(Wenham) The visiting Babson Beavers put some solid defense on Gordon and easily defeated the transitioning Scots, 59-38, before a home-opener crowd at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.
Against Babson, the Scots were underwhelming on both ends of the court and with MIT (Thursday) and Salem State (next Tuesday) directly ahead things could well get darker before they get brighter. MIT is ranked 10th nationally in the D3Hoops preseason poll. Salem State is tough for Gordon every year.
The Scots are clearly a team in transition. Ten players received playing time and six of them were newcomers to the Gordon program.
Babson was 10-15 last season but they looked like they will be a lot better than that in 2011-12. They effectively defended the inside keeping the ball away from Hans Miersma.
David Dempsey saw plenty of defense too. He had ten points but it took him ten shots to get there. He added a game-leading nine rebounds to go with a game-leading seven turnovers. Last time we saw David in action he had 32 points against Anna Maria ending the Scots 2010-11 season at Paxton.
The Beavers limited Gordon to only 41 shots for the game. The lowest total all last season was 39 shots against Bates. Yes, the Babson defense was good but the Gordon offense just wasn’t creating many open shots in either half.
The Scot‘s lack of consistent defense was noticeable. The zone defense was saved by Babson’s 3-for-16 from long range. In man-to-man defense there were too many direct Beaver drives to the basket – weak primary defense as well as weak help defense.
Anyone at the Bennett Center will quickly tell you that the free throw shooting was off (3-for-11) as well.
My favorite stat to check is turnovers because these are wasted possessions that could have produced one, two, or possibly three points, yet didn‘t. Last year the team averaged 19.5 turnovers per game. First game in 2011-12 ended with the Scots failing to get off a shot in twenty possessions. This team must take better care of the ball.
Where did this game get away from the Scots? Two places.
(1) In the first half, the score was tied 15-15 with ten minutes until halftime. The rest of that half Gordon made one shot (one-for-seven) and committed eight turnovers and ended up trailing, 29-18, at halftime. That’s three points in ten minutes!
(2) In the second half, our Scots closed to, 34-30, with 11+ minutes left. The rest of the way? Six turnovers and 2-for-11 shooting from the foul line and a, 59-38, loss. That’s eight points in eleven minutes while Babson collected 25 points during the same segment. This was certainly not a great defensive stretch for the Scots.
Enough of the gloom and doom. The Scots could have scheduled several Cupcake U’s and had us all thinking CCC championship ahead after three games. Instead, they face three tough non-league opponents to start the season and should come out bruised but better when they’re done. There is plenty of room for improvement to be sure and it won’t happen overnight. Patience will be required by all.
I’ve read Job recently and those who talk about the “patience of Job,” haven’t read the book. He was anything but patient often ranting at God. Later in a fine example of humor, God basically asked Job, “By the way, where were you when I was forming the universe?”
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