(Amesbury MA) The Scots squandered a big first-half league but came on strong in the final seven minutes of the game to defeat The University of New England, 74-62, on Wednesday night in Biddeford (ME).
Long-range shooting was important for both teams.
Jake Haar (13 pts in the first half) helped Gordon (8-6) to a lead as big as sixteen (36-20) in the first half.
In the second half, it was CJ Autry’s turn to light up from long-distance. CJ’s five triples were part of UNE rally that had the Nor’Easters ahead, 45-44, with 12 minutes left.
This was now anyone’s game. Could somebody cool off CJ Autry? Could Gordon find some consistent offense?
The answers turned out to be “Yes,” and “Yes.”
Junior Jake Hart applied the glue to CJ and the clean looks vanished. The UNE shooting (bottom in the CCC in field-goal percentage) went south and it was costly for the home team.
At 7:12 GC had a 54-53 lead. 3 ½ minutes later the lead was 63-53. UNE never recovered.
Where did the late-game offense come from for GC? Close to the basket and the foul line. For a while it was Garrisson Duvivier (14 second-half points) and then it was Sam Johnson (11 second-half points including 7-of-8 from the free throw line).
What interested me in the late-game breakaway was that Garrisson and Sam were not in the game together. The strategy worked because with four shooters in the game with Garrisson or Sam, UNE’s help defense was limited. Give Garrisson or Sam one-on-one coverage without additional defenders nearby and points and/or free throws will soon follow. That was the way it was as GC pulled away to a double-digit lead in the closing minutes.
The Nor’Easters (4-10) started the game in a zone and I could only think of two words: “Jake Haar.” Sure enough; bang, bang, and bang and Jake and the Scots were off to a fast start. That zone was discarded before the half was over.
As UNE struggled to score in the first half, GC coach Tod Murphy used his bench. Ten different Gordon players registered points in the first half.
Sophomore Garrisson Duvivier reached a career-high in assists with eight. His behind-the-back pass to uncovered Jake Hart near the basket in the second half got Jake an easy layup.
Sam Johnson registered his 11th double/double of the season. He had to deal with 6’10” defenders in this one.
Garrisson Duvivier 25
CJ Autry 21 (15 points,6 rebounds)
Sam Johnson 20
Jake Haar 15 (16 points)
Good feed from UNE. The sound came on later and it turned out to be Mike Antonellis who also broadcasts the Portland Sea Dogs games.
Nichols took its first CCC defeat as Eastern Nazarene got them by two points at Dudley.
Next for Gordon is Roger Williams at the Bennett Center on Saturday (3PM). The Hawks have won eight straight.