(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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Garrisson Duvivier 34
Jaren Yang 25
Eric Demers 18
Isaiah Bowman 18 (16 points)
Cameron Collins 16 (18 points)
Salve Regina 75
(All the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)