(Wenham MA) No surprise here.
Gordon advanced to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semi-finals after a 99-85 win over Salve Regina on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.
This was the third victory over the Seahawks this season. Pattern has been similar each time: Gordon gets a big lead, Salve narrows the lead but doesn’t have enough offense to get things to the dicey level.
“We didn’t finish the way I’d hoped,” said Coach Murphy, “but it was nice to get most of the bench into a playoff game.”
The beauty of this game (to me) was the balanced scoring. There were six Scots in double figures. Usually the two first-team All-CCC’ers (Garrisson Duvivier and Eric Demers) get there with an occasional 3rd player joining them. Tonight, every starter got there, and reserve Noah Szilagyi added ten points.
The one they were talking about afterwards was junior Jake Haar. You watch enough GC games and you have seen “The Iceman” drain three’s. Nothing like tonight, however. Jake was six-for-seven from long range. “When the Iceman has it going, if you’re not right up in his shirt, he’s going to hit the shot,” said Coach Murphy.
I’ll call this Jake’s best game. He put up twenty points, missing only one shot, and added four assists.
Gordon (18-8) gained separation late in the first half. A 36-34 lead bulged to 47-34 in less than three minutes. The Scots had four baskets in the breakaway run and ALL of them were assisted. That’s called, finding your teammates. On the night, GC had twenty-four assisted baskets and ONLY ten turnovers. You win games with those numbers!
In the second half, you knew it would happen. What? The lead got big (twenty points) and then SR, led by Rodney Morton (28 points) cut into it.
With seven minutes left, the Gordon lead was 83-69. Coach Murphy called a timeout, and those paying attention, heard his “outdoor” voice. No doubt the team caught it loud and clear. The next 2+ minutes GC turned to layups and free throws and pushed things to the safety zone (93-72).
The Scots shot over 60% in the first half. “Offensively we were unbelievable in the first half,” said Coach Murphy.
Garrisson Duvivier turned in his 18th Double D of this season. He added five assists. The immeasurable stat would be the number of shots opponents don’t take close to the basket because GD is lurking ready to hand out a rejection.
Next for Gordon will be Endicott at the Bennett Center (7PM) on Thursday night. The Scots have beaten EC twice this season but both games were tight.
“Anytime you can play a great team that is your cross-town rival in a big game it’s fun,” said Coach Murphy. I have to confess that “fun” isn’t the first thing I think of when we face the Gulls! I think of Yankees/Red Sox where wins are exhilarating, and losses hurt for days. To each his own on that one!
The bleachers were pulled out at the Bennett Center for this game. The crowd was underwhelming in my opinion. That should not be the case on Thursday night. Playing/Beating Endicott is a happening!
Garrisson Duvivier 35 (19 points,14 rebounds,5 assists)
Jake Haar 27 (20 points,4 assists)
Jaren Yang 18 (14 points)
Rodney Morton 18 (28 points)
Salve Regina 81
(The pictures enlarge if you click on them.)