(Wenham) A brutal start in the second half undid a nice first half and sent the Scots to their second Commonwealth Coast Conference loss, 75-61, to Anna Maria on Tuesday night at the student-less Bennett Center.
Gordon (4-9) led by eight points (25-17) after thirteen minutes of play and were in front, 30-28, at halftime. Anna Maria (8-6) was content to launch from long range against Gordon’s zone defense and were missing (4-for-18). You had to like the Scots’ chances as a result.
I don’t know what went on at halftime but Anna Maria came out and shredded the Scot zone for four minutes. They found openings on the inside and outside while the Scots returned to their turnover-prone ways. Gordon coach Tod Murphy went through three timeouts and a good part of his yelling voice trying to stop the bleeding. It didn’t stop until the Amcats had a 15-2 run put together and were up, 43-32. Gordon couldn’t get inside a ten-point deficit the rest of the way.
Chris Pinsonault (5’11” senior) dropped thirty points on Gordon including a remarkable twenty-one points in the second half. He was a zone-playing team’s worst nightmare.
Those outcome-deciding, second-half four minutes featured five turnovers. Gordon had only six turnovers in the entire first half. Surprising to me was that Anna Maria was in a zone defense when most of the giveaways occurred.
Lost in the loss was a 26-point game by Greg Walker. The 6-7 senior made eight of nine shots in a sixteen point second half.
The problem was that while Greg could score, the Scots couldn’t get consecutive stops on defense, whether using a zone or a man-to-man, to narrow their deficit.
Gordon resorted to the “hack attack” in the last 1 ½ minutes but the Amcats made eight free throws in a row to thwart that strategy.
Junior De La Hoz was another zone buster for the team from Paxton (MA). The 5-7 senior dropped in four treys for sixteen points. He was the team’s primary ball handler and had just two turnovers.
The Gordon zone somewhat protected them from Anthony Click. The 6-4 sophomore (15.6 ppg) was held to ten points. His one-on-one moves were lessened by the Scot defense. Chris and Junior, however, more than made up for Anthony’s point shortage.
Anna Maria hadn’t defeated Gordon since the CCC playoffs in 2003. The Scots took a 20-5 team into the first round game and were upset by the Amcats in Paxton. “Unhappy,” doesn’t do justice to Coach Mike Schauer’s reaction to that tournament-exiting loss.
David Dempsey registered his third double/double of the season. He is 7th in the conference in rebounds and 6th in scoring.
The Scots will face long-time rival Eastern Nazarene at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon.
Gordon has dropped three of their last four games and have yet to win a conference game in two tries. No one questions the effort. I do question the lack of a 3rd scorer. Someone has to step up and provide consistent double-digit points.
It didn’t feel right sitting on the student side of the gym. It seemed to make the unbearably loud pregame music even louder than usual. Is there any reason why that music isn’t played during the game? Why limit the “enjoyment” for whoever it is that enjoys it?