Strong Second Half Sends Gordon Past Union in Tourney Opener

Brady Bajema - Paced Gordon with 20 points and solid defense.

(Schenectady) In the first ten minutes of the second half, Gordon (6-3) missed two shots and turned the ball over three times.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  During the same ten minutes, they poured in 25 points from everywhere and changed a 30-28 close one at halftime to a 55-33 runaway at Union College (3-6).

The final score was 69-47 but this one unofficially ended during the pleasant-to-behold first ten minutes of the second half.

The win on Monday night starts 2010 off in nice fashion and puts the Scots in against Montclair State for the Sig Makofski Tournament Championship at 8PM tomorrow (Tuesday) night. 

Montclair State’s athleticism in their win over Elms reminded me of last year’s University of New England team.  Trust me, the Scots will be tested in protecting the ball and will need good shooting in both halves to win the championship.  By the way, the Scots did win the championship two years ago defeating Union.

In the Gordon/Union game both teams fell in love with the 3-point shot during the first half and proved that it wasn’t a shot that either of them could make very often – Union 2 for 12, Gordon 2 for 10.  

The Dutchmen grabbed a 12-8 lead early on when Drew Goldstein (9 points) hit a long one.  They still led 15-13 (11:51) as Evan Croll made an old-fashioned three drawing Brady Bajema’s 2nd foul in the process.

The next 8 ½ minutes Gordon started turning up layups with excellent passing and tallied seventeen points.  Meanwhile Union collected just five points during the same stretch.  So, with 3:15 left in the half the Scots led 30-19. 

The Dutchmen responded with nine unanswered points to close to 30-28 and have everyone wondering what might happen in the second half.

As I wrote above, Gordon came out making shots in the second half, especially three’s.  If I asked you to guess the two players doing most of the damage from long range, you’d guess right – Brady Bajema (20 points) and Aaron Trigg (15 points/8 assists).

2 ½ minutes into the second half, Brady had two 3’s and Aaron one.  Union?  They hadn’t scored yet and trailed 39-28.  Later Brady turned a steal into a layup but shortly thereafter had his 3rd foul and went to the bench. 

A Drew Goldstein free throw made the score 46-33 with 12 minutes left.  Plenty of time if the Dutchmen could make some shots.  What followed, however, was yet another trio of Gordon treys (Aaron, Jeff Derr, Brady) and what might have been for Union wasn’t anymore – 55-33.

Both teams ended up playing every player on their roster.  Maybe the shorter minutes for the Gordon starters tonight will help against Montclair State tomorrow night.

Joey Lokitis - Limited to just two points by Gordon defense

The defensive job Brady and Timmy MacDonnell did on Union’s Joey Lokitis was notable.  The Dutchmen senior came in averaging 16.4ppg.  In this one, he had only two free throws.  He did get off a number of NBA-range three’s.

The Scots had numerous passes inside for layups.  I’m not sure if that was because of the Union defense or some practice upgrades in that department.  Union was unable to defend Greg Walker (17 points) down low with just one player.

Ben Gaskill did not get his fifth straight double-digit rebound game.  Maybe it’s the new facial look?

An unusual stat for Union was that they had just seven fouls during the entire game.  There were plenty of shots to be had by Gordon throughout the game.  Fortunately, for the Scots they fell in the second half.

Matt Covucci paced Union with 12 points. 

The Dutchmen will have plenty of trouble with athletic Elms in the consolation game tomorrow night.  Maybe those 3-point shots will fall.  It sure would help them. 

Pregame gathering at Union College


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Filed under Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Union, Union Tournament 2010

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