(Wenham) The fifty of us on hand at the Bennett Center saw plenty of offense as Tufts (7-3) defeated Gordon, 85-78, on Tuesday night.
Those 78 points were a record for this year’s (3-6) Scots and they shot over 50% to get there.
David Dempsey paced Gordon with season highs in points (25) and blocks (3).
Alex Orchowski led Tufts with twenty-three points and ten rebounds.
Considering that Tufts had defeated two teams (Babson & Salem State) that had mauled the Scots, this was surprisingly competitive. There were thirteen lead changes in the first half with Gordon ahead, 35-34, at the half. The Jumbos moved in front for good early in the second half but never were able to put the margin above twelve the rest of the way thanks to solid Scot shooting.
This was a non-conference game. The Scots are 2-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and face long-time rival Eastern Nazarene on Saturday (3PM) at the Bennett Center before traveling to UNE (Biddeford ME) on Tuesday night.
Tufts gets its NESCAC schedule started this Friday night at Williams (8-1 – #7 in D3 Hoops) and Saturday afternoon at Middlebury (8-0 – #1 in D3 Hoops). That’s what I call a challenge!
As I said, Gordon made this one interesting with excellent shooting. They could have made things “very” interesting if they had shot better from the foul line (13-for-24) and managed the ball better.
The Scots turnover stat (15) appears not that out of the ordinary until you learn that the Jumbos scored THIRTY points off of those turnovers. In football you get the “pick six,” on an interception that results in a score. Gordon had way too many “pick two’s” and “steal two’s” in this one.
The visitors put this game out of reach early in the second half when they outscored the Scots, 10-2, in the first 4+ minutes. Their last basket in this segment was a real killer as in that possession they corralled three offensive rebounds before James Long hit a jumper.
Other than that rebounding lapse the Scots more than held their own with a team that had averaged eleven more rebounds than each of their nine previous opponents. They only had one more rebound than Gordon (37-36).
The Scots have now lost three straight (again). However, I think that the toughness of the previous three opponents will make them a stronger team in the CCC. I doubt that any team could look at the box scores of the team’s first nine games and detect any sort of pattern that could be easily prepared for.
I cringe to think that there could be more ENC fans in the stands than Gordon fans on Saturday. The students aren’t back until the middle of the month.
(The pictures enlarge if you click on them.)