(Wenham) Gordon returned to its winning ways with some of the sweetest foul shooting (24 of 26) you will ever see and defeated non-league Bates, 64-52, at the Bennett Center (That’s right!) on Thursday night.
The Scots (16-6 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) were down 33-31 with 10 ½ minutes left in the game. Without any sort of warning, Gordon then proceeded to score the next twenty points before Bates finally lit their side of the scoreboard with a layup from Nick Schmiemann with 3:17 left.
That amazing 20-point run (easily the longest of the season) had the Scots in front, 51-33, and, unlike at Nichols, the free throw shooting the rest of the way by Aaron and Brady (combined 13 of 14) kept the Bobcats a safe distance away.
The win ended a three game slide at home, which had begun to be troubling for all of us. Now the team moves ahead with some confidence to face Western New England (5-5 in the CCC) at 3PM in Wenham.
The race for the six playoff spots after UNE and Colby-Sawyer is way too close at this point with three CCC games to go. The possibility of being on the outside looking in when the season ends still exists. This fact will add to the tension of the last three contests, two of which are at home.
Bates (12-11) is a team that Gordon had never beaten until tonight. That is yet another first in the Mike Schauer era. We also have never beaten Western New England at the Bennett Center – okay, we’ve never played them at home. But it could be another Coach Schauer first in the making.
Both coaches could take away a statistical goody from the game. For Gordon it was the delightful season-high foul shooting percentage (92.3%). For Bates it was their rebounding. Their 46 rebounds, including 18 offensive rebounds, were season highs against your Scots.
The field goal shooting was nothing special for either team. The Scots hit their third lowest percentage (34%) of the season. The other lower ones led to losses to Roger Williams and Salem State.
The fingernails-on-the-blackboard stat for the Bobcats was definitely having only four assists combined with 17 turnovers. They had five of those turnovers during the game-deciding, 20-point streak in the second half.
No doubt, Bobcat first-year coach Jon Furbush wasn’t thrilled with his team getting only nine free throws while Gordon had 26. He shared those sentiments with the officials in a loud voice and next thing you knew Brady was shooting two technical foul shots.
By the way, Brady was 14-for-14 from the line in the second half and led all scorers for the game with 20 points.
A memorable play in this one took place in the midst of the big run. Jeff Derr and Jimmy O’Keefe of Bates got tied up chasing a rebound in the Bates end and both went to the floor in a heap. Jeff got up first, hustled down the other end, and nailed a wide-open three.
Austin Bentson had his first double-digit (11 points) game since the opener at ENC when he had 16 points. There will never be a question about his passion to defend.
Greg Walker has struggled since the breakout game (22 points/19 rebounds) at Regis. He has had a horde of shots rim out over the last couple of games.
We did get to see quite a shooting show by Marshall Hatch in the last few minutes of the game. He connected on three long shots and totaled 13 points in the second half.
The turnout was better than Tuesday night’s was. I am told that there is a lot of academic activity going on at this time. Students have to make choices over time use. That is why it is always good to see the team salute the home fans after the game.
I noticed that the 7PM start caught a few folks by surprise. At least they saw some of the second half. The game-of-the-year between UNE and Colby-Sawyer starts at 1PM on Saturday afternoon. I’m guessing that some folks will miss that game entirely.