(Anguilla) I was out of the country when this one was played. In fact, I didn’t learn of the results until Thanksgiving morning because of internet problems here in windy, scenic Anguilla.
From Gordon SID Matt Morin’s coverage, I see that Salem State (1-1) defeated turnover-prone Gordon, 83-55, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center before a depleted home crowd.
This one seemed to start to get away from the Scots (2-2) early and then really get away from them late.
There was a 5 ½ minute, first half, segment in which the visiting Vikings put an 18-2 run together that turned an early-on competitive game into a 28-10 spread with ten minutes left in the half.
Salem State usually gives Gordon a physical game on defense. During the first bad spell, the stats show seven Scot turnovers, one made shot, and six Salem State layups. Nothing good in any of that for Gordon.
The Scots made some inroads on the Viking lead over the rest of the half (36-24) and during the first ten minutes of the second half (49-43 with 14:55 left).
That six-point deficit was as close as the Scots would get. The Vikings followed with a run of six straight thanks to a Gordon turnover and two layups.
In the last ten minutes (actually 9:44) of the game things went from debatable to out-of-the-question. The Scots tallied just five points to Salem State’s eighteen during what turned into extended garbage time for both squads.
Luke Hamilton continues to shine among the newbies on the Gordon roster. He connected on five-of-seven 3’s and defended well enough to get long minutes (31).
David Dempsey led Gordon’s scorers with sixteen points on good shooting (8-of-14).
For some folks the missed free throws drive them crazy, while for me it’s turnovers. Dribbling in traffic, along with messed up fundamentals in passing and pass receiving, cause most of them. I didn’t see what caused the 24 turnovers in this one but when two players combine for as many as the entire team had versus Endicott you know where the improvement needs to start from.
Every team Gordon faces the rest of this season will at least try to apply full-court pressure. The 14 steals Salem State had will impact game plans for every coach ahead on the schedule. Endicott paid a price for pressing. Salem State didn’t. The wins and losses ahead will closely reflect Gordon’s press-breaking abilities.
The Scots travel next Tuesday (November 30th) to face Babson in Wellesley.
No one asked but Anguilla is a nice place if you like persistent breezes, nice beaches and warm water. However, those of you attached to snow flurries and cold breezes probably aren’t interested.