(Amesbury MA) Jaylen Owens is not the opponent you want taking shots in the last minute.
The decorated junior (2012-13 CCC Rookie of the Year & 2013-2014 CCC First Team) canned a three, a two, and two free throws in the final minute and carried Eastern Nazarene to a 65-59 win over Gordon on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.
The Scots (11-14) end the regular season with two straight losses and now enter with Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament on Tuesday night (7PM) in Boston versus Wentworth.
Gordon played well enough to win but tortured the GC attendees and those of us viewing by unraveling completely in the final four minutes to earn a defeat. The Scots led 57-54 at the entrance but the rest of the way made one of seven shots and had two turnovers. Not a good time to put that collection of unfortunate offense together for sure.
Hans Miersma’s seventeen points and seventeen rebounds combined for yet another double/double for the 6-9 senior.
Hans Miersma 26
Alex Jarman 20 (10 rebounds/4 assists)
Jaylen Owens 19 (27 points/6 rebounds)
Corey Doran 11 (10 points)
Christian Lynch 10 (12 points)
It was good to see Taylor Bajema back in action after missing five games.
ENC full-court pressure produced twenty-two Gordon turnovers. The Lions (21-4) collected twenty-two points off of those turnovers. Dribbling in traffic (more than one defender) and subpar passing and pass receiving are leading to too many wasted possessions.
The CCC tournament is always an exciting time. Who among the Gordon faithful can forget the last two CCC finals?
You would almost have to think that the eventual winner this year would be from among; Nichols (20-5), Endicott (20-5), and ENC (21-4). The other five teams in the tourney, including Gordon, do not even have winning records. Nichols and Endicott split during the regular season while ENC’s four losses are to Nichols and Endicott. The neighboring Gulls have won eleven straight and defeated Nichols the last time they played. A final on Saturday at Nichols between those two would seem quite likely.
However, what should be doesn’t always turn out that way. Nearly a year ago I was under the Gordon basket at Nichols with 10 ½ minutes left in the championship game. The Scots were down by seventeen but miraculously went on to win by four and take the title.
Can Gordon win a second-straight championship? The Scots are 1-5 against the teams (UNE, Nichols, Wentworth) in their bracket.
Gordon will win (Are you listening Jaren, Dylan, Dominic, Jake, and Craig?) if someone has a big game from the outside in each of the three games. The turnovers will have to be cut back and the free throw shooting (7-for-14 vs. ENC) must get better. It can be done!