Category Archives: Gordon College Men’s Basketball 2008-09

Game #27 – Gordon Loses to Colby-Sawyer (again) and Exits CCC Tournament

(New London NH)  After getting routed (90-64) at Gordon on February 10th you hoped that a second meeting with Colby-Sawyer might go better.  It didn’t.

 The Scots lost 72-54 exiting from the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament in the semifinals for the fourth straight season as a result.  Gordon was the lone returnee from last season’s Final Four.

Meanwhile, Colby-Sawyer moves on to the finals at UNE on Saturday night.  The UNE pressure gave the Chargers trouble in a regular season loss. 

The Gordon lax team attired at Colby-Sawyer with TMac goggles and Brady arm pads - photo courtesy goggle wearer's mother

The Gordon lax team attired at Colby-Sawyer with TMac goggles and Brady arm pads - photo courtesy goggle wearer's mother

The Gordon/CS game was played Thursday night in New Hampshire before a crowd that included a busload of Gordon students.  The kids came and made plenty of supportive noise throughout but the team just didn’t respond.

Aaron sandwiched by Jon Chaloux (#12) and Matt Lemieux (#3)

Aaron sandwiched by Jon Chaloux (#12) and Matt Lemieux (#3) - photo courtesy Ron Harden

Jon Chaloux (23 points /7 rebounds) and Matt Lemieux (18 points /7 assists) led the (20-6) Chargers.  Jon, the 6-6 junior, caused similar damage (26 points) in the first meeting at the Bennett Center.  Someone needs to figure out how to guard him before next year’s game. 

The Scots were cold early and it was four minutes in before Ben Gaskill took his only shot of the game and scored after receiving a nice pass from Brady Bajema.  Meanwhile, the Chargers already had six points thanks to Jon Chaloux. He took one of Matt Lemieux’s seven assists and dunked and also hit a couple of jump shots.  This was a game in which we had trouble scoring and they didn’t, most of the time.

Before the half was over the Chargers had put together a run of seven straight, and three runs of six and led 33-17 at halftime.  An optimist at halftime could certainly note that we weren’t down 48-26 as we were at halftime in the 90-64 loss and that this time around Aaron Trigg hadn’t scored yet.

Gordon got off to a much better start in the second half.  After a couple of Ben Gaskill free throws, the Scots made their next five shots and cut the deficit to 39-30 after 3 ½ minutes played.  Plenty of time left.

But Matt Lemieux (5-8 senior) put a damper on the optimism with his own personal run of seven points and in a little over a minute the Chargers were up by sixteen (46-30). 

CS, wisely kept the ball in Matt’s hands most of the second half and spread the floor to give him plenty of room to show his ball-handling skills. 

CS never let go of that double-figures lead the rest of the way, using the clock and ending most of their lengthy possessions with points. 

In the twenty wins Gordon ended up with this season, we’ve seen them do the same thing with a lead.  It sure is a helpless feeling to see your team on the wrong side of that strategy especially when your team’s defensive arsenal doesn’t include trapping or pressing.

Brady Bajema - Paced the Scots with 24 points including 17 in the second half.

Brady Bajema - Paced the Scots with 24 points including 17 in the second half.

Even in the loss, we did see quite a second half, shooting show from Brady.  He tossed in seventeen second half points and ended up with 24 points for the game. 

Brady became the go-to guy in that second half as Aaron never got untracked and for the first time in 53 games didn’t make at least one three.  The defense was good but not that good.  This was truly one of those rare outings when the talented junior from Kansas had his shooting touch nearly abandon him entirely.  But again, let me repeat, no one player ever loses a team game!

Closer to the basket things didn’t go that well either.  Greg (6 points) had trouble getting the ball, and when he did get it was faced with extra defenders.  Ben (4 points) took only ONE shot the entire game (He had 14 points on Tuesday night) and because of foul trouble watched 18 minutes of the game from the bench.

Enough of that negative stuff.  Gordon ends with twenty wins and a lone graduate (David Flight) whom we wish well.  Trust me, the 2009-10 team will be favored in the preseason CCC poll.  The target will be on their backs with so much experience returning.  We are destined for another season of very good basketball I suspect.  I would like to believe that next year’s team is capable of winning the conference and securing homecourt throughout the playoffs in 2010.  Can they (finally) win the tournament?  Why not?

A closing thanks to the friends we’ve renewed with this season and to those added along the way.  The tremendous sacrifices that parents of players make just to attend games always amazes me.  Any player reading this article needs to remind their parents repeatedly that they are appreciative of their support.

I am thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to cover seven seasons of Gordon games.  My wife, Julie, has been a wonderful source of encouragement and I thank her for that.

Lord willing, I expect to follow the team during the 2009-10 season. 

Thanks for being part of the readership.

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Filed under CCC Tournament, Colby-Sawyer, Gordon College Men's Basketball 2008-09

Game #26 – Aaron’s Last-Second Shot Advances Gordon Past Roger Williams in CCC Tournament

(Wenham) Remember the long prayer Aaron let fly up from the corner at Endicott to win that game in December? 

Aaron Trigg - Scored game-high 17 points including game winner in the last second vs Roger Williams.

Aaron Trigg - Scored game-high 17 points including game winner in the last second vs Roger Williams.

He was at it again tonight at the lively Bennett Center against Roger Williams with a shorter prayer but, like the Endicott shot, it was a game-winner. 

This time the stakes were higher as the 50-48 victory that resulted advanced the Scots to the semifinals of the CCC tournament at Colby-Sawyer (defeated Wentworth 83-71) on Thursday night at 7PM. 

You could never relax no matter which side you were rooting for in this game.  No lead provided comfort because the defense was so intense that scoring droughts were out there just waiting to happen.

Fortunately, for Gordon it was the visitors who ran into a game-deciding, 2 ½ minute scoring drought at the end of this one that opened the door for a GC rally. 

Corey Fava’s two free throws had given RW a 48-44 advantage with those 2 ½ minutes to go. 

Greg Walker (12 points/6 rebounds) followed with a jumper.  Pat Flanagan had a shot rim out down the other end.

Aaron missed a layup in traffic but Ben Gaskill (14 points/7 rebounds) collected one of those rebounds and tied the score at 48-48 with 1:19 left.

Aaron fouled Taylor Petruccelli but the 6-4 sophomore came up empty on the front end of a one-and-one.  You’d like to think that the nearby Pit might have had something to do with it.  But Hawk Ryan McGinn turned up with the rebound with inside a minute left.

The Hawks went into a very deliberate style as they passed and dribbled on the perimeter letting the clock wind down.  Finally, Corey Fava, with JT Himmelstein covering, went up with a jumper that rimmed out.  JT got the rebound with 31 seconds left.

Now it was Gordon’s turn to use the clock.  The ball was in Aaron’s hands most of the time with Taylor Petruccelli tight on him.  With eight seconds left, Aaron gave up the ball to Brady who headed for the basket only to see multiple defenders ahead.  He passed back to Greg who quickly found Aaron on the right baseline.  Aaron ended up spinning right for a fall away in and over traffic.  Swish with .2 seconds left.

After a timeout, and an itchy trigger finger on the score clock, Ryan McGinn tried a fullcourt pass over 6-9 Jon Himottu that Aaron deflected away.  Whew!

The win gives Gordon a 20-6 overall record.  It ends a four-game win streak the Hawks had going against the Scots. Maybe it even avenges RW’s ouster of Gordon in the CCC tournament semifinals last season.

Whatever, the Scots move on to face Colby-Sawyer.  A mere two weeks ago, the visiting Chargers abused Gordon from beginning to end in a 90-64 blowout.  Since then the Scots have won five straight.  This may be the time they win their first CCC tournament semifinal game.

This was the day in which the top 15 players in the CCC were announced as well as the MVP.  I suggested last article that Aaron was the MVP but no, they wouldn’t listen.

One thing I didn’t understand in this game was the limited playing time of the Hawk’s third-team, all-league freshman Pat Flanagan.  He was averaging nearly 12 PPG but had time for only one point this time. The 6-9 inside threat played only 13 minutes and in my opinion that kept our 6-9 Ben Gaskill out of the foul trouble he got into in the January loss to RW. 

Ben Gaskill (6-9 junior) Plays above the rim on his way to 14 points vs Roger Williams - photo courtesy Ron Harden

Ben Gaskill (6-9 junior) Plays above the rim on his way to 14 points vs Roger Williams - photo courtesy Ron Harden

Ben, maybe motivated by his omission from the all-league team, had his second best point game of the season and the rebound he converted into points in the last two minutes was huge. 

Ben and Aaron had 22 of Gordon’s 28 second half points. 

Box Score

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Filed under CCC Tournament, Gordon College Men's Basketball 2008-09, Roger Williams

Game #25 – Scots Gain 3rd Seed With Last-Game Win Over Salve Regina

(Newport RI) After that meltdown 90-64 loss to Colby-Sawyer eleven days ago at home, you had to wonder where your Scots would be four games later at the regular season’s end.  Sitting then at 6-4 in league play, with Western New England, UNE, and Salve Regina on the upcoming schedule, you had to at least entertain the thought that Gordon could miss the playoffs.

Fear not, eleven days later not only are the Scots in the eight-team playoffs but they’re seeded #3 after this afternoon’s 75-67 win at Salve Regina.

Yes, that’s four straight wins to close out the season including a nonleague victory over Bates.  This team is rolling and gets Roger Williams in the first round on Tuesday night (7PM) at the Bennett Center.

In the other part of the playoff bracket that Gordon is in, Wentworth travels to Colby-Sawyer.  Am I the only one that notices that the three teams in the playoffs we’ve lost to are in our bracket while four teams we’ve beaten (UNE/Nichols/Salve Regina/Western New England) are in the other bracket.  No one ever suggested that the playoffs would be easy!

You’re wondering about the game with Salve I suspect?  For the second straight game (UNE was the other), Gordon faced a team willing and able to press fullcourt.  It made every possession for your Scots a bit of an adventure.

Gordon, meanwhile, restricted its defensive efforts to halfcourt and did a great job disrupting any sort of offense that SR attempted to run in the first half.  The Seahawks, however, did find enough offense to garner a 15-15 tie with ten minutes played.

The rest of the half?  My notes had Gordon missing only three shots while collecting 24 points.  Salve?  I had them for four turnovers, at least twelve missed shots, and getting only six points.  Some games are won early.  The Scots led 39-21 at halftime. 

Where did the points come from?  Seven different players contributed.  As one spectator said afterwards, “I don’t think Gordon ever took a bad shot.”  They did not make all their shots but took most of them from places where the percentages were in their favor.

(All photos added to this game story were provided to me by a professional photographer – Ron Harden.  He has a collection of Gordon action shots.  Some of  them are in this story while others are in previous stories, and some I haven’t used or seen.  He can be contacted for purchasing details at mdlsstudio@aol.com )

Ben Gaskill soars to first and only Gordon jam of the season at Salve Regina

Ben Gaskill soars to first and only Gordon jam of the season at Salve Regina

Ben drives around Seahawk Dan Royce at Salve Regina

Ben drives around Seahawk Dan Royce at Salve Regina

 

If the Gordon faithful on hand remembers only one shot from this game, it will be the first-half jam by Ben Gaskill during the breakaway run.  It happened in the last minute of the half.  Timmy MacDonnell got the ball to Big Ben on a press break (I would have given Tim an assist) and Ben took a step into the lane and jammed it.  This is the first one we’ve had all season. The Bennett Center crowd would have gone crazy.  Maybe Tuesday night?

All those good things in the second part of the first half did give the Scots a nice 18-point cushion but it wasn’t a comfortable lead, if you know what I mean.  Salve had an identical 8-4 CCC record.  They were playing at home and they had honored seniors before the game.  They wouldn’t be going to defeat quietly.

For the first 9 ½ minutes of the second half Gordon stayed in comfortable control.  A Brady Bajema 3-pointer gave the Scots their largest lead of the game, 54-34.  With 5 ½ minutes to go Greg Walker sank a couple of free throws and a layup and the lead was still in the comfort zone – 62-45.

The rest of the way, SR went into a helter-skelter mode, and created some excitement.  They had been firing three’s the whole game but had made four of them during the first 35 minutes of play.  The last five minutes they hit five of them. 

Defensively, I figured that they’d start to foul on every possession to stop the clock the way UNE had done the last game.  But they didn’t.  Instead, they pressed in the backcourt and double-teamed the ball-control Scots in the frontcourt.  Six turnovers resulted but, and again this is a big but, there were eight possessions when the Seahawks aggressive defense sent Gordon to the foul line.

And foul shooting has turned into a huge positive over the last four games – 86 for 102, which comes out to 84%.  In this end game on the road versus SR the Scots hit 13 of 16 freebies, which offset the suddenly effective Seahawk long-range game.  SR got to within six points a couple of times near the end on made 3’s but never had possession to get closer. 

Greg Walker - Shooting over a Salve Regina defender on his way to 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Greg Walker - Shooting over a Salve Regina defender on his way to 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Brady Bajema releases a shot as the referee signals the beginning of a 3-point play.

Brady Bajema releases a shot as the referee signals the beginning of a 3-point play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Walker registered his third double/double (17 points/10 rebounds) of the season and led all participants in both categories.  He also had an important blocked shot late in the game on Dan Royce.  Greg is getting multiple defenders almost every time he gets the ball in close.

Brady and Aaron both had 15 points and combined for 14-for-15 from the foul line but it was their defense on Justin Woodworth and Windell Hinkson that caught my eye.  Brady’s glue-like defense had a lot to do with keeping Justin (18.8 ppg) down to 11 points. Windell didn’t get many clean looks either and it took him 18 shots to get 14 points. 

As usual, there were a couple of eye-catching stats in the box score. 
(1) Salve committed 19 fouls in the second half and they weren’t fouling intentionally.  Gordon had 18 fouls for the entire game. 
(2) SR’s 14 steals ties a season high (Curry) in that category.  Scot dribbling into double-teams caused a number of them to happen.
(3) This is the fifth time that Gordon has had at least 40 rebounds this season.  That number was reached only four times in all of the previous three seasons!

Gordon’s first round opponent (Roger Williams) may be the sixth seed but they have to be pleased that they get the Scots.  They have defeated Gordon 4 straight times including that hideous display of basketball exactly one month ago.  It will be a long time before I forget our 14-10 HALFTIME lead in that one and the 50-37 final score.  We also have never beaten RWU in the playoffs.  Some might say that we now have them right where we want them!  The game is at the Bennett Center and lately good things have happened to the home team there. 

You can’t take a trip to Salve Regina and Newport without marveling at the mansions nearby.  The cost of heating such a place might require some sort of stimulus package.

Box Score

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Game #23 – Greg Walker’s 28 Points Leads Gordon Past WNEC and Into the Tournament

Greg Walker (6-7 sophomore) career high 28 points vs WNEC

Greg Walker (6-7 sophomore) career high 28 points vs WNEC

(Wenham) Remember all those shots Greg took the last three games that went in and out? By my count, he was 12-for-34 totaling 26 points. Unfortunate Western New England caught Greg on a can’t-miss performance (12-for-15) and lost to Gordon, 77-57, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

Greg’s 28 points were a career high and no doubt, the twenty he got in the first half put the Golden Bears in a deep enough hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out.

The victory put the Scots (17-6 overall/ 7-4 in the CCC) into the postseason tournament. They own tie-breakers over the teams (Curry and Western New England) they would tie with if they were to lose their last two games.

Now the press is on to finish in the top four in the standings so that when the playoffs start on Tuesday (February 24th) the Gordon game will be played at the Bennett Center instead of on the road.

Ahead is UNE on Wednesday night. With a win at Colby-Sawyer today they have clinched the number one seed in the playoffs. They have won 19 straight and are undefeated in the CCC. They haven’t lost since November 25th! Good? You bet! But, your Scots have won two straight at the Bennett Center.

For the first twelve minutes in this game the only given was that WNEC (7-15 overall/ 5-6 in the CCC) had no defensive answers for Greg. However, WNEC had quickness and used it to produce several layups that kept them in contention. One of those layups was by Rick Johnson and put WNEC in front, 18-15.

The next ten minutes of playing time? It was like Bates (20-point run) all over again. The Scots put together a couple of eleven point runs that left the visitors behind, 46-23, two minutes into the second half. It added up to a 28-5 scoring advantage.

A look at my scripting shows me that Gordon’s top two scorers (Aaron 17.6 ppg and Brady 14.8 ppg) had only two points in all this. That’s unusual, don’t you think? Austin has two 3-pointers and JT Himmelstein had one. Ben Gaskill contributed three baskets including a jump shot further from the basket than what we’re used to seeing. And then there was Greg (14 points) hurting WNEC almost every time the Scots got him the ball inside – and believe me after a while it became a team mission to get him the ball.

When the dust cleared after this stretch of good offense and tight defense by the Scots, the resulting 46-23 deficit was more than WNEC could do much with the rest of the way. The closest they got was 72-55 with 2 ½ left but they didn’t have the firepower this time to make things interesting.

There were several eye-catching stats from this game. Ben had a remarkable 13 rebounds for Gordon. He’s second in the CCC in rebounds. (I mention that not just because I was given some Buckeye chocolates but it did factor into it.) An even better rebounding stat was WNEC getting just 23 rebounds when they came in leading the CCC with 41.5 rpg.

Austin Bentson (6-3 sophomore) 2-for-3 long range

Austin Bentson (6-3 sophomore) 2-for-3 long range

JT Himelstein (6' freshman) career high ten points vs WNEC

JT Himmelstein (6' freshman) career high ten points vs WNEC

Another eye-catcher was JT’s first double-figure scoring game – 10 points. He made a couple of 3-pointers and put in a rebound of his own miss. As teams (reading this game’s box score) become aware of the need to collapse in on Greg there will be openings beyond the arc. Both Austin and JT took advantage of the daylight when WNEC sent outside help down low to help against Greg.

On the other side, those sixteen Gordon turnovers are way too many. WNEC didn’t start full-court pressing until three minutes into the second half. I suspect that UNE will press from beginning to end on Wednesday night. The better we handle the ball against them the better our chances will be of pulling an upset.

There was a good crowd on hand that was given plenty to cheer about from beginning to end. Can they take a study break on Wednesday night for the UNE game?

Eight faces in the crowd - How many of them do you know?

Eight faces in the crowd - How many of them do you know?

Gordon’s last regular season game is against Salve Regina on Saturday (February 21st) afternoon in Newport, Rhode Island. Their campus is in amongst some spectacular mansions. Chance to sightsee and catch a good game all in one day.

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Filed under Gordon College Men's Basketball 2008-09, Western New England

Game #21 – Aaron Reaches 1000 Points but Scots Get Blown Out by Colby-Sawyer

(Wenham) Gordon’s inexplicable woes at home continued as they were beaten like a drum in almost every statistical category by Colby-Sawyer, 90-64, in league play at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.

The final score pretty well sums up the difference between the two teams on this night.  Colby-Sawyer (17-4 overall/ 9-1 in the CCC) was picked to win the Commonwealth Coast Conference in the preseason coaches poll and now we know why – they can shoot and they can defend.

Gordon (15-6 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) on the other hand, continues to be a hard team to figure on most counts.  However, we do know for sure that recent games at home (4-4) have been difficult.

After delighting in watching Greg Walker and Brady Bajema carry the team in the last two games, it was our turn to be on the receiving end of a career performance.  Jon Chaloux (6-6/junior) of Colby-Sawyer was just plain unstoppable on offense (5-for-6 on 3’s totaling 29 points) and a nuisance on defense with six steals.

Similar to Brady’s game at Nichols (37 points), you didn’t see a game such as this coming from Jon.  After all, he was averaging 12 ppg. He was 0-for-3 shooting three’s with just seven points in his last game against Salve Regina.  However, in this one he seldom missed (12-for-17) despite the Scots giving numerous players a shot at guarding him.

The crowd was disappointing to say the least but they did give two loud cheers.  The first one was with about eight minutes left when Jon launched one from NBA distance and actually missed.  The other cheer was after the game when it was announced that Aaron Trigg had reached 1000 points. 
Aaron spins in for two of his team-high 17 points.

Aaron spins in for two of his team-high 17 points - courtesy Ron Harden

Aaron reaches the 1000-point milestone at the free throw line.

Aaron reaches the 1000-point milestone at the free throw line - courtesy Ron Harden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bennett Center blues defy explanation.  For six seasons visiting teams have come to Wenham expecting to lose or possibly to steal one with a great performance.  A big crowd would be expected and it would be noisy.  This year, since the William Paterson game in November, the Scots have lost an unheard of 4-of-5 at home.  What’s with that?

One way to lose at home, or anywhere for that matter, is to start slowly on both ends against a good team.  That’s what happened in this one.  The Chargers made their first five shots before missing.  James Tobin, however, converted the missed shot.  Therefore, 3 ½ minutes into the game, Gordon trailed, 14-2, and Coach Mike Schauer had already burned a timeout early to stop the bleeding.

Brady hit a three to narrow the lead to 22-11 with 11:10 left and thoughts of a comeback danced in some of our heads.  Enter Jon Chaloux.  He dominated the next 4 ½ minutes collecting nine points as C-S went on a 14-point run to put this one out of reach early (36-11).

In this disastrous segment, Coach Schauer used another timeout and then watched his team commit turnovers in five of the next six possessions.  The top three scorers on the team found themselves on the bench in the middle of this nightmare.

Later Brady hit a couple more three’s in the last minute before Chris Cox was left all alone for a buzzer-beating layup.  C-S led 48-26 at the half.

The Scots had a run of eight in the second half as Jon Chaloux finally missed a shot.  A couple of converted rebounds by Ben Gaskill highlighted that run.  This put the score at 71-52 with 7:20 left but that was as close as Gordon would get.

The good news is that Gordon has another game on Thursday.  The sting of the C-S loss will fade as they take on non-league Bates at 7PM at the Bennett Center.  Tough game?  Gordon has never beaten Bates and, I’m shocked to be saying this as a negative, the game is at home. 

The CCC game of the year will certainly be Saturday at Colby-Sawyer (9-1) when UNE (10-0) visits New London.  Gordon gets UNE at home on February 18th.  That one scares me already.

This was the first non-crowd I’ve seen at home in years.  The Pit was numerically pitiful.  Have the students jumped off the team bandwagon?  I would hope not.  This is a good team and almost all the players are underclassmen.  Come out and give them some support.  (Hints to the team: Get off to a good start next game so that the fans have a reason to get involved and afterwards make it very obvious to the crowd that you appreciate their being there.)

A couple of bright spots in recent games have been freshmen JT Himmelstein and Jon Himottu.  Coach Schauer has used them early which is a sure sign of his confidence in them. 

Box Score

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Game #20 – Brady Bajema has Career Game Versus Nichols

Brady Bajema - Has career game with 37 points and 9 assists.

Brady Bajema - Has career game with 37 points and 9 assists.

(Dudley) That’s twice in four days I’ve seen a Gordon player have a career game and clearly carry the team to a victory.

Against Regis on Wednesday, it was Greg Walker (22 points/19 rebounds).  At Nichols this afternoon, it was Brady Bajema (37 points/9 assists).

The Scots (15-5 overall/ 6-3 in the CCC) won the game, 94-85, and eased for the moment the concerns about them not finishing within the top eight in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. 

Tuesday night they take on (16-4/8-1) Colby-Sawyer to start a four-game home stand.  The Scots have lost three of their last four at home.  That needs to change.

But Brady, what a show!  He couldn’t miss in the first half (14 points) and was even better (23 points) in the second half.  Within the collection of 37 points were nine 3’s. 

Believe me, there was no way we could see this sort of performance coming.  In the last game, four days ago at Regis, Brady had a season-low three points and shot just 1-for-4. 

Maybe it was the closeness of the Nichols campus to Whitinsville (Brady’s hometown)?  Maybe it was the fact that he had many family members in the crowd?  Whatever, it was fun to watch, if you’re on the Gordon bandwagon.

Brady lines up one of his 37 points against Nichols.

Brady lines up one of his 37 points against Nichols.

Freshman JT Himmelstein lays in two of his seven points.

Freshman JT Himmelstein lays in two of his seven points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scots took the lead for good late in the first half after an 8-point Gordon run put them up, 35-30 with 3:40 to go.  A three by freshman JT Himmelstein (from Brady) started it.  Greg Walker (14 points) hit a jumper and then Brady (for some reason all alone) hit a three. 

That lead would grow to 44-35 at halftime as the Scots spread the floor in the last twenty seconds and found you-know-who in the right corner.

I was not in the Nichols locker room at halftime but I guarantee you that there was plenty of talk about defending the 3-point shot after Gordon was 6-for-12 in the first half.  Now that the game is over, I can guarantee you that there was even more talking after the game in the Nichols locker room on the same topic after the Scots went 6-for-9 in the second half.

The Bison were 4-0 in the CCC at home and they weren’t about to fold up in the second half.  One reason was freshman Pete Atkins (27 points).  He is a muscular 6-2 and took the ball inside successfully most of the game.  When he converted a rebound and a layup he made it a 60-50 game with 11:10 remaining. Plenty of time for a run at the lead if Gordon ever cooled off.

A turning point in this one may have been on Nichol’s next possession.  Pete Atkins started working his way to the basket but this time got his shot rejected by 6-7 Greg Walker.  The Scots followed with a 12-2 run and had their biggest lead of the game, 72-52, with 8:50 left.  Brady had two assists in this sequence and added a 3 of his own.

The lead was still substantial (78-60) with 6:50 left and a breeze to the finish might have been expected.  Didn’t work that way.  The Bison decided to foul the Scots on every possession the rest of the way.  If you were a fan of whistles and free throws, you would have loved it.  And it made perfect sense for Nichols to foul.

That strategy led to some serious seat squirming for Scots fans down the stretch.  Gordon missed nine of 23 free throws and that enabled Nichols to make things more interesting than they should have.

Nichols got within six (89-83) in the last 1 ½ minutes but followed with a miss and two turnovers and Gordon escaped with the win.

The Scots passing game was a pleasure to watch throughout.  When you see 24 assists (season high) and just 12 turnovers you have the statistical evidence to prove superb offensive execution.  

Nichols (11-10 overall/ 6-3 in the CCC) has Wentworth at home next Tuesday night.  They honored their two seniors (Jeff Lindgren and John Costello) before the game.

Aaron hit 32 last year against Wentworth and 30 this season against MIT.  Without checking, I believe Mike Herr may have reached 30 at least once.  Now Brady joins the group.

The points scored (94) were a season high as well as the points allowed (85).  Let’s just call it good news/bad news and leave it there. 

The Gordon student cheering section will need to be out in full vocal force in the four-game home stand.  Visiting teams have been way too comfortable at the Bennett Center this season in my opinion. 

box-score-gordon-at-nichols-2nd-try-2-7-09

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Game #19 – Greg Walker Has Career Game Versus Regis

Sophomore Greg Walker had a remarkable 22 points/19 rebounds game against Regis.

Sophomore Greg Walker had a remarkable 22 points/19 rebounds game against Regis.

(Weston) Sophomore Greg Walker had the finest double/double (22 points/19 rebounds) I’ve seen in my 6+ years regularly following the Scots and he carried/led/dragged (take your pick) Gordon to a win at Regis, 68-40, on Wednesday night.

The Scots (14-5 overall/ 5-3 in the CCC) defended brilliantly all game and set a season record (31.9%) in field goal defense.  Gordon’s work on the boards was also impressive with season-high totals in offensive rebounds (21) and total rebounds (49).

Greg gets to the rim for two - courtesy Ron Harden

Greg gets to the rim for two - courtesy Ron Harden

Greg gets another open look - courtesy Ron Harden

Greg gets another open look - courtesy Ron Harden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it was Greg that folks were talking about during and after the game.  Get him the ball ten feet away or closer and he has the moves to get off shots.  Regis (7-12 overall/ 1-7 in the CCC) didn’t have the size or positioning skills to deny Greg (6-7) the ball.  So he ended up with sixteen pretty good looks at the basket and made the Pride pay.

His rebounding number (19) was a revelation.  The most Greg had ever gotten before was ten (Curry) but in this one, he had ten at halftime.  Truly a special performance.

The final score (68-40) will mislead the reader into assuming that this was a game-long blowout.  Hardly. 

After eight straight by the guy I was talking about above, Gordon had a 15-9 lead with 7:50 to go in the half.  However, the Pride answered with nine straight of their own to regain the lead, 18-15, with 5:40 left.  Derrick Neal (16.7 PPG) got all of his five points for the game in this run. 

At this stage, it was anyone’s game but over the remainder of the half it became Gordon’s game.  The visitors ran off nineteen unanswered points on their way to a 34-18 halftime lead.  The daggers were a series of three 3’s to close out the half.  Austin Bentson had the first one and Aaron Trigg the others.  Timmy MacDonnell assisted on both of Aaron’s.  Aaron’s last one was launched from the corner with about a second left.  We’ve seen that play a couple of times this season.

Terrific halftime show

Terrific halftime show

The same folks who saw Greg produce a special performance also witnessed a halftime show that was as good as it gets.  Five guys from Kenya did a series of don’t-try-this-at-home acrobatics that were an eye-catcher for sure.  The Bennett Center crowd would have loved them.

In the second half, Regis couldn’t get inside of a double-digit deficit.  The Gordon lead was still eighteen (43-25) when nine straight by the Scots put this one into the everyone-will-play category and they did. 

6-8 Jeff Derr was yet another matchup problem for Regis and he collected 12 points in the second half.

Aaron was under double figures for the first time this season.  A returning All-Conference player with a 19.6 ppg will generate a lot of defensive attention.  That’s why it was important for the points to come from somewhere else and Greg did the providing.

The Regis fans reminded me of the ENC fans.  The score means nothing to them.  Down by thirty late in the second half, a player for the home team makes a layup and they go crazy.  This happens a few times and each time I had to check the score to see if Regis was catching up.  They weren’t but it didn’t matter to their crowd.

After watching Regis for a game, I was left wondering how they ever beat Elms a month ago.  Elms is 16-1 and ranked 13th in the recent D3Hoops national poll. 

Six games left and I don’t see an easy one among them.  I might have been tempted to suggest last-game opponent Salve Regina until I saw that they had beaten Roger Williams tonight.

Nichols is the opponent on Saturday at 3PM in Dudley.  The Bison have been on the wrong side of numerous close game losses to Gordon since I’ve been covering the Scots. 

Gordon is 10-2 on the road and has won their last five games away from Wenham.

Box Score

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Filed under Gordon College Men's Basketball 2008-09, Gordon men's basketball 2008-09, Regis