(Wenham MA) Gordon survived a hold-your-breath finish to defeat Salve Regina, 63-61, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.
The win, Gordon’s 4th straight, thrusts them into fifth place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference standings. The opportunity to move higher is clearly in place as three of their final regular CCC games are against teams above them (Wentworth, Endicott, Nichols).
A finish in the top four would get the Scots (8-6/11-10) a home game in the first round of the CCC playoffs.
Gordon will host Wentworth (9-5) next Wednesday night.
To win today’s game with the Seahawks the Scots had to overcome a 7-point deficit (61-54) in the final 2:49. Gordon’s shooting on this afternoon had been way off (37%) and a comeback seemed unlikely.
BUT back they came and the defense had plenty to do with it. SR didn’t score a point in the final 2:49. The visitors missed a jump shot (Bryce Boggs) and a layup (Nick Bates) and had two layups blocked by Garrisson Duvivier and Sam Johnson. They also committed two turnovers including one on the final play of the afternoon.
Meanwhile the Scots produced points in their last five possessions to get the lead. Two of the possessions were kept alive by offensive rebounds. (Rebounding has been a consistent positive all season.)
Jake Haar (13 points) hit a 3-pointer after the first offensive rebound. Then Garrison Duvivier (14 points) made one of two free throws, before he came back on the next possession to get an offensive rebound. This time Garrisson was fouled and made both free throws. Next GC possession it was Richie Armand’s chance at two at the line. Richie missed the first and made the second to tie the score at 61-61 with 58 seconds left.
Following a SR layup miss the Scots took over. After a timeout, there was plenty of dribbling/passing before the shot-clock countdown began. Jake Haar ended up with a pass from Richie Armand and instead of dialing long-distance he broke into the paint past defender Bryce Boggs and drained a floater with eight seconds to go to give GC the 63-61 lead.
What would Salve do? A good bet would have been on Bryce Boggs (23 points) to take the shot. After all, the sophomore had nineteen of his points in the second half. He had hit from long range and he had gotten to the basket.
Bryce did get the ball but was swarmed by at least two defenders above the foul line. Bryce had the presence of mind to spot teammate Kevin Mannix uncovered in close. A quick pass got the ball there but over came Sam Johnson to block Kevin’s shot attempt in the last second.
With less than a second left, SR still had time for an inbounds play. A two-pointer ties it and a 3-pointer wins it. I don’t know what play Salve coach Sean Foster had drawn up but my pictures show that SR nearly got a wide-open three-point attempt by Rodney Morton from the left corner. The pass, however, ended up going out of bounds and the game ended there. I think what happened was that inbounds passer (Barrett Hanlon) saw Rodney aboutn to get open in the corner but teammate Nick Bates didn’t. Nick reached for what he thought was a bad pass and deflected it past Rodney. If that pass had reached Rodney, he would have had a very clean look at the game winner. One of the Gordon defenders was extremely fortunate, to say the least.
But it all came out good for the home team. It isn’t how you win, it’s did you. And the answer was “Yes” today.
Gordon had points from ten different players. It was indeed one of those games where I wondered afterwards where the GC points had come from. For Salve it was easy; Bryce Boggs and Nick Bates.
Bryce looked like a miniature Marcus Smart (Celtics) to me. Muscular with a good outside shot as well as a willingness to challenge the GD shot blockers.
Nick, from nearby Danvers, is a certain All-CCC player. Today he had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Garrisson Duvivier kept him from doing more damage. I was surprised that he didn’t cash in either of his two layups in the end game.
Gordon was fortunate to see very little of senior Barrett Hanlon. Barrett got three fouls in the first half and he also still appears to be having knee problems. Shutting him out was huge when you consider his history at the Bennett Center: 2014 – 32 points in SR win, 2015 – 22 points, including 17 in the second half in SR win.
If you’re a guard with a nice 3-point shot, you probably scored a lot of points in high school. In college the defense will take that shot away most of the time. That is why it has been good to see newcomers Eric Demers, Noah Szilaygi, and Jake Haar, arrive with a second shot. I call it a floater. The guard gets past the over-playing perimeter defender and gets closer to the basket. With shot blockers ahead, the guard lofts a higher-than-usual shot over the bigger defenders rushing at him. That type of shot by freshman Jake Haar turned out to be the game winning basket in today’s win over Salve Regina.
Bryce Boggs 22 (23 pts)
Nick Bates 21 (18 pts/15 rebs)
Garrisson Duvivier 20 (14 pts/12 rebs/3 blocks)
Sam Johnson 15 (9 pts/12 rebs)
Jake Haar 11 (13 pts)
Salve Regina 55
Tremendous discrepancy in the team totals.
Nick Bates and Bryce Boggs were 16-for-32 for Salve. The rest of the team? 7-for-29.
Salve’s decline at the end of the game may have had something to do with the long minutes starters Nick Bates (39), Bryce Boggs (36), and Rodney Morton (38) played.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)