(Amesbury MA) It wasn’t pretty but the Scots got it done in Quincy defeating Eastern Nazarene, 70-62, on Wednesday night.
The win enabled Gordon (11-7) to sweep the series with the Lions.
Certainly a frustrating loss for the Lions. They fell behind by double figures early but recovered to get a lead early in the second half. Then the visitors from Wenham (MA) pulled away again to a double-digit lead (58-47) and the closest ENC (9-9) could get the rest of the way was five points.
The Scots had enough defense in the first half to still be ahead (28-27) despite a serious cooldown. That chilly session lasted seven minutes. Eleven straight shots were missed and four turnovers committed. A 21-10 advantage shrunk to 21-20. The Scots were fortunate that ENC had their own shooting woes.
In the second half, Gordon broke loose from a tie (36-36) on two consecutive three’s by Jake Haar. They would not be caught the rest of the way.
Layups by Garrisson Duvivier, and Noah Szilagyi and a runner in the lane by Luke Meyer raised the GC spread to eleven (58-47) with six minutes left.
ENC cut the lead to five (67-62) with thirty seconds remaining but it was too late to finish the comeback.
Very surprised that the Lions did not do any pressing. Maybe they didn’t see the Western New England game and the Scots’ twenty-seven turnovers? Whatever. The Lions were content to concentrate on shutting down Gordon in close and for good reason; Garrisson Duvivier had thirty points around the basket in GC’s first-game OT win.
Christian Lynch 25 (17 points, 5 assists)
Corey Doran 14 (16 points)
Sam Johnson 14 (11 points)
Garrisson Duviver 14 (11 points)
Jake Hart 12 (9 points)
David Eddings 12 (10 points, 3 assists)
Noah Szilagyi (12 points) had a career-high in shots (13) and was 3-for-5 from long range.
The Gordon win plus a Roger Williams loss (to Nichols) puts the Scots in a three-way tie for second with those two teams. With the win, Gordon now has a two-game separation over the closest of the teams behind them in the standings. The top four teams host a first-round playoff game.
The Scots get Nichols at noon on Saturday in Dudley. There will be full-court pressure. There will be Marco. He had thirty tonight against Roger Williams. A win over the Bison would ease the pain of the last-second defeat earlier in the season.
Call it the Gordon version of the Sports Illustrated curse. In Coach Tod Murphy’s entry in Coaches Corner that came out today, he mentioned that the Scots could score points but the worries were on the defensive end. Sure enough, same day the Scots struggle to score points.
I opted for the blurred version of the ENC game feed.
Two day-after thoughts on this game:
- Jake Hart. His minutes are down but his contributions aren’t. In the fast-start, first 2 ½ minutes of the ENC game, alert Garrisson Duvivier connected with cutting Jake three different times for layups. Later the junior nailed a three, assisted by Jaren Yang. No forced offense. Cutting to the basket to get open. A valuable player.
- Sam Johnson. You see him with nine rebounds versus ENC and think he had a “bad” game. Foolish thought. Why? Sam’s 9-rebound game is higher than what everyone else in the Commonwealth Coast Conference averages per game except Nick Bates! In a game in which everyone on the floor has a chance to get a rebound, Sam has the knack and passion to get a high number of them every game. Playing like a first-team, all-leaguer in my mind.