(Wenham MA) It didn’t go entirely the way we had hoped.
Senior Sam Johnson was indeed honored pregame on Senior Day but after that the Scots were supposed to get a win over the visiting Endicott Gulls.
The first part went off without a hitch but getting a victory over EC? Not this time.
Endicott (17-4) never trailed in a convincing, 82-65, performance on Saturday afternoon before this season’s best crowd at the Bennett Center.
Kamahl Walker (29 points) did a wonderful impersonation of the Celtic’s Isaiah Thomas by driving past or shooting over most of the defenders he encountered. The EC senior had sixteen points in the second half.
Late in the game, Gordon’s Jake Hart was isolated on Kamahl with the rest of his Endicott teammates spread out along the baseline. Looked like the perfect time for him to drive but instead he pulled up for a three and made it. What’s a defender to do?
While Endicott was shooting over 50% for the game, the Scots (12-9) struggled. Trouble spot? Outside shooting. Noah Szilagyi has joined Eric Demers in the out-for-the-season category. Their three-point accuracy was missed big-time against the Gulls.
Also of note is the cooling off of Jake Haar (12 points). The GC sophomore has slipped to 6-for-20 over the last three games. Because of the status of Gordon’s outside shooting, Jake has been forced into trying more three’s than usual and sometimes from places he normally wouldn’t shoot from.
Jake had twenty-three points in the one-point loss at Endicott. That drew him the defense of EC’s Stephen Basden this time.
The Scots quickly were behind 14-5 and then 30-15. Later in the first half it was 36-22 before GC put their best run of the day together by closing the deficit to 38-33 at halftime.
A triple by Jake Haar, a jumper by Josh Ribeiro, and a layup from Sam Johnson, plus free throws by Jake and Jake Hart provided the firepower in the late run.
The Gulls moved the lead back to double figures (44-33) early in the second half and Gordon was never able to challenge inside of nine points thereafter.
Sam Johnson and Daquan Sampson had double/doubles for their respective teams.
The efficiency charts reveals that statistically this was Gordon’s poorest outing of the season. Fewer rebounds than usual and weak shooting were the chief culprits.
Kamahl Walker 31 (29 points, 3 steals)
Daquan Sampson 17 (13 points, 10 rebounds)
Sam Johnson 15 (13 points, 10 rebounds)
Chris Lipscomb 13 (9 points, 4 assists)
Max Motroni 11 (13 points)
The Scots (9-5) are currently sitting in 4th place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference one game ahead of Wentworth (8-6). It is starting to look as if GC will be facing WIT in the post-season tournament. Can Gordon do enough over the final four games to keep that spot and get a home game in the first round?
Last year’s two seniors, Richie Armand and Udoka Obiora, were in the house.
The crowd was terrific. They made plenty of supportive noise even as the team they were there to cheer struggled.
Gordon will be at Roger Williams (Wednesday) and at Wentworth next Saturday.
My wife and I were pleased to enjoy the senior (Sam Johnson) celebration after the game. It was nice to get to meet some of the parents of the players on this year’s team
At the gathering coach Tod Murphy credited Sam with being the piece that enabled Gordon to win the CCC title three seasons ago. Sam joined the Scots in January of his freshman year.
Box from this game
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)