(Wenham MA) There were optimists thinking that Gordon was ready to take down some of the upper echelon teams in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
However, after seeing the webcast loss to Nichols two days ago and this afternoon’s 75-60 defeat against Endicott, it may be time to temper that enthusiasm.
A good crowd (the students are back) at the Bennett Center saw their Scots (7-8) take and make enough difficult shots to hang with the Gulls (9-6) early into the second half.
But after a 38-38 tie the visitors began to gain separation and over the final 7 ½ minutes maintained a double-digit lead.
Endicott played in this game, especially the second half, the way you hope the young Scots will play after more time together. EC passed the ball. They set screens to get teammates open shots. They frustrated Gordon’s interior game and they limited GC to low-percentage, long-range shots.
In the Nichols game the Bison struggled in some areas but made up the difference in other areas. Endicott the same way. Top CCC scorer Kamahl Walker and Max Motrondi (#3 in scoring) were off (nine-for-thirty) but teammates more than made up the difference. Chris Lipscomb (13 points) had a career game while Stephen Basdin at 6’2” collected eleven rebounds and nine points in close to the basket.
The Gulls picked up thirty-two points in the paint getting most of them on drives and offensive rebounds. There was very little action from EC in the post.
One of the solid pieces for Gordon so far has been their play in the post. Sam Johnson and Garrisson Duvivier had fourteen double/doubles between them coming into the game. Sam got #15 with his 10/10 effort but the collapsing defense of EC forced seven turnovers on the hustling junior. The quicker Garrisson forgets this game (1-for-11) the better.
Freshman Jake Haar had taken the CCC by surprise over the past five games with remarkable 3-point accuracy. His over 60% touch (17-for-27) obviously was no secret to Endicott and the result was tight coverage with limited touches and only two long-range attempts.
The team efficiency results (Endicott 97, Gordon 60) highlight the difference between the two teams on this afternoon. The “on this afternoon” part is crucial. The Scots can play much better. For many of the GC players it was their first taste of the Gordon/Endicott rivalry. A rematch is scheduled for February 13th at Beverly.
Gordon will be traveling to Boston for their next game to face Wentworth on Tuesday night. The Leopards are tied at the top of the CCC with Nichols and Endicott. Wentworth downed Endicott two nights ago. It won’t be easy!
The loyalty of some of the Bennett Center faithful was severely tested in the second half with GC down by double-digits and the Patriots/Chiefs playoff game already started.
Stephen Basden 23
Chris Lipscomb 21
Sam Johnson 14
Eric Demers 13 (15 points)
Daquan Sampson 10 (11 points)
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)