Late fold gift-wraps Salem State’s 70-65 win over Gordon

Hans Miersma (shown against Roger Williams) dominated versus Salem State with nine blocks, twenty-one points, and eighteen rebounds.............but it wasn't enough.

Hans Miersma (shown against Roger Williams) dominated versus Salem State with nine blocks, twenty-one points, and eighteen rebounds………….but it wasn’t enough.

(Newtown CT)  The DVD for this game will be featured in the “coulda/shoulda” section of the summary of the 2013-14 Gordon men’s basketball season.

The Scots (1-4) gave away a game down the stretch to Salem State, 70-65, in Salem on Tuesday night in nonleague play.

Not to be lost in the loss was a career game by junior Hans Miersma.

(I am in Newtown but took the game in via the Salem State feed.)

This was a game in which neither team deserved to win based on their bad shooting.  They combined to shoot 36% and missed eighteen free throws.  The edge for Gordon was Hans Miersma, and he, almost by himself, kept Gordon on top until the late-game collapse.

“Gave away” may seem harsh but let the stats tell the story and decide for yourself.  Gordon led in this game for over thirty-seven minutes by as many as ten points.  The Scots had answers for every run the Vikings (3-2) made at them.  And Hans Miersma was on his way to the best numbers game he’s ever had.

But then came the collapse.  With 3:36 to go Gordon was in front, 65-60, carrying a game-long ability to keep the lead.  But this time they couldn’t hold it.

During the last 3:36 of the game, the Vikings put up ten unanswered points and won by five.

Let’s get to the ugly part: the Scots missed their last twelve shots including three free throws.  They had a turnover and had two shots blocked.

As I watched the ending unfold, I decided that the viewer rating should have changed from G (good) to R (revolting)!

Credit Salem State.  On a night when shots weren’t falling (24-for-71) and they were forever trailing, they persisted.  They turned an Andrew White steal into an Andrew White jam to get within three (65-62).  They made free throws (two straight – Bryan Ortiz) and five-of-six down the stretch.  Nick Grassa (18 points) added a clutch three and suddenly SSU was up by two (67-65) with 2:15 left.

The Scots had nine shots thereafter to dent the lead but Luke Hamilton, Hans Miersma, Taylor Bajema, Alex Carnes, and Park Thomas all misfired.

Frustrating for sure.  But certainly not a loss from lack of effort.  We’ve seen some pretty good pieces.  It is now a matter of putting the “pieces” together into wins.

That getting-their-act-together needs to start next game (December 4th – Endicott) at home in the Commonwealth Coast Conference opener.  The Gulls are 4-1.  Lance Greene has graduated!

I did have a sense after the loss at Salem for what the Denver Broncos must have felt like after squandering that 24-0 halftime lead on Sunday night!

What a game Hans had!  He came one block shot of a triple/double (21 points/18 rebounds/9 blocks) and was altering and re-arranging Vikings’ shots most of the night.

Hans finished atop the Efficiency list with an impressive 37.  Bryan Ortiz 23 (22 points/5 assists), Andrew White 16 (13 points), and Nick Grassa 16 (18 points – three 3’s) followed on the list.

I saw Nick Grassa play for his father at Lynn Classical……never shy about putting up the long ones.

There were four Scots in double figures on the Efficiency list in last game’s win over Worcester State.  Hans was the only one against Salem State.  Park Thomas went from a 36 versus Worcester State to a 4 against Salem State.

Don’t be fooled by the revised version of Thanksgiving.  Yes, the Pilgrims appreciated what the Indians did for them during the first Thanksgiving in 1621.  However, the Pilgrims overriding thanks for survival was to God.  May our thanks be first to Him.

box score

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