(Wenham) Who saw this coming?
And while I’m asking questions, “Luke, what came over you in the second half?
A typical Commonwealth Coast Conference game was played in the first half between Eastern Nazarene and Gordon College on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center. Low scoring (31-26) with more of the same expected in the second half.
However, the 100+ of us on hand, saw an NBA-like second half as the Scots put up 53 points while the Lions tallied 48. That’s not shots, that’s points!
When it was over, Gordon (4-6 / 3-0) had an 84-74 win over Eastern Nazarene (2-6 / 1-2).
Sophomore Luke Hamilton had reached double figures eight times in thirty-five games for the Scots and never scored more than eighteen points before this ENC game. Out of nowhere, today, he combines a typical first half for him (6 points) with a twenty-point second half. He goes 7-for-7 from the field in the second half alone.
Luke’s surprising twenty-six points were needed in this game because the visitors were able to put up plenty of points of their own. The Lions resorted to full-court pressure and gave up plenty of easy shots but also exposed the scariest part of Gordon’s game, in my opinion, taking care of the ball. The Scots committed fifteen turnovers in the second half which led directly to twenty-one points.
The miscues didn’t start to pile up until later in the second half. After the first eleven minutes of the second half the Scots led, 57-40, and looked ready to cruise in from there.
But credit the Lions, they turned up the defensive heat and started getting steals and quick points. They dominated the next seven minutes (28-17) and closed to 74-68, with two minutes left.
Then ENC’s DeAngelo Alston (14 points) missed the front end of a 1-and-1 but his teammate Chima Ezeigbo (15 rebounds/12 points) got the rebound. The Lions, however, turned the ball over and missed a golden opportunity to get even closer. The Scots were then able to right themselves over the final two minutes and build up a ten-point victory margin.
Junior David Dempsey had eighteen points and ten rebounds. He didn’t seem to be shy about taking the ball to the basket with shot-blocker Chima Ezeigbo (6-8) in the area. In the second half, David even blocked one of Chima’s shots.
Alex Carnes and Hans Miersma both had nine rebounds and ten points.
The Scots shot 65% in the second half.
The twenty-four turnovers was a season high (low?). Attempting to dribble through traps, or around traps, is a turnover waiting to happen.
The ENC crowd I thought might show up didn’t. Good thing they didn’t, because their normal enthusiasm might have driven the Lions to get closer than six points as the Scots unraveled late in the second half.
Lion coach Jim Aller received a technical foul in the second half when he was certain that Hans Miersma had goaltended on Aaron Johnson’s breakaway layup attempt. Credit Hans for hustling back to get into position for the block.
Next for Gordon is UNE (Biddeford ME) on Tuesday night (7:30PM). If there ever was a “trap game” this one is it. The Nor’Easters are winless after ten games. Let it be noted that they have played a tough non-league schedule, as Gordon has. They lost to Roger Williams today (62-55) while launching thirty-five 3’s. Of more concern might be the fact that they forced eighteen RWU turnovers and collected ten steals. Protecting the ball and defending the perimeter will be crucial.
Undefeated in the CCC after three games – nice start!
(The pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)