(Wenham MA) The Wentworth Leopards have owned the Gordon College Fighting Scots in recent years and that ownership continued tonight.
The final was 86-78 at the Bennett Center on Tuesday evening.
Wentworth’s ability to dictate how the game will be played on both ends of the court has done in the Scots six straight times.
The Leopards executed their offense inside and outside and turned up high-percentage shots all night long. The visitors shot over 65% for the WHOLE game.
Meanwhile, down the other end, Sam Johnson and Garrisson Duvivier were double-teamed every time they got the ball so that shots for them were heavily contested. You would think that concentrating on those two would open up Gordon shots elsewhere but you would be wrong. There’s not an open look beyond the arc to be found. Jake Haar, as fine a 3-point specialist as I have seen, had no shots in the first half.
WIT took a ten-point lead in the first half and were in control for most of the second half.
Up 78-62 with 5:42 to go, it appeared to be play-out-the-string time.
The Scots were not so inclined. For the next 3+ minutes it was all Gordon. Shots started falling and Wentworth couldn’t make any shots. Two 3’s by Jake Haar, another by Noah Szilagyi, and two layups by Sam Johnson were all unanswered. Suddenly it was 78-75 with 1:52 remaining. Anyone’s game but since this is not the Hallmark Channel there won’t be a happy ending.
Wentworth recovered and had two points in each of their last four possessions including six straight free throws while Gordon reverted and had two turnovers, two misses from the floor, and a missed free throw to show for their end game. A terrific comeback wasted.
Four of Wentworth’s starters combined to shoot 21-for-29 (72%). The other starter, Sam Knollmeyer, may not have shot very well but he was the one eliminating Jake Haar’s shot attempts for most of the contest.
First look at 6-6 freshman Stephen Azums. Impressive. Wentworth’s offensive patterns turned up Stephen with one-on-one coverage close to the basket. He capitalized with nineteen points on 7-for-9 shooting.
The most startling stat from this game was Gordon getting only twenty-seven rebounds. I had to go back to a game against MIT opening the 2012-13 season to find one with fewer rebounds. Considering how well the Leopards shot there just weren’t many rebounds to be had.
Sophomore Garrisson Duvivier, despite the heavy WIT coverage, had a big game for the home team. In fact, in Efficiency, it was his best game of the season. He had his sixth double/double (24 points/10 rebounds) and put with that four assists and five steals. Those on hand could tell you that except for a breakaway jam there were no easy shot attempts for Garrisson.
Wentworth is now 5-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference win three straight victories. The Scots are 6-3 in CCC play and had a 3-game win streak snapped with tonight’s loss.
Point guard Jaren Yang had seven assists for Gordon.
A year ago in Boston, Jason Ganley set a Wentworth scoring record (39 points) against Gordon. This time it was sixteen points but fifteen of them were in the second half.
The rest of the regular season will be a nine-game re-run through CCC opponents.
Garrisson Duvivier 34
Stephen Azums 23 (19 points)
Sam Johnson 21 (15 points)
Dan DeVaux 17 (15 points/3 steals)
Next game for GC is on Saturday afternoon against Western New England. The students are back this week so the “sixth man” should be on hand.
(All the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)