Gordon wins 6th straight 85-79 over Colby

David Massillon (9 points) in the lane

Eric Demers (21) and Noah Tyson (12) battle in the lane

(Wenham MA) Colby College plays in what many consider the elite conference (NESCAC) in New England.

Amherst, Williams, Middlebury, and teams like that are in that conference.

The members of that conference usually feast on their New England non-league opponents.

That wasn’t the case tonight. Colby took on non-league Gordon tonight at the Bennett Center and lost, 85-79.

The Mules (7-2) had wins last year against Endicott and UNE of the Commonwealth Coast Conference and might have underestimated the Scots.

Tight Gordon defense

Gordon (7-1) is off to an excellent start.  How are they doing it?  They are riding a consistent offense and a developing zone defense.

“We’ve got five guys on the court that can truly play the game of basketball with a ton of energy,” explained Eric Demers afterwards.

“We don’t have a guy on the team that an opposing team can take lightly,” said GC coach Tod Murphy.  “Guys can score that get significant minutes.”

The defense is still a work in progress, according to Coach Murphy.

He told me after the win versus Western New England on Tuesday night that Colby was similar to Endicott and it would be a good test of how good our defense was.

Colby finds a hole in the Gordon zone

I asked the coach how the team had done on the “test.”  “I’d give us a B-,” he said.  “Not bad but room for improvement.  I wanted to give a C+ but I thought I would be nice,” he added with a laugh.

Colby had shooters and, because of their hustle, were able to convert misses on their way to a 29-22 lead at 7:21 of the first half.  But three’s by Noah Szilagyi (15 points) and Eric Demers (12 points) evened things at 35 each.  Gordon led by a point, 39-38 at halftime.

A trademark of the Gordon wins has been the ability to put strings of unanswered points together.

Jake Haar (13 points) nails a three from the corner

It took a while for something like that to happen in this game; 45-45 (15:55), 50-50 (12:55), 59-59 (10:16), and 63-63 (7:24). It looked as if the pattern in this one would lead to some sort of last-possession ending.

But then with the score even at 63, good offense and shutout defense combined for the home team.

For the next 4+ minutes, Gordon ran nine unanswered points; layup AJ Terry converting a rebound, Jake Haar three from Josh Crutchfield, Garrisson Duvivier layup from Parker Omslaer, and a Garrisson layup from Jake Haar.

Parker Omslaer (12 points) jams

During that same segment, Colby missed three 3’s, two jump shots, and a layup and had two turnovers.

Down the visitors from Waterville (ME) went (72-63) and they never recovered.

A memorable shot in the mix was Jake Haar’s wide-open corner three in front of the Gordon bench.  “That play goes back to my first team that included Aaron Trigg,” recalled Coach Murphy.  “Coach Mike Schauer ran a similar play with them and we continue to use it now.”

Garrisson Duvivier finishes

All of Gordon’s starters reached double figures.  Garrisson Duvivier led the way with eighteen points and added fourteen rebounds.

Jake Haar tallied thirteen points and had a career-high six assists.

Freshman David Massillon had a career-high nine points in short minutes.

Coach Murphy: “I didn’t think that we played that great tonight.  The overall defensive intensity wasn’t what it should be.  We made a lot of mental mistakes.  I am not sure why but Parker (Omslaer) and Garrisson didn’t exploit the inside as much as they could have.  David (Massillon) and Josh (Ribeiro) came in and immediately took advantage of their size.”

Eric Demers (12 points) shoots a fallaway

Eric Demers: “We just buy into the defensive end.  It’s tough, especially against 3-point shooting teams.  We have to run around like crazy to defend the outside. If we stick together we can beat anybody.”

Sam Jefferson (22 points) led Colby in scoring.

The Mules attempted only two free throws.  That low number is related to the ability of the Scots to discourage drives to the basket.

Sam Johnson was in the house.  He’s working for ESPN in Orlando (Florida).

Next game is Johnson & Wales on Saturday (3PM).  “They’re very athletic,” said Coach Murphy.  “They’ll attack the rim.  If we can keep Parker and Garrisson out of foul trouble then they will struggle to score against us like some teams have.”

Box from the game

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

Josh Crutchfield (10) looks to get the ball inside to Garrisson Duvivier

Colby defense

Jake Haar (20) tries for a block

Matt Hanna (11) near three Gordon defenders

Noah Szilagyi drives baseline

Noah Szilagyi (15 points) layin

Parker Omslaer (44) sets a screen for Eric Demers

Parker Omslaer at the foul line late in the game

Parker Omslaer layin

Sean Gilmore (23) defended by Parker Omslaer

Wallace Tucker (55) breaks in

Wallace Tucker (55) in where shots get blocked

 

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