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