(Newtown CT) Wentworth defeated Gordon, 55-50, on Thursday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at the Bennett Center.
(I am in Connecticut with family and will miss being on-site for the Endicott game as well.)
If efficiency stats are to be believed this was the Scots’ worst game of the season although Wentworth wasn’t a whole lot better.
The Leopards went down by seven (23-16) late in the first half but put ten straight points together over the next six minutes of playing time. That run of unanswered points put them ahead and the Scots never caught up.
A number of times the home team was one made shot away from tying or pulling ahead but no GC players stepped up to make the big shot.
Gordon (7-10) was within one with sixteen seconds left but two free throws by freshman Ben Kizel boosted the lead back to three. Jaren Yang’s 3-point attempt missed and the Scots were done.
How did Wentworth win? They eliminated Gordon’s inside game. GC’s season-low in points-in-the-paint going into this game was 20. WIT held the Scots to 8 points in close! I saw a zone packed in the paint as well as Hans Miersma (4 points) triple-teamed whenever he touched the ball. How do you beat defenses like that? Pass your way into open shots and made enough to force the defense to change.
Gordon continues to be careless with the ball (22 turnovers). Way too much dribbling in traffic. Way too slow recognizing double-teams.
Another troubling stat is assists. I certainly understand that if the shooting is off, which it was (15-for-44), then even terrific passes can be wasted. But five total assists for a game and only one assist in the second half screams too many one-on-one attempts.
Enough of that. Next up for GC will be Endicott on Saturday afternoon. You know that things in Connecticut are pretty important for me to miss that one. A win over EC feels like five wins and Gordon has had their number for a while. However, the way the Scots are playing at home (1-6) would seem to set the Gulls up to get some revenge.
Senior John-Michael Fragnoli was terrific for the Leopards with fifteen points and ten rebounds.
The key to the WIT win may well have been freshman Jason Ganley’s thirteen points off the bench.
Jaren Yang paced Wentworth with eighteen points on thirteen shots. His free throw shooting has been very impressive as his streak of made freebies has reached eighteen.
Hans led all rebounders with fifteen.
No sign of Jason Dempsey. His inside presence may well have changed the outcome in this one.
John-Michael Fragnoli 23
Ian Therriault 15 (9 rebounds)
Jaren Yang 12
Craig McFarlane 10 (12 points)