(Amesbury/Dudley MA) The game was just a little too long for Gordon as they let a big win slip away, 73-66, on Thursday night against Nichols.
The final score certainly misrepresents the way this game went.
The Scots were only down by two (64-62) with 3+ minutes left.
Gordon (7-7) had a ten-point lead at the half largely because Nichols had an off night long range.
In the second half the Bison moved in a few steps (from the arc) and got to the rim more frequently.
If you’re looking for a stat that separated loss from win it was rebounds. Yes, Gordon had more (49) and Sam Johnson had an amazing twenty-three of them but undersized Nichols getting forty-three was decisive. The killer? Eighteen offensive rebounds for the home team. That total of 18 has only been topped twice (Endicott & Worcester State) against GC in the last three years.
Nichols (11-3) plays three four-year starters (Christian Horton, Gustave Koumare, and Irving Eggleston) and in crunch time their persistent defense and other contributions spelled the difference. The senior guard trio combined for seven steals, eight assists, and fourteen rebounds. Their game experience was significant against the youthful Scots.
Sam’s rebounding was remarkable. The best rebounder in GC history (Hans Miersma) topped Sam’s total only once with 24 caroms in a memorable upset of Endicott last year at Endicott.
I’m betting Sam would have preferred less offensive rebounds (nine) if he could have made a few more inside shots. A bunch of those offensive rebounds were off of his own misses.
Transfer Devin Stallings had a big second half for Nichols.
No sign of Luke Meyer. Only 12 assists by GC in this one.
Good feed on the Nichols website. Gordon can’t find commentators for their webcasts?
Saturday (3PM) at the Bennett Center the Scots will get their first of two shots against Endicott. The Gulls won the CCC last year and are back at the top of the standings. The GC student body is back and Saturday will be a good time for them to attempt to get Sixth Man status.
Sam Johnson 28
Devin Stallings 22 (14 pts/14 rebounds)
Garrison Duvivier 20 (17 pts/3 blocks)
Irving Eggleston 19 (23 pts/3 steals)
Gustave Koumare 17 (15 pts)