Hans Miersma sets career marks leading Gordon past Salem State 69-68 in men’s basketball

Hans Miersma (shown here against Roger Williams) went off against Salem State with career highs in points (21) and rebounds (19).

(Newtown CT) The Scots did more than scare Salem State as they had done to MIT.  They defeated the Vikings, 69-68.

It would be nice to have a little warning.  I’m talking to you, Hans!

Hans Miersma, the 6-9 sophomore from Whitinsville Christian, went off against the visiting Salem State University Vikings on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center leading Gordon to a startling victory.

When the final buzzer sounded, Hans had produced a stunning 21-point, 19-rebound performance.

A look at the play-by-play sheet reveal that two of his baskets and two of his rebounds were in the final fourteen seconds of the game.

Offensive rebound conversion #1 (in the final fourteen seconds) gave the Scots a two-point lead (67-65) but Justin Nieves (17 points) quickly answered with a three and the Vikings were ahead by one – 68-67.

The Scots looked to David Dempsey for the catch-up/go-ahead basket in the remaining ten seconds.  Made perfect sense since the 6-5 senior already has accumulated 1069 points for Gordon.  But David missed, however there was Hans collecting another offensive rebound and there was Hans converting the rebound before the buzzer giving Gordon the exciting win.

Gordon (1-1) will be facing Western New England at Springfield on Wednesday night (5:30PM).  This will be the opener of the Scots Commonwealth Coast Conference schedule.  Gordon will play home-and-away with each of the nine CCC opponents.

The win over SSU was a big surprise.  The Vikings had been winners in eight of the last nine meetings.  The only Gordon victory was in 2009 when Brady Bajema (31), Aaron Trigg (27), and Greg Walker (22) shot well in a 95-83 triumph for the 24-5 Scots team.

The last two years the Vikings have won convincingly – 83-55 in 2010 and 76-49 last year.

I told my wife on the drive to Connecticut that Gordon had a chance to beat Salem State…….and that was without knowing anything about the 2012-13 Vikings.  My thinking was based on how tough the Scots had hung in with powerhouse MIT in the opener.  I thought that being a year older and a year tougher the Scots might be able to survive the expected physical play of SSU.

Again, checking the stat sheet the Viking defense did effect Gordon – twenty-nine turnovers!  Almost one out of every three possessions ended without a shot……don’t get me started.

But despite the scary ball management, the Scots survived thanks to Hans and some mediocre (23-for-70) Viking shooting.

Back to the Hans breakout game.  He reached double figures in 2011-12 in rebounds ten times and in points eight times.  His top total in rebounds before Tuesday night’s nineteen was fifteen against Curry last December.  His top total in points had been fourteen last December against Wheelock.  His PPG average has been close to seven.

I wasn’t on hand to get a look at freshman Richie Armand’s debut late in the game.  I suspect that the court-time may have surprised Richie a bit too.  Having Park Thomas and Chris Alderson foul out opened the opportunity.

Top Five Players in Efficiency in this game

Hans Miersma +31
David Dempsey +14
Andrew White +13
Justin Nieves +11
Nate Simpson +11
Trey Morin +11
Park Thomas +11

When NBA coaches evaluate a player’s game performance they use the following stats:

#1 –  good stats (rebounds, points, assists, blocks, steals). #2 –  bad stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers).

A player’s efficiency in a particular game is arrived at by subtracting the sum of the bad stats from the sum of good stats.

box score

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