(Williamstown MA) It was a shock to some and a surprise to the rest of us.
But there was Gordon winning their first round game in the NCAA Division 3 men’s basketball tournament, 76-68, over Babson on Friday night at Williams College.
No Commonwealth Coast Conference team had ever won a first round game before the Scots (18-10) got it done.
Gordon trailed the Beavers (20-7) in the early going, 10-6, but then went on a game-turning 15-1 stretch to get up by ten (21-11). That lead would get larger (32-16) but never smaller than five (70-65) the rest of the way.
The 15-1 separator segment was driven by three’s (Park Thomas, Shaun Roach, Dominic Paradis) and three jumps shots by Alex Carnes.
As you can see, the points were coming from everyone. The Beavers chose not to press until late in the game giving Gordon plenty of time to run what has become an excellent half-court offense. Yes there were 19 turnovers but there also were plenty of high percentage shots turning up.
In the hard-to-top second half, Gordon made a remarkable 11 of 15 shots attempted. The Beavers made runs to within six twice late in the game but the Scots responded with layups (Alex Carnes & Hans Miersma) to push Babson back.
Anyone at Williams sweating this one out in the final minutes will rave about Gordon’s foul shooting. Terrific! The team shot 19-for-21 in the game. Park Thomas made all ten of his in the second half including six straight in the last 39 seconds.
Alex Carnes (20 points) topped the efficiency chart. The 6-4 senior carried Gordon in the first half with thirteen points on 6-for-9 shooting.
Alex also spent time defending Babson’s Joey Flannery. Joey was the ROY and POY in the NEWMAC this season. Joey heated up in the second half and ended up with 17 points and 9 rebounds.
Watching Joey Flannery put up a lot of shots late reminded me of the Nichols game in which the Bison turned their scoring opportunities over to Ryan Sheehan.
Alex Carnes 22
Joey Flannery 19
Hans Miersma 18
Jason Dempsey 14
David Mack 11
The Scots will play the host team (Williams) tonight. Only some were shocked when Gordon defeated Babson. Almost everyone will be in that state if the Scots find a way to defeat the 24-4 Ephs. One player certain to require special attention will be Williams’ Mike Mayer. Mike is 6-9/240 pounds and put up a 40 in Efficiency (25 points/15 rebounds) in last night’s Ephs’ win over Mitchell.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)