(North Bridgton ME) It was the proverbial kiss of death.
Before heading south to Towson, Maryland and the Goucher Classic, the Commonwealth Coast Conference released their preseason poll: according to the CCC coaches, Gordon is the best team.
I suspect that the 2013-14 CCC poll was based on the Scots 19-3 finish, not their 2-4 start.
We got a re-taste of last year’s tough start as Gordon dropped their opening two games, first on Friday night to home team Goucher (80-67) and second on Saturday afternoon to Roanoke (74-71).
The Scots (0-2) return to action Tuesday night in Cambridge versus MIT (1-1) at 7PM. Sophomore Justin Pedley (6-6) had seven 3’s in the Engineers win over Lesley on Friday night.
Shooting from the outside was certainly part of the problem during Gordon’s weekend in Maryland. Normally accurate Park Thomas (3 for 20) and James Ek (2 for 16) had plenty of opportunities but never could consistently make enough shots to free up the Scots inside game.
Both Jason Dempsey and Hans Miersma had double/doubles in the Goucher game but an amazing second-half cold spell did in Gordon.
How bad was that second-half cold spell? Gordon led, 51-42, with 14 1/2 minutes left. Eight minutes later the Gophers were in front, 64-52. Quick subtraction tells you it was a 22-1 run. There was no recovering from that segment.
A couple of other key pieces in sorting this one out were that: (1) Goucher had only five turnovers while Gordon had twenty-one, and (2) the Scots missed fourteen free throws.
The efficiency stats are arrived at by subtracting the bad stats (turnovers, missed free throws, and missed field goals) from the good stats (steals, blocks, assists, points, and rebounds).
Hans Miersma – 24
Jason Dempsey – 21
Julian Livingston – 19
Goucher – 89
Gordon – 65
The Scots were at a physical disadvantage against Roanoke on Saturday afternoon. The Maroons had not played the night before. However, Gordon was never out of this game until their final shot missed.
Let’s get into the fingernails-on-the-blackboard part of the loss. Gordon had the ball in the last minute trailing by only one. With 33 seconds left, Roanoke’s Cameron Smith had a steal-layup off of Park Thomas. The Scots had shots after that but never recovered the three point deficit.
I referenced poor shooting at the start of this article. That shooting (2-for-20 from 3-point territory) was a killer. Gordon, in fact, missed their last SIXTEEN 3-point tries. Only needed one of those long ones to fall to tie the game……but not on this afternoon.
And I should also mention that thirteen more free throws were missed. What’s with that?
The Maroons were incredibly unselfish versus Gordon. They had a phenomenal twenty-three assists.
Daniel Eacho (24 points) reached a career high in points but the 6-8 junior missed ten shots getting there. That’s why his efficiency stat was only a twelve.
Alex Carnes earned the #1 star in the game with twenty points and nine rebounds.
Alex Carnes – 22
Andrew Daniels – 20 (he had 16 points and only missed two shots
Cameron Smith – 18 (key steal in the last minute)
Taylor Bajema – 14
Hans Miersma – 13
Roanoke – 86
Gordon – 80
So it’s MIT on Tuesday and then the home opener on Friday (7PM) against Worcester State.
The Gordon shooting should get better and when it does a lot of other things will get better along with it.
I continue to be away and look forward, Lord willing, to seeing the home opener on Friday.