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