(Norton) Gordon (2-3) squandered most of a fourteen point lead down the stretch but free throw shooting (You read that right!) saved the day as the Scots defeated Wheaton, 72-65, in non-league action on Tuesday night.
Gordon led, 57-43, with 6:20 left before things slide into the nail-biting zone. Greasing the slide were six turnovers and three missed field goals. You feared that this one might slip away but there to the rescue came Scot free throw shooting.
Remember that after four games Gordon was barely shooting 50% from the foul line. With a history like that it make perfect sense to send the Scots free throwing.
But over the last 6+ minutes of the game your Scots made fifteen-of-eighteen pressure free throws to secure the win.
The Lyons (5-2) got close but their poor shooting did them in. They were within five (68-63) with thirty-nine seconds left but both Mike O’Loughlin and Scott Faucher missed three’s before Luke Hamilton secured a rebound for Gordon.
The sophomores from Whitinsville Christian were terrific in the second half. Taylor Bajema had fifteen points while Hans Miersma collected twelve rebounds.
Taylor, who scored twenty-four points all of last season as a freshman, ended this game with nineteen points and eight rebounds.
Hans had plenty of trouble shooting (4-for-15) but owned the boards collecting eighteen. (Not mentioning his air-ball free throw would probably be the right thing to do.)
Gordon got separation from Wheaton midway through the second half. A 42-39 advantage expanded to 49-39 in a two-minute span as the only offense was two free throws each from David Dempsey and Taylor Bajema as well as a three from Taylor.
One of the reasons things got a bit dicey down the stretch was that David Dempsey fouled out with 4+ minutes to go.
The matchup worth watching was Hans against 6-5 Ryan Clinesmith. “Basketball is not a contact sport,” went out the window based on the way those two went at it! Ryan could shoot from the outside and ended up with a game-high twenty points.
Gordon next plays on Friday night (6PM) in Purchase, New York as part of a tournament at Manhattanville College.
I was very impressed with the Wheaton College campus.
Got my first look at Tom Hurley and Richie Armand.
Wheaton was 5-for-17 from the free throw line and some of those were the front ends of one-and-one’s.
Judge Laban Wheaton founded a female seminary in 1834 to memorialize his daughter. One of the women who set up that seminary was Mary Lyon. That’s where the nickname, Lyons, comes from.
Noted children’s author Jean Fritz went to Wheaton as well as the current King of Bhutan.
Wheaton’s baseball team was ranked 9th in the country this past season. They lost to Marietta in the championship game.
The motto of Wheaton College is: “that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” No mention of the Bible reference but it does come from John 10:10.
I got a sense that things might go Gordon’s way in the second half when Taylor was dribbling past half-court and Coach Murphy is yelling, “Laker, Laker.” Taylor doesn’t get the message that a set play should be run and instead drives past his defender for a basket.
Anyhow, nice win for Gordon. The arrival of Hans and Taylor as significant contributors has been noted.
Top Five Players in Efficiency in Gordon/Wheaton game:
Taylor Bajema +17
Hans Miersma +15
Ryan Clinesmith +14
David Dempsey +13
Jason Dempsey +12
Scott Faucher +12
Team totals? Gordon +84 Wheaton +63
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.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)