(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.
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
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?