(Amesbury MA) Gordon was shorthanded but not short of heart.
Minus three starters, the Scots still gave the Saturday afternoon Bennett Center crowd in Wenham (MA) plenty to cheer about in an, 88-81, loss to Salve Regina.
(When I’m looking for ice I go to the nearby freezer, not out on the roadways. So I chose to view this game via the Gordon website.)
The Scots shot very well early, in fact had a nineteen point lead (40-21) in the first half. Points were going up in a hurry for the home team but you couldn’t help but fear a cool down. And it came in the second half.
While Gordon struggled in the second half, the visiting Seahawks couldn’t miss. The team from Newport (RI) shot an incredible 68% for the half and caught the Scots (53-53) with 13:11 left. Credit Gordon for not going away. For the next 8+ minutes Gordon matched Salve. I’ll give credit to a very active student section for lifting the home team. Down 75-74 with 4:42 left, however, SR was able to create separation and won by seven, 88-81.
Sophomore Barrett Hanlon had a season-high 32 points for Salve. The 5-10 guard surely found this win satisfying. In the January 11th loss to Gordon (71-70) Barrett missed two free throws and a jump shot in the final twenty-two seconds. Today, Barrett hit two jumpers in the last minute of the first half to bring SR to within eleven (45-34). Later it was his three that tied the score at 53-53.
Gordon’s Alex Carnes (27 points) was just about as hot as Barrett. The GC senior ended up draining a career-high, six three-pointers.
This was a day in which there was plenty of Gordon offense. Four players ended up in double figures. What caused the loss? Lack of defense. I had to go back four years to find a game in which the Scots gave up more than the 88 points they did today. Did I mention that three starters were missing and each is a special defender?
Understand that the league loss doesn’t really change anything for Gordon as far as I see it. The goal for (11-5) Gordon, as they enter the final week of conference play, is to finish in second place. They can’t catch (14-2) Nichols. Wins this week over Roger Williams (Tuesday – away) and Eastern Nazarene (Saturday – home), however, will assure the Scots of second.
It won’t be easy. Gordon had a home loss to Roger Williams in January while ENC has won eight straight including a win recently over Nichols.
Barrett Hanlon 32
Alex Carnes 29
Dominic Paradis 13 (16 points)
Brenden Fowler 13 (9 points with one missed shot)
Udoka Obiora 12 (6 rebounds & 5 blocks)
Nick Bates 12
Salve Regina 105
Park Thomas set a career mark with eleven assists.
Freshman Nick Bates was part of two Massachusetts Division 3 state championships at Danvers (MA).
Sophomore Udoka Obiora had five blocks versus Salve. Given the chance to play during the past two games, he has shown that he can contribute.
Gordon had season highs in shots attempted (69) as well as three’s made (13) and attempted (31).
Dominic Paradis reached a career high with his 16 points today.
Lord willing, a week from now the CCC tourney setup will be in place and the Gordon seniors will have been recognized.
In my opinion, there won’t be a team in the CCC tournament that Gordon can’t defeat, including Nichols. The dream scenario is for GC to finish second, win their two home-tourney games, have someone knock off Nichols, and face Endicott in a jam-packed Bennett Center on March 1st!