(Amesbury) The Scots traveled to Biddeford (ME) and let another Commonwealth Coast Conference game get away, 65-59, to the University of New England on Thursday night.
That is two straight CCC losses for Gordon both the one to Salve Regina (Saturday) and this one alarmingly similar. In each defeat GC started badly, caught up and was ahead late in the second half, and then folded down the stretch.
The video feed from UNE (5-9) was excellent with terrific commentary. I enjoyed reading about what was going to happen before it actually happened on the screen.
What surprised me about this game was that UNE played a zone defense and made it work. Gordon had a ton of good outside looks but made only 6-of-23 attempts.
It also surprised me that the Nor’Easters didn’t press until halfway through the second half. UNE was still able to cause GC turnovers (22) with limited pressure. Dribbling through the UNE zone was tried unsuccessfully on several occasions.
Gordon fell behind 16-5 after ten minutes but rallied to a 29-27 halftime edge. In the second half GC led by five (45-40) with ten minutes left. The score was tied four times in the last five minutes. The final tie being 59-59 with 1:44 remaining.
The next possession the Scots yielded an offensive rebound that led to UNE’s go-ahead, 3-pointer. After a Hans Miersma miss the Nor’Easters converted 1-of-2 free throws to build a 4-point lead. Trailing by four with twenty-six seconds left the Scots, for reasons unknown to this viewer, dribbled away eighteen seconds before turning the ball over. A quick accurate shot was what was needed but GC couldn’t find one and dropped their 4th CCC game.
Evrim Ozkan and Devin Thompson paced UNE with twelve points each.
Gordon and UNE are now tied in the CCC with 3-4 records. Nichols tops the conference with a 7-0 start.
The UNE zone caused a quiet night for Hans Miersma (5 shot attempts) but he still topped the efficiency list.
Hans Miersma 21 (11 rebounds/3 blocks/2 assists)
Drew Coveney 20 (11 points/6 assists/5 steals)
Jason Dempsey 14 (15 points/ 7-7 from foul line)
Matt Lettick 11
Evrim Ozkan 10 (12 points)
This Saturday ENC will be at the Bennett Center. The Scots will be looking to end their two-game losing streak against the team that was favored in the preseason coaches’ poll to win the CCC.