Monthly Archives: January 2018

Gordon controls Wentworth 83-62

Eric Demers (26 points) was covered by one of the CCC’s best defenders

Stephen Azums had nineteen points for Wentworth

(Wenham MA) For fourteen minutes Wentworth had the game under control.  The tempo was deliberate with plenty of passes and cuts.  The score was low and close.

But with the score tied 22-22, Gordon went on to finish the final six minutes of the first half at a pace more to their liking and that tie score changed into a 40-25 halftime lead for the Scots.

The second half was more of the same and Gordon put the Leopards away in convincing fashion, 83-62, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

The win keeps the Scots (13-7/9-4) in a tie with Endicott for second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Wentworth (13-7/8-5) slides back to third in the CCC.

Garrisson Duvivier (15 points) powers to the hoop

In the first meeting with Wentworth, Gordon had a twenty-five point lead in the second half but the Leopards put a terrific comeback together to make things tight at the end.

“Tonight’s game looked very similar to the first time we played them,” recalled GC coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  “We had a big lead at halftime.  Bumped it up to twenty-five but this time we didn’t give away twenty of it as we did last time.”

The Leopards tonight were within thirteen (48-35) with 16:34 left in the second half before Gordon ran nine straight points to gain serious separation (57-35) 4 ½ minutes later.  On this evening, there was no WIT comeback.

There were plenty of positives for the home team.

Eric Demers, held to thirteen points in Boston, had eighteen points in the first half alone and ended up with twenty-six for the night.

Senior Jaren Yang gets two

It looked like it might be a tough game for the GC sophomore when Wentworth put last season’s CCC Defensive Player-of-the-Year (Sam Knollmeyer) on Eric.  Not on this night.  Eric had two fouls on the WIT senior in no time.

Eric was a key part of the Gordon surge in the last six minutes of the first half with a jump shot, two layups, and four free throws.

Jake Haar, known as “Ice,” became “Fire” in the final 1:24 of the first half with a free throw, a jump shot, and a three-point shot.

The breakaway segment (nine straight points) in the second half, that pushed the GC lead into the twenties, featured a layup by senior Jake Hart, a 3 and a jump shot by Eric Demers, and a layup by freshman Parker Omslaer.

The Gordon defense was impressive.  “I keep telling our guys that we’ve got to create our offense in the defensive end,” said Coach Murphy.  “We did that tonight.  We got some stops.  We got some rebounds.  We ran it down the floor.”

The Scots also had some steals.  The Leopards had sixteen turnovers.  Six of them happened because Garrisson Duvivier reached a career high in steals.

Garrisson Duvivier sets up teammate Noah Szilagyi for a layup

The best stat of the night?  I am very much interested in turnovers.  Tonight the Scots had only seven!  That’s taking good care of the ball.

You want to beat Wentworth you better be able to control Jason Ganley.  Jason set a school scoring record (39 points) against GC last year.  Tonight the defense of Matt Valles, Josh Ribeiro, and Graham Tianhaara limited Jason to eight points (He averages 20.7 points per game) on 3-for-13 shooting.

“Graham gave us great minutes after all of our top four bigs had two fouls each,” added Coach Murphy.

Defeating Wentworth twice in a season is certainly a pleasant change after the Leopards had won seven of the previous nine meetings.

Both teams had gone 5-2 since they last met three weeks ago.

Stephen Azums puts up a shot

Sophomore Stephen Azums reached nineteen points for WIT. Stephen leads the CCC in field goal percentage.  He had a season-high twenty-seven points in the Leopards win at UNE.

Eric Demers has averaged 27.5 points per game since the Wentworth loss.  “Eric, when he’s on, is really tough to stop,” said Coach Murphy.  “I know that he takes some shots that he shouldn’t, but I’ve got to let him take those because he’s so good right now.”

One thing that I’ve noticed in Eric’s play lately, is that those who choose to defend him on the perimeter get caught by his drives to the basket.  He has been drawing fouls and has made 33-of-36 free throw attempts in the last eight games.

Garrisson Duvivier ended his streak of double/doubles at eight.  He had nine rebounds.  He did set a career record for steals and, also had three blocks.

Saturday ends Gordon’s four-game homestand.  They will be facing Western New England.  Last time the teams met the Bears celebrated Mikey Pettway’s 1000th points and a 101-83 victory.

Meghan Foley (31 points) was 8-for-8 from the line in their OT win over Wentworth

Enjoyed seeing the GC women’s team win again.  It has been the best season they’ve had in a while.  Meghan Foley had thirty-one points versus Wentworth in tonight’s overtime win and was eight-for-eight from the line.  I keep wanting to do one of their games.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 24

Eric Demers 19

Stephen Azums 18

Jaren Yang 13

Jake Haar 11

Gordon 103

Wentworth 48

Box from the game

(All of the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

Eric Demers splits two Leopards

Eric Demers tries to drive past Ellis Christmas

Garrisson Duvivier at the rim

Graham Tienhaara and Sam Knollmeyer

Jason Ganley between Garrisson Duvivier and Matt Valles

Garrisson Duvivier had three blocks

Graham Tienhaara and Stephen Azums battle for a rebound

Jason Ganley shoots over Jake Hart

 

 

 

 

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Nichols wins eighth straight over Gordon 97-74

Daequon Antoine (24 points) underhands a layup

Nichols coach Tom Glynn looks on as Marcos Echevarria (22 points) heads to the baseline

(Wenham MA) Some teams you just can’t beat.

Nichols has become one of those for Gordon.  The Scots have lost eight straight times to the Bison.

The last win against them is starting to become a distant memory but it will never go away.  That was the game in which Gordon won the Commonwealth Coast Conference title in March of 2014.

Nichols has lost two CCC games this year.  Watching them demolish Gordon this afternoon, 97-74, you wonder how that is possible.

But upon reflection, you realize that the Scots have been having games like Nichols had today, most of January.

Tyler Dion – One of the five starters scoring double figures

The winning difference?  Shots steadily falling.

Gordon has had some successful shootouts this month.  This wasn’t one of them.

“Nichols definitely felt it this afternoon,” said GC coach Tod Murphy.

All five Bison starters reached double digits.

The bad-news stat was that the visitors had sixteen offensive rebounds and seventeen second-chance points.  The Scots were not good on the boards!

Gordon totaled only thirty-three rebounds which was a season low.

Factor this: the Bison were without the CCC’s #3 rebounder (Jerome Cunningham) and yet they dominated the Scots on the glass anyhow.  “I would like to think that we would have had a better game if he (Jerome Cunningham) had played but I don’t think that that is possible,” said Coach Murphy.

Gordon’s Eric Demers (29 points) continues to be a player capable of getting his points against any defense.  Eric saw plenty of Marcos Echevarria’s tight defense today but still put up points.

Eric Demers ended up with 29 points

Meanwhile, down the other end, Nichols (16-3) worked their way into great looks and cashed them mercilessly. Senior Daequon Antoine led the Bison with eleven in the first and thirteen in the second.

Marcos Echevarria notched eighteen points in the second half.

Garrisson Duvivier stretched his run of double/doubles to eight with twelve points and eleven rebounds.  The Bison were tough inside and Garrisson earned everything he got.

Quietly, in this game, Garrisson slipped into 11th place on the GC all-time scorer’s list.  Tonight’s 12 got him past Mike Herr and gives Garrisson a total of 1242 career points.

My college friend/teammate and a member of our wedding party, Gene Fitzgerald, is currently in 10th place with 1297 points.  With six regular-season games left, plus the tournament, I think it is safe to say that Gene’s hold on the 10th spot may not last the season.

Nichols’ Jerome Cunningham told me before the game that he is out with a concussion but expects to return to playing next week.

Garrisson Duvivier is now GC’s 11th all-time leading scorer

“The only good news out of this game is that it counts as one loss instead of four or five,” said Coach Murphy. “We will certainly lose a lot of games playing like we did today.”

The consistent NC offense gained significant separation in both halves.

In the first half, the Bison transformed a 22-16 advantage into a 34-16 advantage by making four-of-five shots over 3+ minutes while GC countered with a missed three and three turnovers.

Six minutes into the second half Gordon was within ten (57-47) but again off went Nichols.  They made fields goals in five straight possessions while the Scots were one-of-four and had a turnover in their five possessions.  The lead became twenty (69-49) after this and a good Bennett Center crowd had little to cheer about the rest of the way.

I asked Coach Murphy how you recover from a loss like today’s: “It’s only one loss.  That’s the only way we can look at it.  We’ve got to think about the things we did poorly and get better the next time.”

Next game for the Scots is Tuesday night at home against Wentworth (7:30PM).  The Leopards are also 8-4 in league play.  They lost today to ENC.  The Leopards trailed by three late in the game.  Jason Ganley was fouled shooting a three with three seconds left. Jason made the first two but missed the third.

Efficiency Chart

Daequon Antoine 31 (24 pts,7 reb, 4 steals)

Eric Demers 25 (29 pts)

Marcos Echevarria 21 (22 pts, 4 assists)

Garrisson Duvivier 17 (5 blocks, 12 pts, 11 reb)

DeAnte Bruton 17 (15 pts, 4 assists)

Nichols 112

Gordon 82

Box from the game

(The pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)

Parker Omslaer gets a first-half jam

Eric Demers (29 pts) guarded by Marcos Echevarria

Matt Valles (35) tries covering Daequon Antoine

Action under the basket

Matt Morrow (10 points) finishes

Under the basket

Graham Tienhaara guards Dakota Nicoll

Avelino Damoura and Nate Tenaglia

 

 

 

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Gordon wins shootout 126-108 over UNE

Eric Demers (37 points) made seven 3’s in win over UNE

UNE frequently changed players to keep them fresh

(Wenham MA) If you try to cover a game with the University of New England you better have career stats handy.

UNE coach Ed Silva told me before the game, “We play everyone. We try to create chaos.  We want to press and score points in a hurry.  We’re hoping to wear down our opponents and finish strong.”

The Nor’Easters did all that, but it wasn’t enough as Gordon defeated them, 126-108, on Wednesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

The Scots (12-6) had been on the wrong side of a 121-113 score at UNE earlier in the season and were better prepared this time around for what UNE would do.

The Scots wasted little time getting the ball down the court.

“We didn’t turn the ball over as much,” recalled GC coach Tod Murphy.  “We were a lot more aggressive going to the basket when we broke their press.  Last time we didn’t do that.”

Coach Murphy was quick to admit that Eric Demers (37 points) was a key to the win. “It sure helps when Eric is shooting the way he did tonight.  It felt like he had forty!”

Actually, Eric had thirty-seven, including twenty in the first half.  “Everyone gets open looks when they double-team,” said Eric afterwards.  “We moved the ball great and I was fortunate to be the open guy all night long.”

The game was certainly enjoyable to watch with all the fast back-and-forths but not everyone on the GC side was happy about the style of play.  “I like the final score but I don’t ever want to play a game like that in my life,” said Coach Murphy. Why?  “You just never feel comfortable because they score so many points and they score them so fast.  I didn’t clear my bench until there were two minutes left and we had a twenty-point lead!”

Garrisson Duvivier had his 13th Double D of the season

This was anyone’s game, considering how fast points were being scored, 7 ½ minutes into the second half.  The Scots were in front, 84-79, but it was far from a comfortable lead.

Five + minutes later, things were a whole lot different. During that time, UNE missed all eleven shots from the floor, while the Scots went off with twenty-four points.

The beauty of those breakaway twenty-four points was that seven different players (Eric Demers, Jaren Yang, Josh Crutchfield, Avelino Damoura, Matt Valles, Josh Ribeiro, and Jake Haar) contributed.

That sparkling display of scoring separated GC from the team from Biddeford, 108-81, with seven minutes to go.  Still time enough for UNE’s instant offense and turnover-causing pressure to usher them back into the game but on this evening the Scots turned the UNE pressure into open looks (and points) the rest of the way and took the victory.

Parker Omslaer was one of several GC freshmen achieving a career stat in this game

I have a hunch that several Gordon single-game records were broken in tonight’s win: most points (126), most assists (30), most blocks (11), and most made 3-point shots (18).

Quietly, among all the long-range shooting, Garrisson Duvivier had yet another double/double.  The talented junior put 18 points together with 15 rebounds.  Garrisson now has seven straight games with Double D’s and thirteen for the season.

After a look at the scoresheet I found additional good news: the GC freshman had a remarkable night.

Career highs for the Class of 2020: Matt Valles 9 rebounds, Parker Omslaer 10 points, Josh Crutchfield 8 assists, and Avelino Damoura 9 points.

Who’s Avelino Damoura?  “He transferred from WPI,” explained Coach Murphy, “and they don’t recruit slouches.  He’s going to be a good one for us.”

Eric Demers added, “He (Avelino) is going to help us a lot in the future.”

Missing from the game was Noah Szilagyi.  Noah has been hospitalized with pneumonia.  “I was a little nervous going into the game without Noah because he spreads the floor for us,” said Eric of his teammate.

Senior Jake Hart (15) defends

I mentioned after the last game (Curry) how important the following four home games were.  Three of the teams had beaten GC the first time around.  UNE was one of those.

Next opponent will be Nichols on Saturday (3PM).  The top-seeded Bison shot over 50% against Gordon last time and collected 100 points and won convincingly in Dudley.

Nichols is 9-2 in the CCC.  The Scots are 8-3.  A battle for the top spot will play out on Saturday afternoon.

I saw, via the excellent UNE web broadcast, the Nor’Easters defeat Endicott and Nichols in Biddeford this past week.

UNE (9-9) is now 2-6 on the road.

I asked UNE coach Silva about transforming his team into the new style of play.  “I looked at the players we were returning, as well as the recruits, and knew that we didn’t have the size to match up with other teams.  The running/pressing style was the best fit to get the most out of the players we would have.  The returning players were shocked by the change at first but they’ve made it work.”

Wentworth is tied for second in the CCC.  Tonight Curry almost got them in overtime.

Efficiency chart

Eric Demers 31

Garrisson Duvivier 28

Josh Crutchfield 17 (8 assists)

Parker Omslaer 16

Jaren Yang 15 (8 assists)

Gordon 169

UNE 109

Box from the game

(All pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Josh Ribeiro reaches in

UNE coach Ed Silva questions a call

Drew Munoz (from Gloucester MA) gets two

Josh Crutchfield (10) goes one-on-one against Jacob Hickey

Steve Vampatella (33) looks for a rebound with Sean Walsh (20)

Newcomer Avelino Damoura lifts a three

Matt Lorman heads past Jaren Yang

Jaren Yang tries to slow down Daron Hoges

Eric Demers (21) sets up for a resounding block of Matt Lorman’s layup attempt

Senior Gavin Dibble takes an inbounds pass

 

 

 

 

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Gordon finishes road trip with 84-70 win over Curry

Garrisson Duvivier – 16 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against Curry

(Amesbury MA) The Scots did not fall into the trap of taking Curry lightly.

The Colonels (1-16) led very briefly in the first half and then slid to a twelve-point deficit (37-25) at the half.  After Gordon (11-6) scored the first eleven points of the second half, the game headed toward the assumed outcome.

Credit the Colonels for persistence.  Lhereif Kenku canned twenty for them in the second half to hold down the final Gordon margin.

Curry joined the ranks of teams unable to shut down Garrisson Duvivier.  GD already had a double/double by halftime and finished with sixteen points and a career-high twenty rebounds.

According to the Gordon website Garrisson is now 12th on the all-time scoring list.  My unofficial records have him in 11th with 1212 points.  I’ll need help getting that straight.

The Scots have now played three road games in the last five days.  The big win at Roger Williams was offset by the loss Thursday night at Western New England.  The win today at Curry gets Gordon set up for four straight home games.

How crucial are these home games?  Very!  Three of them are against teams (UNE, Nichols, Western New England) that have wins over GC.  A little revenge?  The other home game is against Wentworth, the team currently tied for second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with Gordon.

Kieran Carroll had twenty points for Curry

UNE defeated Endicott this afternoon in Biddeford (ME), dropping the Gulls into second play, so they will be a big challenge Wednesday night in the EARLY game (5:30).

Both Lheriet Kenku and teammate Kieran Carroll (20 points) put up good numbers for Curry.  The issue, for Curry, was the unproductive rest of the team.  Take away Lheriet and Kieran’s 17-for-32 overall field goal shooting and the rest of the team was a very low 8-for-38.

The Colonels have now lost fifteen straight this season.  Their stretch of losses in the CCC now reaches forty-five and counting.  Their last win was in February of 2015 against Salve Regina.

Eric Demers found enough open space to reach twenty-two points.  He also took in six rebounds.

The Scots have won nine of their last eleven games.

Avelino Damoura made his debut last game.  In game he cashed a three to earn his first GC points.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 34

Lheriet Kenku 22 (27 points,6 rebounds)

Eric Demers 21

Kieran Carroll 17 (20 points,6 rebounds)

Jake Haar 12 (10 points)

Gordon 97

Curry 65

Box from the game

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Western New England ends Gordon’s win streak 101-83

Junior Mikey Pettway reached 1000 points in tonight’s game.

Garrisson Duvivier (26 points, 17 rebounds)

(Amesbury MA) They came to see junior Mikey Pettway get his 1000th point and that’s not all they got.

The entire Western New England team played like thousand-point scorers as the Bears (7-8) dominated the Scots from beginning to end.

The GC winning streak ended abruptly at six. Also ending was a nine-game winning streak the Scots had against the team from Springfield (MA).

Mikey Pettway got his 1000th point in the first half and he got GC’s top scorer (Eric Demers) in foul trouble in that first half as well.

The Golden Bears feasted from long range in the first half making nine from out there.  The home team never trailed.

Despite the loss, Garrisson Duvivier outdid his amazing game of two days ago against Roger Williams.  Tonight’s was better because Garrisson missed only seven shots.  Who knew that he would become such a good foul shooter (8-for-9)?  26 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists.

That six-game win streak carried some weight despite the fast start by WNE.  The Bears will cool down and the Scots will shoot by them….at least that was what I thought would happen.

Eric Demers had 27 points in limited minutes

Into the second half, I was feeling pretty smart.  Eric (Demers) came out making shots and 3+ minutes into the second half the score was 55-50.  But then Eric picked up his 4th foul and had to come out.

I said to myself at the time, “Someone is going to have to pick up a lot of scoring or this game is going to get away from us.”  That “someone” never appeared and Western New England continued to roll offensively.  By the time Eric (and his four fouls) returned (9:39) the home team led, 74-57, and the cows had left the barn.

Eric put up some points, thereafter, and Garrisson had his way in close but the Bears offense never ran out of good shots as they collected 101 points.  That is the third time an opponent has scored 100 points against GC and none of the games ended happily for the team from Wenham.  Obviously, the Gordon defense had a subpar evening and it cost them.

Ahead, on Saturday, is a trip to Milton for a game with Curry.  The Colonels have yet to win a Commonwealth Coast Conference game this season.  Last year they nearly upset the Scots in Milton.

Jaren Yang continued his run of good numbers with fourteen points and six assists.  Jaren made four three’s for GC.

A key to the recent Gordon successes has been the contributions of the second unit.  Those contributions didn’t happen in this one.  Instead of closing the gap against WNE, the gap widened.

Meanwhile, the Bears had six players in double figures.  Their best stat?  They had twenty-one assists and six turnovers.

You watch the way Western New England played tonight and you could see how they could defeat Nichols.  The Bears consistently made shots and the Bison had some cool spots.  The “cool spot” for Gordon tonight was early on and they never recovered.

Avelino Damoura made his Gordon debut in the final minutes.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 42

Mikey Pettway 25 (31 points,6 assists)

Jaren Yang 22 (14 points, 6 assists)

Eric Demers 21 (27 points)

Alex Sikorski 19 (14 points)

Western New England 121

Gordon 91

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

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Exciting win (87-83) over Roger Williams extends Gordon streak to six

Garrisson Duvivier had a dominating performance in tonight’s win over Roger Williams

Eric Demers (20 points) hit a huge three in the last minute

(Amesbury MA) There was plenty to cheer about for both teams but at the end it was the team from Wenham that extended their winning streak to six.

Roger Williams lost to Endicott on Saturday in double overtime.  Their shooting, early in this one, was off.  They were probably tired.

The Scots (10-5), on the other hand, were riding a winning streak and made shot after shot early on.

The Gordon lead was a comfortable 54-40 four minutes into the second half.  But along came Conor O’Brien with two 3’s and a dunk and the Hawks went on a 15-0 run to get the lead, 55-54!

The 6-6 senior had a memorable second half collecting 28 points and 8 rebounds.  Not bad for a player averaging 13 points per game!

Conor O’Brien scored 36 points for the Hawks

But as good as Conor was, the best player was wearing blue….Garrisson Duvivier.  Garrisson had a game his freshman year against ENC that was statistically better, but that was back when teams were trying to figure out what he can do.  Now they know, and yet he was still able to drop 28 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks in a tight game against a very good team.  Remarkable!

The Hawks (11-4) took the lead (55-54) with thirteen minutes left.  Then this game became exciting for both teams.  There were THIRTEEN lead changes the rest of the way.  Anyone’s game for sure.

RW took a one-point lead into the final minute but Eric Demers put a three on the home team with 43 seconds left to put the Scots ahead by two.  The Hawks had a two and a three to tie or go ahead but missed both.  Eric Demers was fouled after the second Hawks’ miss.

Jaren Yang had ten points and seven assists vs Roger Williams

Now this was where I became most impressed by Gordon’s play.  Trust me, it wasn’t the missed free throws!  Eric missed the front end of a 1&1 BUT Garrisson secured the offensive rebound and got fouled.

Garrison made one free throw and missed the second BUT Matt Valles secured the offensive rebound and got fouled.  With 11 seconds remaining Matt made 1 of 2 putting GC ahead by four 85-81.

Those offensive rebounds were special because they kept RW away from a last-second shot that could have been a game-winner for them.

Eric reached twenty points for the 10th time this season.  His three in the final minute, assisted by Jaren Yang, kept this game from going south on the Scots.  Eric tied his career-high in rebounds (8) against RW.

Hard to tell through the blurry RW feed of the game if Eric was covering Austin Coene.  Austin came in averaging nearly 25 points per game and had dropped 38 on Endicott this past Saturday.  Against GC?  Had a 5-for-17 evening and 13 points.  No question, however, that Conor O’Brien more than made up for Austin’s scoring dropoff.

One of the key players in Gordon’s recent string of successes has been senior Jaren Yang.  His ability to get the ball to teammates, especially Garrisson and Eric, has elevated his assist totals and dropped his turnover totals.  Last five game?  28 assists, 8 turnovers. Those are good numbers!

Best shot of the game?  Had to have been that last-second prayer by Jake Haar to end the first half.  Even with limited viewing visibility I could tell that it was an off-balanced shot, from long range, against two defenders, and at the last second. Those three points meant something in a game won by only four points.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 40

Conor O’Brien 36 (34 pts,9 rebs)

Eric 19

Jaren 17 (10 pts, 7 assists)

Jake Heston 13 (13 pts,3 assists)

Gordon 112

Roger Williams 86

The Scots had twenty-four second-chance points and Roger Williams didn’t have any.

Gordon is now tied with Endicott (6-2) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.  Nichols is a game ahead and were tested by both Wentworth and ENC in their last two games.

Gordon travels to Springfield (MA) to face Western New England on Thursday night.  The Golden Bears pinned a loss on Nichols earlier in the season.

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

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Gordon streak reaches five with 81-66 win over Salve Regina

Eric Demers (26 points) topped all scorers

Garrisson Duvivier (19 points,15 rebounds)

(Wenham MA) We’re starting to get spoiled.

Gordon (9-5) ran its winning streak to five as they defeated Salve Regina, 81-66, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The coming week looms large for the Scots with consecutive CCC road games against Roger Williams, Western New England, and Curry.  After losing their first two Commonwealth Coast Conference games, the Scots are on a five-game league win streak and just one game away from the top spot.

Gordon jumped all over the visiting Seahawks (6-9) in the first half leading by as many as twenty-eight points.  There was a sense that the lead would grow enough in the second half to turn this into a bench-clearing event.

Tight defense

But it didn’t go that way and GC coach Tod Murphy wasn’t pleased. “We played about the best basketball we have played all season for sixteen minutes.  Then we sat back and survived the last twenty-four minutes.”

Understand that Salve (6-9) never got within double digits of the lead, but they spent most of the second half hovering too close for GC comfort.

“We became passive in the final twenty-four minutes,” said Coach Murphy.  “They went into their zone and into that switching man defense and we stopped moving and looking for our cuts.”

There was a bigger picture, however, and that was to continue to get W’s.  “I would rather win ugly than lose ugly,” conceded Coach Murphy.

Gordon’s big first half did in Salve.  In a tight game for four minutes (10-8), the home team went on a 31-5 tear over the next thirteen minutes to escape 41-13.  The Seahawks never recovered.

Jake Haar finishes over Kevin Kelly

“Coaches look like they’re really smart when the team is hitting shots, and early on we hit a lot of shots,” said Coach Murphy.

Even with the team letdown in the second half, Eric Demers, Garrisson Duvivier, and Jaren Yang had terrific afternoons.

Eric continues to put up serious numbers, getting over twenty points for the 9th time this season. Teams have tried guarding him closely and even have attempted to deny him the ball, but he still finds openings.  His ability, this year, to cut back on the turnovers while handing out assists and adding steals has been noticeable.

Garrisson has impacted the GC program since the day he arrived in 2015.  He puts up double/double’s with regularity including this afternoon when he put nineteen points together with fifteen rebounds. It was his 9th double D this season.

Jaren Yang had a career game

Senior Jaren Yang may well have had the best game of his Gordon career this afternoon.  Accurate outside shooting (4-for-6) and perfect foul shooting (6-for-6), along with a good eye for the open teammate (8 assists) will get you a very good day.  Jaren reached the career-game level, however, when he added four steals to his totals.

Noah Szilagyi guarded by Gabe Granberry

So you can see that was plenty of good individual moments despite the margin-squandering moments of the second half.

The magic margin number in the second half seemed to be twelve.  Six times in that second half the better defending and better shooting Seahawks lessened their deficit to twelve.  And every time this happened, the Scots were able to react with enough offense/defense to re-enlarge their advantage.

Efficiency chart

Garrisson Duvivier 34

Jaren Yang 25

Eric Demers 18

Isaiah Bowman 18 (16 points)

Cameron Collins 16 (18 points)

Gordon 106

Salve Regina 75

Box from the game

(All the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

Josh Crutchfield leads a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gordon stops streak at six upending Endicott 105-98 in overtime

Jake Haar (22 points) hits a three in overtime.

Eric Demers (33 points) hits a three in overtime.

Keith Brown (28 points) shoots over Eric Demers

(Wenham MA) It had been over three years………and that was more than enough.

Gordon had lost six straight times to Endicott but tonight that stretch of bad endings ended as the Scots (8-5) outlasted the Gulls (9-4) 105-98 in overtime at the Bennett Center on Thursday night.

“It’s kind of what you expect out of an Endicott/Gordon game,” said a delighted GC coach Tod Murphy afterwards.

The coach is right.  With neither school back in session there was still a buzz in the crowd.  This is a Red Sox/Yankees type of rivalry to me.  The usual “coach line” is that “it’s only one game,” but to those of us invested in the Scots, a win over Endicott has a special sweetness to it.  And this was surely a sweet win.

Vinny Clifford (#21) goes for the block on Garrisson Duvivier

The Gulls insisted on playing at a fast pace and it paid off as they transitioned and passed into open looks in both halves.  The visitors from Beverly could put up points in a hurry but on this evening the home team had plenty of answers.

“I don’t want to get into a shootout with Endicott very often, but we’ve got some very good scorers too,” said Coach Murphy.

Keith Brown (28 points) paced the Gulls.  He came in with a 24.9 points per game average and displayed a variety of shots.

On this night, however, it was the Eric Demers show.  The sophomore had a career high thirty-three points and added five assists as well as five steals.  It was the best game I have seen him play.

The final spread was seven points but anyone witnessing this one at the Bennett Center would tell you that Endicott had big leads in each half.  Both times it was eleven points: 36-25 with 3 ½ minutes left in the first half and 63-52 five minutes into the second half.

Eric Demers covered by Keith Brown

But in the age of the 3-point shot, comebacks can happen in a hurry.  This was one of those nights.  Eric Demers made three’s and junior Jake Haar (22 points) did as well.  And when the Gulls overplayed the perimeter there was Garrisson Duvivier (19 points) in close for layups.

In overtime Eric, Jake, and Garrisson put eight unanswered points together and gave GC a 96-90 lead with two minutes left.  Endicott didn’t have the necessary offense/defense to overcome the deficit in the end game.

The Scots have now won four straight and are 4-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.  The two CCC leaders (Nichols and Roger Williams) each have one loss.

“I know that we’re 4-2,” said Coach Murphy, “and I know that Nichols is the team to beat.  We’ll be facing them in a couple of weeks here at the Bennett Center.  However, we need to concentrate on the five games (Salve Regina, Roger Williams, Western New England, Curry, UNE) between now and then.”

Guard Josh Crutchfield had six rebounds

One of the keys to this win?  The Gordon bench (Josh Crutchfield, Parker Omslaer, Noah Szilagyi, Josh Ribiero, and Jake Hart) has been able to come on and gain ground on opponents during the four-game win streak.  “We stuck with our subs for a long time,” said Coach Murphy. “They played well.”

Garrisson Duvivier nearly had the game-winner in regulation.  Garrisson collected his tenth double/double this season putting nineteen points together with fourteen rebounds.

Parker Omslaer jams

Jake Haar had family from California in the house and he didn’t disappoint connecting six times from long range.  Jake’s best game? Last year he had twenty-three points versus the Gulls.

Endicott lost all their starters from last year and it is remarkable how quickly they have regrouped with new players.  One of the key additions to the team is Matt McDevitt (17 points,4 assists) who was the best player in Maine last year.

Rob O’Brien suffered a painful shoulder injury in the first half.

Guard Josh Crutchfield had six rebounds for Gordon.

Former GC players Shaun Roach and Park Thomas were on hand as well as the Dempsey brothers.

Efficiency Chart

Eric Demers 31

Garrisson Duvivier 24

Jake Haar 20

Keith Brown 20

Matt McDevitt 17

Gordon 132

Endicott 103

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Eric Demers fouled late in overtime

Joe Villa fires a shot at the end of regulation

Garrisson Duvivier beats the Endicott defense

Garrisson Duvivier nearly ends the game in regulation

Garrisson Duvivier in close

Freshman Josh Crutchfield

Noah Szilagyi amongst three Gulls

Battle inside between Garrisson Duvivier and Nick Thibeault (18 points)

Struggle near the rim

Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt

Jaren Yang gets a layup

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gordon defeats Wentworth 77-66 for third straight win

Noah Szilagyi (thirteen in the first half)

Jake Hart (12 points off the bench)

(Amesbury MA) Wentworth has been a pain in the neck for Gordon over the past three years.

That pain, however, eased a bit tonight as the Scots played some fun-to-watch basketball earning a 77-66 win over the Leopards in Boston.

Wentworth had won seven of the previous eight meetings and had twice dropped GC out of the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament in the last three years.

The Scots (7-5) played like the more experienced team on this night making terrific passes and taking good care of the ball.  I am not sure which pleased me more; the twenty-five assists or the nine turnovers.  Put numbers like that together in a game and a good end-result is likely.

The Leopards (8-4) just weren’t themselves.  Their defense is usually tight but Gordon, on this evening, found openings close to the basket regularly.

If you are looking for time segments where Gordon won this game your best bet would be the last five minutes of each half.

In the first half the Scots led, 31-27, with five minutes left.  WIT didn’t score again missing all six shot attempts.  GC had a 41-27 halftime lead.

In the second half the Leopards had taken a 56-31 deficit with fifteen minutes remaining and cut it to to 64-59 with five minutes left.  The final five minutes?  Wentworth was one-for-seven shooting three’s and GC escaped with a 77-66 win.

Coach Tod Murphy described the win over ENC on Saturday as a “team win.”  I don’t doubt that he’d describe this one as more of the same.

The Scots have now won three straight.

Noah Szilagyi came off the Gordon bench and put up thirteen points in the first half.

Jake Hart, also off the bench, never missed a shot and ended up with twelve points.

Eric Demers (eight assists and several key baskets)

Eric Demers had trouble from long range, so he turned into a passer and a driver.  Result?  Eight assists.  When Wentworth had cut the lead to five in the second half, Eric drove for layups on the next two GC possessions to turn the momentum back to the team from Wenham.

Garrisson Duvivier had his seventh double/double of the season.  The GC junior also had five assists.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 25

Jason Ganley 23 (25 points)

Stephen Azums 20 (16 pts, 8 rebs)

Noah Szilagyi 16 (13 points)

Jake Hart 14 (12 points)

Gordon 105

Wentworth 75

Next up is Endicott on Thursday night (7:30PM) at the Bennett Center.  The Gulls have beaten Gordon six straight times. One of those wins knocked the Scots out of the CCC tournament in 2016.  Endicott graduated all five starters but have quickly reloaded.

Box from the Wentworth/Gordon game

 

 

 

 

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Solid team effort pushes Gordon past ENC 81-55

Eric Demers (20 points) shoots over Noah Cheney

Garrisson Duvivier (15 points) active around the rim

(Wenham MA) The Eastern Nazarene offense was as cold as the weather has been around here lately and their defense wasn’t a whole lot better.

Gordon easily defeated ENC, 81-59, on Saturday afternoon getting the 2018 part of their schedule off to a good start.

“It was a good team win,” said GC coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  Everyone played, and the shooting opportunities were abundant.

Eric Demers (20) and Garrisson Duvivier (15) paced the Scots in limited minutes.

Gordon (6-5) struggled early and trailed, 12-5, after 3 ½ minutes.  “We started poorly but finally got it together defensively,” recalled Coach Murphy.  “I keep telling our guys that our defense ignites our offense.  I definitely think that’s what happened today.”

Parker Omslaer jams

The Lions (4-7) fell into a six-minute drought while GC erased the seven-point deficit by running up sixteen unanswered points.  The Scots had four assisted layups to go with free throws by Eric Demers and three’s by Eric and Josh Crutchfield.  By the time the team from Quincy (MA) could score again they were behind, 21-12.

Gordon soon had a double-digit lead and never looked back.

The Lions were within ten (51-41) seven minutes into the second half but the Scots second unit came on and pushed the lead to twenty.  ENC had no response on this afternoon.

“Our second team did a great job,” added Coach Murphy.  “Josh (Ribeiro) and Parker (Omslaer) played huge today.  Crutch (Josh Crutchfield) hit a couple of big shots.  We need to have that second unit playing well if we’re going to be a championship team.  We can’t expect our starters to be great every single night.”

Jake Hart heavily guarded by Lions

Senior Jake Hart was a spark off the bench.  He had six points in twenty-two minutes of action.  Easily his longest time on-court this season.  “I can always count on Jake,” said Coach Murphy.  “Mr. Reliable.  I can put him in any spot on the court and he will do a great job.”

Sophomore Josh Rice led the way for ENC with thirteen points.

Some of the most entertaining games in my years of watching Gordon basketball have been against Eastern Nazarene.  The Lions always had players who could dazzle and they made ENC tough to beat.  Not seeing that on this year’s edition.

ENC, to be fair, have so far given their top five minutes to a freshman and four sophomores.

Jake Haar about to set up teammate Parker Omslaer

The Lions had nine shots blocked when they took shots from in close with Garrisson Duvivier and Parker Omslaer nearby.  Each had three rejections.

The most worrisome stat on the ENC stat sheet was personal fouls.  The Lions committed only SEVEN fouls during the entire game!  I have stats that go back over ten years and nothing comes close to that seven.

Why is that stat a problem?  It shows a lack of serious defense.  Gordon had plenty of room to operate just about anywhere.

Josh Rice had thirteen points for ENC

“ENC is not a bad team and I thought that we handled them pretty well.” said Coach Murphy.

There will be a trip to Quincy on February 10th and the Lions will have gained experience and should be expected to perform better in front of their active home student section.

Efficiency Chart

Eric Demers 23 (20 points)

Garrisson Duvivier (15 pts,8 rebounds)

Josh Rice 12 (13 pts)

Jaren Yang 11 (6 assists)

Jake Haar 11 (9 pts,3 assists)

Gordon 113

ENC 51

Box from the game

(All pictures above and below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Jaren Yang makes a fancy layup

Matt Valles finishes

Noah Cheney

Josh Ribeiro tries to get past Andrew Mitchell

Josh Crutchfield (10) looks to pass

Josh Crutchfield in close

Jake Hart (#15)

Eric Demers fakes out a defender

Garrisson Duvivier gets a layup

young fan

 

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