Monthly Archives: November 2015

Scots drop a tough one to Salem State 79-77

(Newtown/Salem) The Scots led by as many as thirteen in the first half but turnovers and missed free throws were keys in letting it all slip away in a 79-77 loss to Salem State in a non-league encounter on Tuesday night.

Gordon (2-2) found life off the bench in the first half as freshman Jake Haar and Luke Meyer combined for eighteen points and the Scots led by ten (44-34) at halftime.

But the home team defended the Scots into numerous empty possessions in the second half and finally drew even with 3 ½ minutes to go.

The Vikings (3-2) looked to be pulling away (77-72) with two minutes left but a layup by Jaren Yang and a jumper by Garrisson Duvivier had the Scots within one with a minute left.

But a missed free throw (Jake Hart) prevented a tie and a turnover (Garrisson Duvivier) in the last five seconds prevented a final shot for the win. It was a tough loss for sure.

Garrisson Duvivier (16 points/11 rebounds) recorded his first (of many?) double-doubles at Gordon.

Efficiency Stats

Shaquan Murray 24 (19 points/5 assists)

Garrisson Duvivier 22

Shyheim Davis 17 (16 points/3 steals)

Marcus Faison 15 (12 points)

Jake Haar 13 (15 points)

Salem State 86

Gordon 83

The season-high turnovers (20) and the season low assists (9) speak volumes about Gordon’s inability to be productive as a team in the half-court offense in this game.

From where I was watching in Connecticut most of the TOs were from bad reactions to a second defender. The second defender was either unseen or not properly reacted to. There was, however, some terrific passing a few times on the interior so the potential is there.

The low number of assists tells me that too many times players tried to go it alone on offense. One more pass might get an assist rather than a turnover.

Eric Demers? First two games 12-for-23. Second two games 6-for-25. Something has to give there.

Teams have figured out that the Scots are very thin in the frontcourt. The Vikings took the ball to the basket on many of their second-half possessions and it paid off as they got the GC frontcourt trio (Sam Johnson, Udoka Obiora, Garrisson Duvivier) in foul trouble. Both Sam and Udoka fouled out. On one Salem State free throw in the last minute, 5-11 Jake Hart was on the inside position.

Maybe I shouldn’t be whining about GC missing ten free throws tonight. Last year against Salem State they missed twelve. The Vikings topped that by misfiring on eighteen of their free throws yet still won 77-67 in 2014.

Gordon starts playing the games that “count” on December 2nd when Western New England opens the Commonwealth Coast Conference part of GC’s schedule at the Bennett Center. Gordon was picked by the coaches to finish seventh in the ten-team CCC. At this point I do not have a good read on how this team will do. A thin frontcourt and erratic shooting concern me the most currently.

What are you thankful for?

Box Score

 

 

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MIT defeats cold-shooting Scots 74-59

(Amesbury/Cambridge) The outside game that carried Gordon to wins in their first two games deserted them in a 74-59 loss to MIT on Thursday night in Cambridge.

Gordon has now lost to non-league MIT nine straight times.

The Scots (2-1) employed a seldom-seen zone defense to offset the MIT size and for the longest time the Engineers (2-0) shot poorly enough to make it look like a good idea.

And it was a good idea until the point at which Gordon was within four (52-48) with 7:33 left. At that juncture the home team put a 12-2 run together over 2+ minutes and pulled away to 64-50 silencing any GC upset plans the cold-shooting Scots might have had.

During the crucial segment the Scots were 1-for-6 with three missed free throws. Meanwhile, MIT hit six straight free throws, a jump shot (Ryan Frankel) and a three (Adam Jurko).

Credit MIT for developing patience against the GC zone as the game went on. They were able to pass their way to open three’s into the second half but on this night couldn’t cash many of those good looks. Later, after making extra passes to get interior high-percentage shots, the 3-point shot turned up at the end of the shot clock and MIT started connecting on those 3’s.

Sam Johnson turned in his second double/double of the young season with sixteen points and eleven rebounds. Garrisson Duvivier added thirteen points for the Scots. Gordon tallied thirty-four points in the paint.

The rest of the offense was missing for much of the night. Could it have something to do with three games in six days?

Efficiency Chart

Tim Butala 22 (22 points/9 rebounds)

Ryan Frankel 21 (19 points/8 assists)

Garrisson Duvivier 16 (13 points)

Sam Johnson 15 (16 points/11 rebounds)

Adam Jurko 14 (12 points)

MIT 90

Gordon 59

Box Score

The Scots had only ten turnovers which matched last year’s season low also against MIT.

Gordon’s next game is in Salem next Tuesday against Salem State. MIT entertains Eastern Nazarene.

I watched this game on the good MIT feed. I’ll try to do the same thing on the Salem State game because Julie and I will be visiting family in Connecticut.

 

 

 

 

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Gordon stays undefeated with 80-77 win over Fisher

Eric Demers (19 points) set to launch the three that will tie the game in the last minute

Eric Demers (19 points) set to launch the three that will tie the game in the last minute

Tyler Shular (31 points) at the rim for the Falcons

Tyler Shular (31 points) at the rim for the Falcons

(Wenham MA) Gordon scored all of the points (nine) in the final three minutes and defeated Fisher College, 80-77, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center in non-league action.

The Scots (2-0) had to withstand a remarkable performance by Falcons’ senior Tyler Shular (31 points, 4 assists, 6 steals) to pull this one out.

Gordon was down by eleven in the first half (31-20) and six (77-71) in the second half but shot and defended their way back to the lead at the end of each half.

Clutch shooting and strong defense combined to get the job done down the stretch. The Falcons missed all six shot attempts in crunch time thanks in part to blocks by Sam Johnson and Garrisson Divivier.

Big shot? Down three with less than a minute left, Jaren Yang (8 assists) found freshman Eric Demers open in the right corner for the tying three-spot.

The Falcons (2-1) had two more possessions. Darrell Grady missed a layup in heavy traffic, while a Kyle Holmes three (over Noah Szilagyi) misfired for the lead with six seconds to go. Meanwhile Gordon drained three of four pressure free throws (Jaren Yang 2 & Garrisson Duvivier 1) to ice the outcome.

Eric Demers defends Tyler Shular

Eric Demers defends Tyler Shular

Remarkable performance by 6-3 Tyler Shular. Credit Eric Demers and Jake Hart with “holding” him to thirty-one points. This guy could shoot from anywhere and had terrific speed. He logged thirty-nine minutes. A reason for the Gordon win? Tyler didn’t take a shot the final three minutes as GC rallied for the win. Credit Eric Demers’ defense for some of that.

This year’s team is so different from the Hans Miersma teams of the previous four seasons. Those teams were inside out and for good reason. This team is clearly outside in. And this team can make 3-point shots. Last year the high on made 3-pointers was seven. First game (Lesley) this year nine were made. Tonight it elevated to eleven.

A big part of tonight’s win was that the Scots had excellent stats from insiders Sam Johnson and Garrisson Duvivier as well. Garrisson was a startling 8-for-9 while both Sam and Garrisson blocked three shots. Forcing teams to defend the 3-point shooters on the perimeter opened space for Sam and Garrisson in closer.

Jaren Yang (eight assists) in traffic

Jaren Yang (eight assists) in traffic

Jaren Yang matched his season high (eight) in assists. He also had a huge rebound in the last minute.

Jason Dempsey was in the house.

Gordon lost to Fisher last year, 79-76, in a game that Jason, Hans, and Taylor combined for 55 points and 28 rebounds.

Efficiency Chart

Tyler Shular 38

Garrisson Duvivier 24 (17pts/6reb/3blocks)

Sam Johnson 17 (12pts/9reb/3blocks)

Jaren Yang 16 (10pts/8assists/3steals)

Aaron Penn 14 (12pts/2assists)

Noah Szilagyi 14 (13pts/5rebs)

Gordon travels to MIT on Thursday night (7PM). The Scots will open plenty of eyes with a strong show against the Engineers on the road.

Box Score

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Game on!

Game on!

Sam Johnson (12 points) looks to pass

Sam Johnson (12 points) looks to pass

Eric Demers chased by Tyler Shular and Darrell Grady

Eric Demers chased by Tyler Shular and Darrell Grady

Jaren Yang hit two free throws in the last minute of the game

Jaren Yang hit two free throws in the last minute of the game

Kyle Holmes fires a three with six seconds left

Kyle Holmes fires a three with six seconds left

Garrisson Duvivier at the line in the closing seconds

Garrisson Duvivier at the line in the closing seconds

Jaren Yang steals and seals the deal

Jaren Yang steals and seals the deal

Jake Haar defends Aaron Penn

Jake Haar defends Aaron Penn

Sam Johnson blocks

Sam Johnson blocks

Garrisson Duvivier blocks

Garrisson Duvivier blocks

Garrisson Duvivier rebounds

Garrisson Duvivier rebounds

Eric Demers (four 3's) from the left

Eric Demers (four 3’s) from the left

Darrell Grady in the paint

Darrell Grady in the paint

Noah Szilagyi (three 3's) hits one

Noah Szilagyi (three 3’s) hits one

Luke Meyer plays the point

Luke Meyer plays the point

 

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Scots open with 86-70 win over Lesley

Sam Johnson (17 points/11 rebounds) led Gordon past Lesley

Sam Johnson (17 points/11 rebounds) led Gordon past Lesley

Jaren Yang (8 assists) had his best game for the Scots

Jaren Yang (8 assists) had his best game for the Scots

(Wenham MA) Nice start!

Before a playoff-sized crowd, Gordon defeated non-league Lesley, 86-70, in the season opener on Friday night at the Bennett Center.

I couldn’t get over the crowd. The home side was filled and they had plenty to cheer about especially in Gordon’s 52-point second half.

Part of the excitement at this game was a first-time look at the Scots nine new faces. On a roster of seventeen players that is a substantial turnover from the 2014-15 squad.

My two biggest concerns for this season were rebounding and scoring.

Gone were Hans Miersma, the all-time rebounder in GC history, as well as Jason Dempsey and Taylor Bajema. On this night, forty-nine rebounds were gathered. A number topped only four times last season. How did it get done? Guards got involved on the boards. Jaren Yang had a career-high eight rebounds.

Freshman Garrisson Duvivier was a force inside

Freshman Garrisson Duvivier was a force inside

Scoring? Returnees Sam Johnson (17) and Jaren (10) reached double figures. Newcomers Garrisson Duvivier (13) and Eric Demers (15) provided the scoring depth that put this one in the win column for the Scots.

Lesley has lost four straight to Gordon. The Lynx were blown out last year (85-52) but only lost by a point (62-61) the year before.

Freshman Xeo Golding had a big night in his college debut for Lesley totaling 24 points to lead all scorers.

The Lynx were still within six points of GC with 3+ minutes left but clearly ran out of energy because of a short bench.

It certainly didn’t help the visitors to have three of their starters combine for a 2-for-26 shooting night. Credit a very persistent Gordon defense for some of that.

Freshman Xeo Golding led all scores with 24 points

Freshman Xeo Golding led all scores with 24 points

I am a keen follower of the Efficiency Rating. Why? Because it factors more than just points to get the number. It is the result of subtracting the negative stats (missed shots and turnovers) from positive stats (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals). The NBA coaches use it because it recognizes all-around contributions.

Efficiency Rating

Sam Johnson 22

Xoe Golding 20

Garrisson Duvivier 20

Jaren Yang 17

Eric Demers 16

Gordon 106

Lesley 66

Junior Sam Johnson topped that list tonight. Sam recorded his second career double/double (17 points/11 rebounds) and looked like he can be the go-to guy inside this season.

Freshman Garrisson Duvivier (6-6) showed some noteworthy versatility by not only getting points (13) and rebounds (8) but also adding assists (4) and steals (3). One of Garrisson’s assists came from a layup pass to teammate Sam Johnson that started the second half. The Scots never trailed thereafter.

This was sophomore Jaren Yang’s best game. The 5-8 point guard reached career marks in rebounds (8) and assists (8). Jaren also had only two turnovers during an evening of handling the ball most of the time.

Freshman Eric Demers (15 points) looks to pass

Freshman Eric Demers (15 points) looks to pass

Freshman Eric Demers notched three of Gordon’s nine 3-point conversions. The outside game will have plenty to do with how the Scots will do in 2015-16.

Former Scots Hans Meirsma, Greg Walker, Dominic Paradis, and Carter Bras were in the house.

Coach Charlie Mason of New England College made the trip from Henniker (NH) to check out his next opponent (Lesley).

Next for GC will be Fisher on Tuesday night (7:30PM). Is it possible that tonight’s crowd will be back for that one? I’m betting the GC team is hoping so.

Box score

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

another season underway

another season underway

Gordon bench

Gordon bench

eyeing a rebound

eyeing a rebound

Noah Szilagyi takes a free throw

Noah Szilagyi takes a free throw

new coach

new coach

Graham Tienhaara swings in for two

Graham Tienhaara swings in for two

Jake Hart defends Xeo Golding

Jake Hart defends Xeo Golding

Devon Mayo breaks in

Devon Mayo breaks in

Sam Johnson shoots over Jacob DiDomenico

Sam Johnson shoots over Jacob DiDomenico

Jaren Yang puts up a floater

Jaren Yang puts up a floater

Luke Meyer at the point

Luke Meyer at the point

Jake Hart on the baseline

Jake Hart on the baseline

Jake Haar tries long range

Jake Haar tries long range

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Underdog Saturday offers title chances to 3 Gordon teams

Saturday (November 7th) is travel day for GC volleyball, women’s soccer, and men’s soccer.

All three made it to Commonwealth Coast Conference championship games. All are underdogs.

The two women’s teams will be at Roger Williams in Bristol, Rhode Island while the men’s team will be down the street at Endicott.

All three GC teams lost to their Saturday opponents in their last matchup. The GC teams are lower seeds. You don’t like their chances………….on paper.

But one of the sweetest memories I have of Gordon sports happened in March of 2014 when the GC men’s basketball team took down #1 seed Nichols. You never saw a crowd as stunned as that raucous home crowd as the Scots pulled the upset. And I never was at a celebration that felt so good.

Tomorrow there will be three more chances to stun some home-crowd folks and celebrate on the road.

If the GC squads can get early leads, or at least hang close, the pressure starts to mount on the favored home teams.

How many titles can GC come away with on Underdog Saturday?

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