(Wenham) Make that ten straight for Gordon (14-3/6-0) as they defeated New England College, 79-57, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Thursday night at the Bennett Center.
The visiting Pilgrims actually outscored the Scots, 28-27, over the last 13 ½ minutes of the game but unfortunately for them, were trailing 52-29, when those last 13 ½ minutes started.
New England (5-13/0-6) has now lost ten straight.
Now we get to the circled game on the schedule – the rematch with Endicott at 3PM on Saturday. If you recall, or checked this blog, the Scots and the Gulls were tied last time at the Bennett Center with 1:10 left. Crunch time belonged to Endicott. Also of note is that Endicott defeated Roger Williams tonight. And of further note, the last two times over there, Gordon has won at the very end on shots from the same corner (first corner when you enter the gym). Plan on an exciting afternoon.
Meanwhile, back at the game I’m supposed to be writing about, Brady Bajema and Greg Walker carried the Scots to a 12-4 advantage in the first 4 ½ minutes. How many games have we seen Greg be a big contributor in the early going? Teams seem to want to give single coverage a chance.
Later in the first half, David Dempsey and Jeff Derr combined for eleven points in an 11-2 spurt and the Scot lead was 26-12 with 8:25 left. JT Himmelstein had two assists during this run.
The lead was fourteen (38-24) at the half and the same (43-29) after three minutes of the second half. You doubted that NEC had the firepower (top scorer Joe Faragher wasn’t in uniform) to get closer but their deliberate style was keeping them closer than you would expect from a team on a nine game losing streak. Then an extended cold spell (3 ½ minutes) did in New England, as Ben Gaskill, Aaron Trigg, and Brady put up points in a nine-point run. Now the lead was 52-29 with 13 ½ minutes remaining and the bench clearing started.
Coach Tod Murphy went heavily with reserves the rest of the way and hopefully saved the legs of his starters for the visit to Beverly on Saturday.
Aaron (16), Jeff (14), David (13) and Brady (12) paced the Gordon scorers. Those interested in the Brady 1000-point number – he currently is at 985.
Most exciting play of the game? A second half NEC turnover sent freshman David Dempsey off on a breakaway. Expecting a simple layin, those on hand were greatly surprised to see him dunk the ball. It is easy to forget that he’s 6’5”.
The second most exciting moment was the last-second shot that NEC’s Paige Pearson made to give the Pilgrim women a 54-53 win. I was watching that game at home on my computer and the GC women had a comfortable first half lead when I left.
Seeing the referee, and then the athletic director, have to get involved with someone in the Gordon cheering section is embarrassing. I thought that cheering section was supposed to be a group effort. Soloists taunting opposing players and officials should not be allowed to give the cheering section a bad name.
Speaking of “cheering,” only at Endicott would you get an entire section of students chanting, “Where’s your Bible?” as they did last year. Maybe some on the Gordon side could have pocket editions and produce them in response.
Gordon is now alone at the top of the CCC. Six teams are in second with two losses. The Scots get to play three of them (Regis, Colby-Sawyer, UNE) among the eight games left in the regular season.
One of the finest from Gordon’s immediate past (Jerry Logan) was in the house visiting his brother Jordan and hanging around for the Endicott game. You talk about a tireless defender!