(Wenham MA) Roger Williams came into the Bennett Center riding an eight-game win streak and had only two losses in this season’s first fourteen game.
A worthy opponent for sure with only one loss in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
But on this afternoon, Gordon took the lead for good late in the first half and maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the second half. The final was 82-65.
The Scots (9-6) were impressive and the win should put GC in the conversation for best team in the CCC. I know they lost to Endicott and Nichols, but only by a point each.
The “steadies” on the Scots have been Sam Johnson and Garrisson Duvivier around the basket and Jake Haar long range.
I propose an addition to that group: Jaren Yang. I’m not basing that only on Jaren’s career game this afternoon against the Hawks (12-3). Consider that the junior point guard, who has the ball so often, has a 26/5 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last four games. That’s taking good care of the ball! Free throw shooting? One of the best. He has missed only two free throws all season and has made his last thirty-five. His consistent, positive play of late has made the Scots a better team.
In the early going today, RW played like a team that hadn’t lost since November. They passed well and found layups on fastbreaks when the Scots admired shots for too long. The Hawks were up by six (28-22) with 9:36 to go in the first half.
But the visitors from Bristol (RI) went cold for three minutes and GC caught up and went ahead. The go-ahead hoop was off a nifty feed from Garrisson Duvivier to Jake Haar.
With the score tied 35-35 the Hawks had a tough final 3 ½ minutes committing four turnovers and missing all four shots attempts. That opened the door for GC. Led by Noah Szilagyi (triple and layup assisted by Garrisson), Gordon moved in front by seven (42-35) at the half.
In the second half, the Scots pushed the lead to ten (45-35) on a Jake Haar three. That margin would reach seventeen (58-41) with 11:26 remaining. RW shot it down to nine a couple of times but on this day the Scots always had answers to keep the Hawks from getting closer.
Both teams cleared their benches in the final minute.
Students are still away and it seemed that Roger Williams had more support than GC did.
Next for GC is Tuesday (5:30PM) against Wentworth. The Leopards have defeated Gordon five straight times.
Roger Williams will be hosting Endicott (7-1 in CCC) Tuesday night. Be nice if the Hawks brought the Gulls back to the 6-2 Scots.
The Hawks may have lost, and gotten beaten up in Efficiency, but they had three players in the top five. Beyond Austin Coene, Conor O’Brien, and Nick Marini, however, there weren’t many contributions.
Nick (6’1”) had twelve points, eleven rebounds, and seven assists. That is an excellent stat line.
This was Jaren Yang’s best game and the Efficiency Stat confirms it. Jaren ended up at 23 which is his best ever. His nineteen points were one off his career-high twenty last season against Worcester State. The most impressive stat to me in the assist-to-turnover ratio. When your point guard is getting the ball to scorers while not committing turnovers, the team is in a good place. The free throws are an end-game piece of gold.
Nick Marini 26
Sam Johnson 25 (13 pts, 16 rebs)
Jaren Yang 23
Austin Coene 17 (21 points, 3 assists)
Conor O’Brien 17 (13 points, 3 steals)
Roger Williams 64
The Scots outrebounded RW 48-28.
Sam’s double/double was his eleventh of the season.
The new Jake Haar? Guarded closely beyond the arc, the sophomore took the ball to the basket several times.
Jake Hart missed five shots but his defense, including nine rebounds, made up for it.
Garrisson Duvivier paced Gordon with twenty points.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)