(Amesbury MA) Some wins are sweeter than others. This was one of them.
Gordon put an end to a six-game losing streak to Wentworth (11-12) by defeating the Leopards, 70-61, on Saturday afternoon in Boston.
WIT shot a merciless 65% in the first meeting and have had GC’s number for two seasons. That domination crashed and burned this afternoon.
Reality set in on the Wentworth shooters (39%) and the team had to play from behind most of the second half.
The Scots free throw shooting (Where did this accuracy come from?) was clutch in the second half as they made their last eleven straight.
It certainly helped to have the Commonwealth Coast Conference’s best free-throw shooter, Jaren Yang, at the line six times down the stretch. Jaren has missed only four free throws (2 in one game), all season, in sixty-three attempts.
In the second half, the Scots (10-6 in the CCC) gained separation, squandered separation, and then closed strong.
Gordon (13-10) was barely up, 41-40, with 16:35 left before putting ten straight points together. Four layups and a Josh Ribeiro jumpers did the trick.
The team from Wenham still had the eleven-point cushion (56-45) with 8:03 to go.
Then a familiar team nemesis showed up: turnovers. The next four minutes? Six of them. Combined with two missed jumpers and a missed three, the door for comeback was wide open for the home team.
WIT (9-7 in the CCC) took advantage of the GC lapse and stood at the doorstep, 56-53, with 2:57 left.
Season turning point? Gordon did not blink. Instead, the next eight points were there’s. A Jaren Yang jump shot from the left side off the backboard was followed by a Garrison Duvivier layup assisted by Jake Haar. Consecutive double free throws by Jaren Yang and Jake Hart sealed the deal for Gordon as the Scots were back up by eleven in the last minute.
Why was this game so important? The obvious was ending Wentworth’s hold on Gordon. The teams should be facing one another in the first round of the CCC tournament on Tuesday, February 21st. There was no reason to be optimistic in the tourney if the opponent had beaten you seven times in a row.
The win also gives Gordon a chance to look at how they’ve done against the teams (Endicott, Nichols, Roger Williams) in the conference who are above them in the standings. Probably would face one of them in the Thursday game with a win Tuesday.
The Scots had last-possession losses to Endicott and Nichols, as well as a win over Roger Williams, during the regular season. Gordon is clearly in the hunt with that trio.
Wentworth’s top scorers (Jason Ganley, Dan DeVaux) were off in today’s game. Jason was 5-for-13 while Dan was 5-for-18.
A year ago, Jason set Wentworth’s single-game scoring record with thirty-nine points against Gordon. Nothing near that happened this time around.
Freshman Sam Traicoff gave GC two triples off the bench.
This was junior Jake Hart’s best game of the season.
The Scots had trouble with freshman Stephen Azums in the first game and that continued today.
Stephen Azums 22 (12 points, 11 rebounds)
Jaren Yang 21 (15 points, 5 assists)
Jake Hart 16 (15 points,5 assists)
Garrisson Duvivier 15 (17 points)
Sam Johnson 14 (15 rebounds)
Next game for Gordon will be the final home regular-season match. UNE will be the opposition.