(Quincy) Gordon defeated Eastern Nazarene, 74-58, on Saturday afternoon at ENC.
Trust me, that final score is very misleading. This was a 3-point game (57-54) with 5 ½ minutes left. And for those who recall the seven-game GC losing streak, the scary pattern was underway – decent first half followed by a tight second half.
In the losing streak, the wheels came off down the stretch at various times and in various ways, and the results unfortunate. Against ENC, the end game (last 5 ½ minutes) was all Gordon.
If you make shots the game gets easy, and that was exactly what happened. The Scots rolled off eleven straight points (Luke Hamilton three’s from each corner, Alex Carnes old-fashioned three, and a David Dempsey breakaway dunk) over a three minute span and emerged in charge, 68-54, with 2 ½ minutes left. They coasted in from there.
That the Lions were able to stay with Gordon at all in the second half was remarkable because the Scots flat out had it going. Check out these stats: they shot 64% including four-for-four on 3’s, had nine blocks, and only five turnovers. Fortunately these good stats were spread over an entire quarter and sooner or later ENC was going to lose ground.
Part of the ENC decline in the second half was putting Alex Carnes on Max Barbosa. Max had eleven points in the first half, including three long ones late as he rallied ENC from a 29-17 deficit to a 35-33 halftime advantage. In the second half, Alex limited Max’s open looks and held him to four points.
David Dempsey (19 points) led all scorers and had a GC bench-pleasing dunk in the breakaway surge in the second half. That’s 931 for those keeping track.
I believe, and I don’t have every Gordon stat, that school records may have been set in this one. The first one were the eleven blocks. The Scots had nine of them in the second half. The other possible record was Park Thomas’ ten assists (he had five in each half). Those assists mixed nicely with only two turnovers.
The Scots had only five turnovers in the impressive second half. Granted, ENC didn’t press.
ENC (3-17 overall / 2-11 in Commonwealth Coast Conference) has now lost ten of their last eleven and seven straight at home.
Gordon (8/13 overall / 7-7 CCC) have the neighbors (Endicott) coming for a visit on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center. The Gulls are 7-6.
With four league games left, the Scots are tied with Nichols at 7-7. Below those two are UNE (5-9), WNE (4-10), and ENC (2-11). The bottom two teams do not make the post-season tournament. So the Scots still have work to do to assure themselves a place in “the dance.”
David Dempsey had a career high in blocks – six.
Jason Dempsey (6 points) and Cooper Meyer (7 points) have been recent contributors off the bench in the last few games.
Luke Hamilton had a mind-boggling 26 points the last time Gordon played ENC (January 7th). Just twelve this time but two of his long ones started GC on the 11-point run late that put this game in the win column for the Scots.
Stephen Herod entered this game near the end totally unnoticed by the Eastern Nazarene statistician.
Jon Himottu has made 9-of-11 free throws this season.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)