(Wenham MA) The team (Nichols) at the top of the Commonwealth Coast Conference standings hadn’t played in a week.
You hoped for rust. Maybe some off shooting. Unfortunately, we saw none of either at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Nichols Bison (12-4 overall/ 8-1 in the CCC) were scary good as they defeated Gordon, 75-64, before a big crowd.
The Scots (8-8 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) were never able to match the shooting of the visitors from Dudley (MA).
Gordon fell behind after five minutes and battled against a double-digit deficit most of the rest of the game. The Scots did manage to get within nine (71-62) with 2:18 left but that was the best they could do.
It was Nichols’ long-range shooting that was dazzling. They made 12-of-24 from downtown!
In the first half, five different Bison players made three’s. It was impossible to think during halftime that if the Scots could just stop a particular player, things would go better. On this afternoon, every Nichols player was dangerous!
The Bison have now won seven straight and hold a two-game lead over second place teams, Salve Regina and Endicott in the CCC.
The Scots have now dropped two straight. Four of their next five games are on the road, starting with Endicott on Wednesday night (7:30PM) in Beverly. Two games ago you could imagine Gordon vying for the top spot in the CCC. Now you have to wonder if they can play well enough the rest of the way to earn a first-round home game.
Gordon would prefer to attack a team two points at a time. That approach gets dicey when the Scots fall behind and don’t have time to recover using the “two-point method.” The Scots are then forced into a long-range game (3-pointers) that has not proved reliable this season so far.
The Scots, in fact, were 4-for-21 from long range versus Nichols. What if Gordon had made several 3’s in a row when the Nichols lead had been reduced to nine points late in the game? On this afternoon, Nichols was the only team to find gold out deep.
Jalen Hurst (15), Marlon Bennett (14), Ryan Sheehan (11), and Gustave Koumare (10) were the leading Nichols scorers. Jalen and Marlon combined to go 8-for-10 on three-point attempts.
Senior Ryan Sheehan now has 1877 career points and is in the hunt to become the all-time top scorer at Nichols. The total he has to reach is 2016. Ryan is 149 points away and has nine games plus the tournament to get there. I like his chances!
Alex Carnes recorded his fourth double/double (14 points/11 rebounds) of this season.
Junior Jason Dempsey had one of his most productive games of the season getting ten points to go along with nine rebounds.
Park Thomas and Hans Miersma both finished with eleven points.
I thought Park did a solid job handling Nichols’ full-court pressure.
The crowd was impressive and ready to carry the team if the game had been closer down the stretch. I’m still not a big fan of taunting opponents for two reasons: (1) God is our witness, and (2) it usually fires the other team up.
The Triggs, Gaskills, Derrs, and McDonnells made their annual visit to Gordon. Their sons had plenty to do with that 2009-10 CCC championship basketball banner hanging in the Bennett Center.
Alex Carnes 22
Jalen Hurst 17 (15 points/3 assists)
Jason Dempsey 16
Marlon Bennett 15
Ryan Sheehan 14
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)