Game #23 – Greg Walker’s 28 Points Leads Gordon Past WNEC and Into the Tournament

Greg Walker (6-7 sophomore) career high 28 points vs WNEC

Greg Walker (6-7 sophomore) career high 28 points vs WNEC

(Wenham) Remember all those shots Greg took the last three games that went in and out? By my count, he was 12-for-34 totaling 26 points. Unfortunate Western New England caught Greg on a can’t-miss performance (12-for-15) and lost to Gordon, 77-57, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

Greg’s 28 points were a career high and no doubt, the twenty he got in the first half put the Golden Bears in a deep enough hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out.

The victory put the Scots (17-6 overall/ 7-4 in the CCC) into the postseason tournament. They own tie-breakers over the teams (Curry and Western New England) they would tie with if they were to lose their last two games.

Now the press is on to finish in the top four in the standings so that when the playoffs start on Tuesday (February 24th) the Gordon game will be played at the Bennett Center instead of on the road.

Ahead is UNE on Wednesday night. With a win at Colby-Sawyer today they have clinched the number one seed in the playoffs. They have won 19 straight and are undefeated in the CCC. They haven’t lost since November 25th! Good? You bet! But, your Scots have won two straight at the Bennett Center.

For the first twelve minutes in this game the only given was that WNEC (7-15 overall/ 5-6 in the CCC) had no defensive answers for Greg. However, WNEC had quickness and used it to produce several layups that kept them in contention. One of those layups was by Rick Johnson and put WNEC in front, 18-15.

The next ten minutes of playing time? It was like Bates (20-point run) all over again. The Scots put together a couple of eleven point runs that left the visitors behind, 46-23, two minutes into the second half. It added up to a 28-5 scoring advantage.

A look at my scripting shows me that Gordon’s top two scorers (Aaron 17.6 ppg and Brady 14.8 ppg) had only two points in all this. That’s unusual, don’t you think? Austin has two 3-pointers and JT Himmelstein had one. Ben Gaskill contributed three baskets including a jump shot further from the basket than what we’re used to seeing. And then there was Greg (14 points) hurting WNEC almost every time the Scots got him the ball inside – and believe me after a while it became a team mission to get him the ball.

When the dust cleared after this stretch of good offense and tight defense by the Scots, the resulting 46-23 deficit was more than WNEC could do much with the rest of the way. The closest they got was 72-55 with 2 ½ left but they didn’t have the firepower this time to make things interesting.

There were several eye-catching stats from this game. Ben had a remarkable 13 rebounds for Gordon. He’s second in the CCC in rebounds. (I mention that not just because I was given some Buckeye chocolates but it did factor into it.) An even better rebounding stat was WNEC getting just 23 rebounds when they came in leading the CCC with 41.5 rpg.

Austin Bentson (6-3 sophomore) 2-for-3 long range

Austin Bentson (6-3 sophomore) 2-for-3 long range

JT Himelstein (6' freshman) career high ten points vs WNEC

JT Himmelstein (6' freshman) career high ten points vs WNEC

Another eye-catcher was JT’s first double-figure scoring game – 10 points. He made a couple of 3-pointers and put in a rebound of his own miss. As teams (reading this game’s box score) become aware of the need to collapse in on Greg there will be openings beyond the arc. Both Austin and JT took advantage of the daylight when WNEC sent outside help down low to help against Greg.

On the other side, those sixteen Gordon turnovers are way too many. WNEC didn’t start full-court pressing until three minutes into the second half. I suspect that UNE will press from beginning to end on Wednesday night. The better we handle the ball against them the better our chances will be of pulling an upset.

There was a good crowd on hand that was given plenty to cheer about from beginning to end. Can they take a study break on Wednesday night for the UNE game?

Eight faces in the crowd - How many of them do you know?

Eight faces in the crowd - How many of them do you know?

Gordon’s last regular season game is against Salve Regina on Saturday (February 21st) afternoon in Newport, Rhode Island. Their campus is in amongst some spectacular mansions. Chance to sightsee and catch a good game all in one day.

Box Score

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