(Wenham) Gordon continued right where they left off in defeating Roger Williams on Thursday night.
Unfortunately, they continued at that successful pace for only 27 ½ minutes against Salve Regina (8-5 overall / 6-0 in CCC) and lost, 73-63, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.
In the battle between two Commonwealth Coast Conference teams undefeated after five games, it was the poise of the 2010-11 defending champs that carried the day.
The Scots (6-7 overall / 5-1 in the CCC) were coming off three straight wins including a road win at Roger Williams in which they shot over 60% for the game. That heat doesn’t usually last but for 27 ½ minutes against the Seahawks it did.
Gordon build up a 58-49 lead with 12 ½ minutes left in the game with shooting that could best be described as torrid – 24-for-37 (64.8%)!
But remember, this is Gordon. They don’t usually shoot 60%. This is Gordon, a team that can turn the ball over.
Sadly, the shooting and the ball-handling went entirely to pieces over the next nine minutes and the lead was entirely squandered. The Scots missed ten straight shots and gave the ball away four times.
Salve was struggling as well but they had enough poise to come up with eleven straight points and take the lead for good, 60-58, with four minutes left. The last three points for the Seahawks came on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Pat Dinneen (12 points).
Gordon was down but not out…..yet. Hans Miersma had two free throws. He made one (64-61 – 2:25). David Dempsey had a one-and-one. He missed the front end (64-61 – 1:58). Three made free throws there would have tied the game.
Ryan Birrell then gave the Seahawks separation with a driving layup at 1:28 to put SRU ahead, 66-61. The visitors made seven free throws thereafter as Gordon played the shoot-and foul end-game strategy.
A sizable Salve Regina crowd was on hand to enjoy the comeback. The Gordon students return this week and should be on hand for the next home game (Saturday – Nichols). I’d like to think that if the usually vocal Pit had been on hand the outcome might have been different against Salve Regina.
Alex Carnes (21 points) and David Dempsey (18 points) scored well, but what happened to them and the rest of the Scots over the final 12 ½ minutes when only FIVE points were scored??
Ryan Birrell (18 points) struggled to get there (6-for-15) and was blocked several times by Hans. However, he did have six assists and the clutch layup that gave SRU separation.
(My stats may be off, but I’ll run with it anyhow.) The subplot in this game was that Ryan needed nineteen points to reach 1000. He came to the line with twenty-eight seconds left with the Seahawks ahead, 71-63, and one point away from 1000. Ryan hardly came close to making either free throw and SRU coach Sean Foster removed him from the game. Seems that his mother wasn’t at the game. SRU’s next game is at home against Wentworth. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”
Alex Carnes set a season high in scoring for the 4th straight game. He also covered Ryan Birrell for much of the game. Alex was 8-for-11 shooting, including 2-for-2 on triples, and 3-for-3 from the foul line. This kid can shoot!
Tuesday night the team travels to Endicott. Games between the Gulls and the Scots seldom disappoint. I don’t know if they’ll have students there chanting their familiar, “Where’s your Bible?,” but who knows?
(The pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)