  His reaction to the Bennett Center is probably typical.  “I first saw it in 2001 and was just amazed.  I wish I’d had those facilities when I played.”

Jim played his basketball on the Gordon campus at Rhodes Gymnasium.  “We had a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in that building,” he recalled.  “It’s a little tough to go past it now and see that it’s an art gallery.”

Jim has settled in Georgia and works for a development company that builds retirement communities across the country.  He told me that he has been in the retirement community business ever since he graduated. 

Was there any connection between his time at Gordon and his eventual career choice?  “Definitely, yes.  As a student at Gordon, I was part of a nursing home ministry team.  We would visit local nursing homes. Some of the conditions I saw appalled me and it made an impression on me.  I got to know many seniors during these visits and still remember some of the conversations I had.  After graduation, a business opportunity presented itself in the retirement community field and I took it.  We try to build nursing homes that are much better than the ones in the past.” 

Jim admitted that he was familiar with the current Gordon team.  “My seven-year-old son and I have seen some of the games on the internet.  The team has a bright future.”

I did not talk to Jim after Gordon’s rout of Curry (93-63) but I suspect that the great Scot shooting he observed might have brought back a memory or two of his high-scoring afternoons and evenings at Rhodes.

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You Say You Want Shooting? – Game #16

(Wenham) Maybe it was having Gordon’s all-time men’s scoring leader (Jim Petty) in the house.  Whatever it was, the Scots put on the best shooting show that I can remember as they blew out the visiting Curry Colonels, 93-63, at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon in an important Commonwealth Coast Conference game.

“Obviously, if you shoot it the way we did the game gets pretty easy,” explained Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards.

The Scots ended up a sizzling 65.2% (34 for 52) for the game including a remarkable 15-for-23 from long range.  Those 15 three’s look especially impressive when you realize that Gordon’s previous best total in a game from long distance had been nine.

“This is why you want to finish ahead of Gordon in the conference,” explained Curry coach Malcolm Wynn.  “To play them here (in the CCC tournament) is an unfair advantage.  I can’t understand what happens to them on the road.”

The victory puts Gordon at 12-4 overall and, more important, makes their record 4-2 in the CCC.  After a tough two-game losing streak (ENC and Roger Williams) on the road the Scots were at a crucial juncture in their season.  “We needed an effort like that,” said Coach Schauer.  “We’ve been struggling offensively.  It was nice to break out of it a little bit.”

That’s not a typo.  He did say a “little” bit.  Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) – 25 points.  Brady Bajema (sophomore-6′2″-Whitinsville MA) – so hot from downtown in the second half that the New Blue Sea started chanting his name.  And those are just the highlights.  Good shooting broke out all over the place and the sizable crowd of returning students had plenty to cheer about.

The outside shooting was terrific but the key to this game was on the inside for both teams.

“I really challenged Jon (Marstaller),” said Coach Schauer.  “He’s coasted through a couple of games.  He certainly didn’t in this one (14 points-9 rebounds).  When he’s playing well he gets plenty of attention.  Today this opened things up for Aaron (Trigg) and Justin (Kaufman).”

Unfortunately, for Curry they lost much of their inside presence early (five minutes in) when 6-10 senior Johnathan Bowers knocked knees with a Gordon player.  He came back later in the half and limped around and then didn’t play in the second half.  Johnathan was just coming off being CCC Player-of-the-Week and Curry had no one who would give them the 17.6 points per game that he was averaging or the ten rebounds per game.

“Those things happen,” said Coach Wynn.  “Our plan coming in was to go inside (as Roger Williams had done with Geoff Barranger).  And with all due respects to Geoff Barranger, he’s not the player I feel that our guy is.”  The Colonels hope to have Johnathan back for their next game at Anna Maria on Thursday.

The Colonels made the first basket – three from Mark Mastrullo – and then someone must have said, “Let the shooting begin!”  Answering three’s from Jon Marstaller (senior-6′5″-Naples ME) and Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT) were followed by a nifty inside layup from Jon and the Scots were literally off to the races.  Shortly after this surge Gordon was at it again reeling off six straight (featuring an Aaron Trigg steal and layin) and this put the Scots up, 14-7, just 4 ½ minutes into the game. 

Then Curry lost their best player inside (Johnathan Bowers) for a while.  The Scots stretched their lead to, 29-19, by the time he was back.  Even in a subpar condition Johnathan made a couple of shots but the player he was covering, Jeff Derr (sophomore-6′8″-Barrington IL), answered with a couple of outside shots. 

Still within range (40-30) with three minutes left, the Colonels were victimized by a ten-point Gordon run.  A nice feed from Brady Bajema to Mike Schnackenberg (senior-6′6″-South Portland ME) started it and then Aaron Trigg hit a couple of three’s and free throws to finish it. Loice Williams hit a long three at the very end of the half but Curry trailed, 50-33.

“I warned the team at halftime that Curry can score points in bunches,” said Coach Schauer.  Not on this day.  The Scots took a while to get going in the second half – a miss and two turnovers – but an Aaron Trigg three assisted by Justin Kaufman (he had 12 in the game) got the on-target offense rolling again.

Brady Bajema had an “interesting” second half.  He had missed the previous game (Roger Williams) with a sore elbow and was wearing a significant brace on that elbow in this game.  Might be a good idea for the next opponent to see if there could be some sort of GPS device concealed in that brace.  Why?  Well, after Brady left the game bleeding he came back into the game with a new number (21) and that brace I just mentioned.  It took Brady only two minutes to drill four 3’s and earn the “BRA-DY, BRA-DY,” chants from the crowd.

The Colonels were reduced to the role of spectators at Brady’s barrage and when he was done they were down, 74-51, with nine minutes left.  The Scots had three more long ones left in them the rest of the way (Jeff Derr, Brady, and Aaron) and won going away, 93-63.

Curry (7-10 overall and 3-2 in the CCC) was led by their two terrific guards, Tim Jones (21) and Mark Mastrullo (17).  Tim Jones is the top scorer in the CCC and just about the fastest guard you’ll ever see.  “Tim Jones is almost impossible to defend,” said Coach Schauer.  The Scots sent their two best defenders after him, Justin Kaufman and Aaron Trigg, but he still got his points.  Fortunately, for Gordon, Curry didn’t do any damage inside.

Coach Wynn said he came into this game with high expectations.  “I thought that this one was winnable.  And I still think that we are the best team in the league.  We just don’t play like it every game.”

Gordon has now won 22 straight conference games at home.  When asked about the team shooting so well at home Coach Schauer said, “As someone who made shots (at Wheaton) I can tell you that it’s much easier to shoot in a gym that you’re familiar with.”

The Scots next game (Thursday night – New England College) is the perfect trap game.  The visiting Pilgrims are struggling big-time.  They’ve lost five in a row.  They’re 0-5 in the CCC and they’re 4-12 overall.  How easy it will be for the Scots to look past New England to the always entertaining matchup against Endicott next Saturday afternoon.  I’m guessing that the memory of the devastating loss to underdog ENC last Saturday should keep everyone on the team from letting that happen.  Let’s hope so.

I mentioned Jim Petty earlier.  The former Gordon scoring machine was on hand because he will be inducted into the Gordon Hall of Honor this evening.  I interviewed the 1995 graduate before the Curry game and expect to put an article together tomorrow regarding that conversation. 

boxscore Curry 1-26-08
 

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Geoff Barranger Riddles Gordon Defense – Game #15

(Bristol RI) Senior Geoff Barranger tore through an assortment of Gordon defenses and defenders for 27 points and led Roger Williams past the Scots, 68-57, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Wednesday night.

No doubt RWU coach Mike Tully looked at the CCC preseason coaches poll (RWU picked 4th) and his own CCC schedule and realized that he would know early on how good his team was.  Well, four games in the Hawks are looking awfully good.  Why?  For one thing, they’re the only team left undefeated in the CCC and the other thing is that they have already beaten the three teams picked to finish ahead of them, including your Gordon College Fighting Scots.

This game was all about Gordon’s inability, especially in the second half, to defend Geoff Barranger.  The 6-10 senior has shot over 50% the last two seasons and has gotten even better this year clicking on 61% of his shots.  We’re not talking long range here just short jumpers and spins to the basket.  During the first half, Geoff was noticed but his impact was minimal (3 for 7 – 8 points).  The second half?  Nightmare City (8 for 12 – 19 points).

This game reminded me of the Scots loss to ENC on Saturday – in range at halftime but unable to find enough offense or defense in the second half to come away winners. 

“Any time you beat a good team like Gordon you know that you have to play well to do it,” said Hawk coach Mike Tully afterwards.  “I told Mike (Schauer) before the game that we hadn’t been defending real well but we sure did tonight.”

RWU’s tight man-to-man defense showed up on the stat sheet.  The Hawks collected 12 steals which was the 2nd best against Gordon.  They also defended the Scots into 20 turnovers which was a season-high for Gordon.

Therefore, you’ve got an inconsistent offense coupled with a defense that cannot stop the other team’s big guy inside.  Seems like the ingredients for a blowout but sheer tenacity on the part of the Scots had them within one good run of points from making this one interesting at the end.

The Hawks took the lead for good (7- 6 after 3 ½ minutes) on Geoff Barranger’s short jumper.  Later in the half RWU ran ten unanswered points featuring two 3’s by Michael Woolley and looked to be in complete control (27-14) with 6 ½ left.  However, a Gordon timeout and some high-volume instructions drove the Scots to a strong finish and they trailed only 32-30 at halftime.  Three’s from Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) (2), Jon Marstaller (senior-6′5″-Naples ME)  and Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT) (1 each) paced the 16-5 turnaround.

All that encouraging work at the end of the half was soon undone in the second half.  The Scots started out with two missed shots and two turnovers while the Geoff Barranger Show began – first a jumper, then a layup, and then a converted rebound.  This one-man spurt gave the Hawks some breathing room (38-30) and revealed the fact that RWU had money in the bank in close when needed.

“We didn’t try to go deliberately to Geoff,” explained Coach Tully afterwards.  “We just got it to him at better times.” 

Assistant Coach Jeremy Martin told me afterwards that the team was trying to give help defending Geoff Barranger.  “We just didn’t get the help defending done.”

Gordon did get the lead down to five (44-39) when Aaron Trigg connected on his third three with less than nine minutes left but you-know-who answered with a layup and a foul shot and quickly the lead was eight again (47-39) with 8 ½ to go.  The fouler was Ben Gaskill (sophomore-6′9″-Columbus OH) and it was his 5th.  Ben’s early exit put the Scots in a real dilemma inside.  They even tried a zone.  Ultimately, undersized Jon Marstaller got the defensive assignment.    Geoff scored his last points on a layup with 2:45 left. 

A Justin Kaufman three narrowed the lead to, 61-55, with a little over a minute left but the Hawks converted enough free throws down the stretch to pull away, 68-57.

Gordon (11-4) must make a quick recovery.  Those eleven wins are nice but their “real” record is 3-2 in the CCC.  The wins at Schenectady and over defending champs Wentworth are a distant memory.  Somehow, a two-game conference losing streak must be ended at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon against Curry.  Fortunately the Blue Sea should be back in force.  Unfortunately, Curry has the inside presence of Johnathan Bowers (6-10 and athletic).  Can the Scots take better care of the ball?  Can the Scots defend better on the inside?  We’ll get the answers on Saturday afternoon and they better be, “Yes,” and “Yes,” if this is going to be the successful season many of us are hoping for.

The Scots were without Brady Bajema (sophomore-6′2″-Whitinsville MA).  He told me before the game that he had hurt his elbow but expected to be ready for the Curry game.

I couldn’t help but look at the play of Geoff Barranger and wonder if Gordon’s Ben Gaskill might reach that level in two years.  He’s already 6-9 and he has a shooting touch around the basket.  He must get stronger and more confident.  It would also help if he stayed out of foul trouble.  Against RWU he had five fouls in eleven minutes all while covering Geoff Barranger.  He did block one of Geoff’s shots. 

While we’re talking individuals, let me mention Tim MacDonnell (sophomore-6′2″-Jericho VT).  To opponents he’s the “guy with the goggles.”  To the rest of us he’s the guy who literally launches himself after loose balls.  Be on full alert on the perimeter if the basketball starts heading your way because Tim is more than likely to be on his way airborne.  Against RWU he had four assists and none of the 20 turnovers the Scots had and picked up his most minutes (22) of the season.  His energy level is a thing to behold.

Catching a view of the bigger picture: I read in Life Application regarding James 1:2 this morning, “Considering your troubles to be joy comes from seeing life with God’s perspective in mind.  We may not be able to understand the specific reasons for God’s allowing certain experiences to crush us or wear us down, but we can be confident that his plan is for our good.  What may look hopeless or impossible to us never looks that way to God!”

boxscore Roger Williams 1-23-08
 

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Gordon Stunned by Underdog ENC – Game #14

(Quincy) In a game in which even the most optimistic would have struggled to give Eastern Nazarene a chance to win, the hometown Crusaders stunned the highly successful Gordon College Fighting Scots, 82-69, on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference play.  Gordon is now 3-1 in CCC games.

Afterwards, Gordon coach Mike Schauer made sure, by repetition, that I understood why the game, in his opinion,  went the way it did.  “Give ENC credit.  They played extremely well.  It would be easy to spend a lot of time talking about what we didn’t do well but the first thing to recognize is how well they played.”

There was no way that the team statistics going in would have even hinted that ENC would have a chance.  Let’s consider a few things.  Gordon defeated ENC, 64-50, 44 days ago.  In that game the Crusaders shot 36.7% (18 for 49) and missed all seven 3’s they attempted.  The Gordon defeat started ENC on a six-game losing streak.  Gordon had won five straight including wins over nationally ranked Plattsburgh State and CCC preseason favorite Wentworth.  Is there something there I’m missing that suggests that ENC had a chance?  Didn’t think so.

However, in this one the Crusaders (now 4-10) played a complete game and certainly raised some questions about how good Gordon (now 11-3) really is especially on the road.  We’ll learn a bit more about the Scots on Wednesday night when they travel to Bristol (RI) to take on Roger Williams.  Roger Williams has beaten Wentworth and Western New England in their last two games.

The statistic that told the story was ENC’s shooting efficiency.  The Gordon defense has limited opponents to a league-leading 58.3 points per game.  The Crusaders got their 59th point in this game with nearly 13 minutes left.  “We just never stopped them,” said Coach Schauer.

ENC came in averaging 62.5 points per game.  In this one a three by Colby DaSilva gave them their 65th point with ten minutes remaining.

So we saw very good shooting from beginning to end from the home team.  Gordon couldn’t keep up and once down by double figures in the second half were in big trouble.

Gordon got off to a decent start and had a 12-8 lead on a Ben Gaskill (sophomore-6′9″-Columbus OH) layup after 4 ½ minutes.  That would be their biggest lead.  With the score tied at 15, the Crusaders ran eleven straight featuring strong inside moves from JP Marcellus and Luc Jasmin.  Alex Carr added a three.  That put ENC in front, 26-15, with eight minutes until halftime.

“We want to play off of our big guys (Marcellus and Jasmin),” said ENC coach Jon Yeh.  And that they did and once Gordon defenders tried to help a teammate inside, things opened up long range for the Crusaders. 

The Scots put together their best offense of the day answering ENC’s run with an eight-point run to close to, 26-23, featuring a three from Tim MacDonnell (sophomore-6′2″-Jericho VT).  They were still within range, 33-29, a couple of minutes later before things went south.

“There was a stretch when we had an 11-point lead and it went down considerably,” recalled Coach Yeh.  “When we got it back to eleven it was huge because it gave us a cushion.”  Alex Carr and Jeremy Hueston dialed long distance in the sequence that gave ENC a 42-31 halftime spread.

It was easy to expect the Scots to roar back in the second half to take command and have us wondering later what had happened in the first half.  “I thought that we would come back,” said Coach Schauer.

Gordon started okay with layups from Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT) and Mike Schnackenberg (senior-6′6″-South Portland ME) narrowing the lead to, 42-35. 

However, the Crusaders answered with a back-breaking, nine-point run.  DeAngelo Alston drained a three and Andrew Brown added a jumper. JP Marcellus then drove the baseline and spun up a shot that somehow went in.  He also added a couple of free throws.  All this positive activity (for the home team) put them in command, 51-35, and they had more then enough shooting accuracy at their disposal on this day to carry them to victory comfortably.

No doubt the icing on the cake came within the last four minutes, for the ENC faithful, when a lob from DeAngelo Alston was jammed home in resounding fashion by high-flying JP Marcellus.

“We beat a great team in Gordon,” said Coach Yeh.  “This is a big win not just for this team and this season but for our program.”  It certainly shows what ENC is capable of when their shots are falling.  Wednesday night they face UNE at home.  After the Gordon-ENC score reaches Biddeford, Maine you can be sure that the Nor’easters won’t come in underestimating the Crusaders.

The Gordon guards did much of the team’s scoring as Justin Kaufman collected 21 points and Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) added 13 points.  Justin also handed out a season-high 11 assists.

JP Marcellus finished with another double/double against Gordon.  Coach Schauer admitted after the game at Gordon that, “JP is a bad matchup for us.”  I don’t think that that assessment changed any after this game.  Coach Schauer may want to make sure that the senior graduates in May.

Freshman DeAngelo Alston may have been the smallest player on the court but that didn’t keep him from quarterbacking his team nicely and nailing five-of-seven shots.  That’s how he got 17 points.  How he was able to get seven rebounds at 5’7” is much harder to figure.

Good news before the men’s game as the Gordon women defeated ENC, 46-43, and enabled Coach Jeannine Cavallaro to take win #100. 

In attendance was #44 (Mike Herr).  The graduated sharpshooter is employed as a staff accountant/financial analyst near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

This certainly would have been a good game to put Mike back into his uniform.  Who could forget the quick offense he used to provide?  While we’re at it, if only we could have also dressed the other recent graduate, assistant coach Jerry Logan.  Last year’s CCC Defensive-Player-of-the-Year might have done something to slow down ENC’s outside shooters. 

Remembering the on-any-given-day theory: If ENC can beat Gordon isn’t there a chance that San Diego could defeat the Patriots? 

boxscore ENC 1-19-08
 

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Gordon Routs Defenseless Anna Maria for 11th Win – Game #13

(Wenham) Confronted with some of the softest defense they’ll ever see Gordon cruised to Win #3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference defeating Anna Maria, 95-66, at the subdued Bennett Center on Tuesday evening.

Facing a team that surrendered 84.4 points per game coming in the Scots had no reason to be their usual deliberate selves.  Good shots seemed to turn up early on almost every possession and Gordon took full advantage.  “We were unselfish,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer in a very brief interview afterwards.  No stat better reflects the way this game went then the Scots 28 assists – their previous high was 20.

Gordon, now 11-2 overall, takes its act on the road against ENC on Saturday and to Roger Williams on Tuesday.  Believe me, the atmosphere in those places will be completely different from what we saw tonight.  The Gordon students aren’t back until next week.  I continue to wonder why college students miss so much of January. 

7 ½ minutes into this game Gordon had a 19-9 advantage.  Every starter had scored and the team had only missed one shot.  The Amcats (6-8) had averaged 80 points per game against previous opponents.  But even with an up-tempo style there were few easy baskets against a Gordon defense that had been keeping opponents under 60 points per game.

An Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) three in the last minute gave Gordon a 46-30 halftime advantage.

The visitors tallied the first five points of the second half but shortly thereafter their porous defense did them in.  The Scots ran ten unanswered points and with 15 ½ minutes left the score reached 58-37.  The issue was no longer which team would win but by how much would Gordon win by.  Benches cleared and everyone able to play did play.

Mike Schnackenberg (senior-6′6″-South Portland ME) continued his high-percentage shooting going 8-for-9 to reach a team leading 17 points.  As a team the Scots set a season high in shooting percentage – 64.9%. 

Brady Bajema (sophomore-6′2″-Whitinsville MA) set a personal high with six assists while Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT) tied his season high with seven assists. 

Jon Marstaller (senior-6′5″-Naples ME) ended with 14 points but might well have gotten double that if he had played longer.  He saw lanes to the basket that he probably won’t see again for the rest of the season.

Ben Gaskill (sophomore-6′9″-Columbus OH) was the leading rebounder in the game with seven.  What I liked best was his full-speed slash to the basket in the first half. 

Greg Walker (freshman-6′7″-Uxbridge MA) continues to look like a player deserving of more playing time.  “Greg has been sensational in practice for a long time,” said Coach Schauer.  “He’s ready to make the jump to more playing time.”

I didn’t see the Wheelock game so I got my first look at Austin Benston (freshman-6′2″-Branchville NJ) and Dain Scheibel (freshman-5′9″-Gambrills MD).  Austin drilled a three and Dain showed that he’s familiar with the point-guard position. 

The blowout status of this game benefited Aaron Trigg.  His minutes were shortened to 24.  He has been leading the entire Commonwealth Coast Conference in minutes with over 35 per game.

Next up for the Scots is ENC down in Quincy on Saturday afternoon.  Last time the teams met it was the Blue Sea against the Red Sea.  This time it’ll probably be the Red Sea against a team from Wenham.  I wonder if the chicken and the gorilla will be running around loose again.  Speaking of running around loose, a friend of mine arrived at the Anna Maria game late and reported seeing a deer running loose on Grapevine Road across from the Bennett Center. 

Anna Maria’s next game is against Colby-Sawyer at home on Saturday.  The Chargers had over 100 points against New England College tonight.  Based on the shaky Anna Maria defense I witnessed tonight another 100 point game for Colby-Sawyer on Saturday would not surprise me at all.

boxscore Anna Maria 1-15-08

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Filed under Anna Maria, Gordon Men's Basketball 2007-08