(Purchase NY) This should make the Saturday night bus ride home to Wenham a lot more pleasant.
The Scots (3-4) broke a tie in the final minute and defeated Berkeley, 80-77, on Saturday afternoon to take the consolation game in the First Annual AJ Buchanan Classic at Manhattanville College.
Playing a second game in less than a day, you expected sloppy play but this game was anything but that. Both teams shot well and the defense was intense. It wasn’t until Kaseem Williams’ buzzer-beating, potentially game-tying three, missed that this game officially became a Gordon victory.
If the efficiency rating means anything then this was by far the Scots best game of the season as they registered a +95. The keys to that good number were a season high in assists (22) and a season low in turnovers (11).
The Scots’ offense was impressive as their constant screening and moving turned up plenty of high-percentage, interior shots.
Six Scots ended up in double figures – David Dempsey (16), Jason Dempsey (15), Park Thomas (15), Luke Hamilton (12), Taylor Bajema (12), and Hans Miersma (10). I wonder when the last time that happened was.
Don Dempsey (David & Jason’s father) reminded me that Gordon had played Berkeley before. Sure enough, two years ago (December 10th) they were at the Bennett Center.
The Knights, in that one, took Gordon into overtime before losing. Big scorers for Berkeley were Kaseem Williams and Jose Stable. Kaseem, in fact, sent the game into overtime with a layup at the buzzer.
Two years later, Kaseem was in the same position to extend a Gordon/Berkeley game but his shot from the left rimmed wide.
Kaseem Williams (28 points) and Jose Stable (23 points/14 rebounds) were key performers in the consolation game. That was why it was surprising that neither one was able to make a big play for Berkeley in the final minute.
Jose’s turnover looked, from the other end of the court, as if the ball just slipped out of his hands as he went up for a shot along the baseline.
Gordon led for the first thirty-one minutes but never comfortably. The lead did reach nine a couple of times (32-23 in the first half and 61-52 in the second half) but the Knights (3-4) never gave up.
That Gordon, 61-52, advantage disappeared into a 64-63 deficit in 2 ½ minutes, thanks to a 12-2 run with Jovan Bovell’s layup pushing the team from New York City ahead.
Gordon rallied right back to get a six-point lead (72-66) with 4:40 left only to have the Knights to come all the way back to tie it with a minute left.
One of my favorite plays to watch is a backdoor cut that leads to a layup. That was exactly the play that Berkeley ran on the game-tyer as Kaseem Williams beat Taylor Bajema on a backdoor cut and Jose Stable made the perfect pass.
But the Scots were able to thrive in the last minute and took home a nice win.
Sophomore Jason Dempsey had a career high with his fifteen points. Brother David may well have had (I didn’t bring my stat books to Newtown) a career high with seven assists.
The Knights spent a lot of time conversing with the referees. Maybe they were trying a new approach with officials after getting two technical fouls late in their close opening-round loss to host Manhattan College on Friday night.
Gordon next plays on Tuesday night (7PM) versus non-league Lesley College at a gym I hope to find in Boston.
A big thanks from me to Steve Sheridan (Manhattanville Sports Information Director) for supplying me with the statistical paperwork I needed to summarize the two games in two days. He’s a good one!
Top Five Players in Efficiency for Gordon/Berkeley game:
Jose Stable +31
David Dempsey +24
Kaseem Williams +22
Luke Hamilton +18
Park Thomas +18
Taylor Bajema +12
Jason Dempsey +12
Teams? Gordon +95 Berkeley +79
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.)