(Wenham) The Scots left a nice memory with us at the Bennett Center defeating Berkeley, 87-81, in overtime on Friday night.
A pretty good home crowd watched Gordon rally from a 12-point deficit (52-40) in the second half and finally catch the visiting Knights in the last minute of regulation.
In overtime the Scots went down by three (74-71), in the first minute, before yet another rally gave them the lead (75-74) back for good.
Greg Walker (26 points/18 rebounds) and David Dempsey (29 points/8 rebounds) had monster games. (Greg had 19 rebounds against Regis two years ago.)
Greg’s biggest rebound against Berkeley may well have been in overtime when he collected his own missed free throw and scored to tie the game at 74.
David set a career high in points. The referees may have done Gordon a favor when they whistled David for three fouls in the first half and limited his minutes to seven. Well rested, David went wild in the second half with twenty-two points. In the overtime he added three more points including a crowd-pleasing dunk in the last minute that put the game beyond Berkeley’s reach.
Freshman Matt Gibson turned in a career game too. Matt played well enough to be on the floor for the last 21 tense minutes of the game. He hit three pressure foul shots in a row to seal this one in the last minute of overtime.
The first half was the worst basketball I have ever seen by two teams. Berkeley ended up ahead 30-29 when the halftime buzzer mercifully sounded. The Scots had 19 turnovers and the Knights had 11. The excuse would be that Gordon had played the night before and Berkeley had traveled from New York City. It was painful to watch for whatever reason.
The Knights got their act together first in the second half. Jose Stable took a steal in for dunk as part of the Knights 22-11 start in the first 7 ½ minutes.
Down 52-40, it was Gordon’s turn to run off productive possessions. The Scots went through a stretch of layups, converted rebounds and free throws that narrowed things to 56-55 with 7 ½ minutes left.
The Knights had answers until the last minute of regulation when a Greg Walker layup tied things at 69. A Knight miss followed by two David Dempsey free throws put the Scots in front with 29 seconds left. A Kaseem Williams layup produced the tie. David Dempsey missed a difficult jumper and Berkeley had a final heave at the basket in the last thirty seconds of regulation.
Gordon trailed early in OT but rallied with a six-point run to get the lead and later put together a five-point run to clinch it.
The points Greg and David contributed were significant. Their defense was just as commendable.
Greg had Elijah Craig. Elijah (3-for-15) hit consecutive shots at the start of the second half and then disappeared from the score sheet for the rest of the game.
David had Jose Stable (9 points/13 rebounds/5 steals). After a flashy dunk four minutes into the second half Jose (4-for-17) disappeared from the score sheet until he got one free throw in overtime.
Damir Redzepagic led all Knight scorers with 23 p0ints.
So the Scots have a pleasant win to savor for twenty days. They’ll return to the Bennett Center for a December 30th contest with Wentworth. With the college closed, I suspect that the crowd will be described as very close friends and relatives. It is scheduled to be covered on the Gordon website. That’s where I’ll be viewing it from Connecticut.
The size of the crowd tonight was very surprising. I think they reached the sixth-man level in the second half and in overtime. They also gave the Scots some well-deserved applause after the game.
With the victory Gordon (3-6) ended its five-game slide and is now two games away from the regular CCC season which starts at Wentworth in less than a month.
Who can figure this team out? We’ve seen some very bad basketball and we saw excellent basketball (Endicott). Tonight we saw both in one game!
Berkeley (5-5) had some excellent athletes. Their scheduling has presented challenges. Several weekends ago they traveled from New York City and played New England College in Henniker (NH) on a Friday night and were back in Poughkeepsie (NY) for a game with Vassar on Saturday. This weekend they played Gordon on Friday night and will take on Endicott at 1PM tomorrow afternoon.
A couple of former players were in the house tonight. You’d have to have been among the faithful for a few years to identify both of them.
Christmas is coming up. What an event! Wise men still seek Him.