Tag Archives: Garrisson Duvivier

Winning streak ends as Gordon falls to Western New England

Mikey Pettway – led Western New England with 24 points including 14 in the second half.

(Amesbury MA) Wake up, call!

Silky Sullivan was a famous race horse.  His specialty?  Starting slowly and then coming on fast to win at the end.  A special camera was often used to show how far back the horse was….before he would rush up late to win.

The Gordon College Fighting Scots were no “Silky Sullivan” this afternoon in Springfield against Western New England.  They did get the bad start part right but not the rest of it.

The result was a 94-88 frustration against the Bears.

The Scots (16-2) started badly on both ends of the court (trailed 50-33 at the half), but we had seen this before.

In the second half, Gordon shifted into comeback mode and turned a 57-36 deficit into a very tight, 66-63, close one in 8 ½ minutes.  Shots started falling on one end and not-so-much down the other end.

With 10 ½ minutes to go, you “knew” where this was going…….or so you thought.  WN came in 5-12.  WN had collapsed in the second half at the Bennett Center in December and lost 99-70.

Credit the Bears, they “forgot” what was supposed to happen and in the next two minutes had a triple (Tim Reilly), another triple (Mike McGuire), and a jump shot (Mikey Pettway).  The Scots went scoreless.  The lead expanded back to eleven (74-63) and the Scots lost playing catchup the rest of the way.

Garrisson Duvivier had a 26-point second half with seven rebounds and two steals.

Wasted in the second half was a performance by Garrisson Duvivier that may have been the best half anyone in a Gordon jersey every played.  Check these 2nd half numbers: 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals!

As great as GD’s performance was, it wasn’t enough.

Why?  Blame WN senior Mikey Pettway.  The Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Star has a 20-point average.  First time against the Scots MP had a surprising six points on 3-for-10 shooting.  He’s a lot better than that and this afternoon he was, especially in the second half.  Mikey ended with twenty-four points, getting fourteen of them in the second half (along with four assists).  Mikey’s play was crucial because the Scots had awakened to the possibility of a game being lost and were playing with urgency.

The Bears (6-12) shot 50% and were adept at making the mid-range jumpers that the Gordon zone seems vulnerable to.  They dared to go to the basket against the GC shot blockers and often got away with it.

Gordon struggled mightily from long range connecting a season-low five times on twenty-four attempts.  The team averages eight made three’s a game.  Get the average and today’s result was a W.

After sixty-four days the Scots (16-2) have their second loss.

Not a good start to the second time through the other eight teams in the CCC.  Other coaches in the games ahead will be studying the video of today’s game for ways to defeat GC when it is their team’s turn versus the Scots.

Good luck to them on that one.  The Bears played better against Gordon than anyone else has to date.  The efficiency number (subtract bad stats from good stats) confirmed the excellence of Western New England this afternoon.  Good shooting (50%), rebounding (42), assists (18), and low turnovers (10) show what it takes.  And don’t forget Mikey Pettway getting twenty-four points.  Teams will have to play well to defeat Gordon.

UNE will be at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night and their style (press, shoot 3’s, and wholesale changes) is entertaining to watch.  Maybe not so much for Kendall at the scorer’s table trying to keep track of stats!

Parker Omslaer contributed sixteen points and eleven rebounds versus Western New England

Parker Omslaer had one of his best games for Gordon.  The 6-11 sophomore registered his third double/double (16 points/11 rebounds) and had a career-high six blocks.

The returned students should be in the house on Tuesday night.  The Scots could use the energy boost that a good partisan crowd can bring.  The team is well worth the look.

Box from the game

 

 

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Gordon rallies to win 94-91 over Roger Williams in OT

Garrisson Duvivier (33 points) overpowered Roger Williams inside

David Massillon (15) pressures Austin Coene (34 points)

(Wenham MA) Neither coach could believe it.

Gordon somehow, some way rallied back to reach overtime and went from there to defeat disappointed Roger Williams, 94-91, on Saturday afternoon.

“We had a nine-point lead and two free throws with 1 ½ minutes left,” said RW coach Mike Tully afterwards.  “We missed the free throws and then we panicked.  We never should have lost the game.”

Gordon coach Tod Murphy was on the other side of it.  “I can’t explain the win.  It was a special game and we got lucky.”

Eric Demers (35 points) finds a way to get a shot off

The stars were surely out as three of last year’s Commonwealth Coast Conference first-teamers, Austin Coene (34 points), Garrisson Duvivier (33 points), Eric Demers (35 points) had big afternoons.

The Hawks (8-8) took a 10-9 lead to a 29-12 lead in six minutes.  During this stretch the visitors from Bristol (RI) went through the GC zone for 4 layups and went over it for a three.  Meanwhile, the Scots missed three 3’s and had six turnovers.

“The problem for us was that it became the Eric and Garrison Show,” explained Coach Murphy.  “Yes, they can win you ballgames but if we take the other three out of the game suddenly it’s two-on-five instead of five-on-five.”

JJ Pfohl had twelve points for RW

For a team on a thirteen-game win streak, a 37-28 deficit (at halftime) was far from insurmountable.

Back came the Scots (15-1) in the second half and with 5 minutes left a Parker Omslaer dunk had GC within one (63-62).

The paying-attention Gordon fan had to figure that Roger Williams was about to be passed.  Gordon hadn’t lost since November……..and all that!

Coach Tully called time.  His Hawks then went back to making shots and Gordon returned to just the opposite.

Two minutes later the Hawks had rattled off ten unanswered points; two 3’s by Rich Pugliese, a layup by Ian Carmichael, and a jump shot from Austin Coene.

Garrisson Duvivier (33 points) muscles his way to the basket

Now it was Coach Murphy’s turn to call a timeout.  With three minutes left, the Scots trailed by eleven (73-62).

Coach Murphy recalled that Garrisson Duvivier had something to say in the timeout.  He told the team that it would be part of the “process of getting better.  Let’s get better,” he said, “during the next three minutes.”

Coach Murphy added, “I didn’t think that we had enough time, but we did.”

Another thing that happened during that timeout was that Gordon changed to a man-to-man defense.

“We work on man-to-man every day in practice,” said Garrisson afterwards.  “We needed energy and stops, and it worked out for the best.”

Freshman David Massillon was inserted into the lineup and during the final three minutes he had two steals that led to four points.

Eric Demers gets to the basket

Roger Williams was held scoreless for the final three minutes and Gordon was able to rally all the way back.  Eric Demers hit a big three to send the game into overtime.

Again, credit Roger Williams.  They recovered from end-of-regulation lapse and jumped to a five-point lead (84-79) two minutes into the five-minute overtime.

But also, credit Gordon.  They turned the final three minutes into fifteen points led by Garrisson Duvivier.

Foul trouble caught up to the Hawks and they tried to cover 6-6 Garrisson with guards including Austin Coene.  That was costly because Garrisson is too much for players his size.  Put a guard on him and points and free throws will follow.  Top scorer Austin Coene fouled out with 1:45 left in OT and the Hawks had only a layup to show for the rest of the way.  They did get a three (JJ Pfohl) at the buzzer.

Garrisson Duvivier gets between defenders

“I tried to take advantage of the size difference,” said GD.  “If they doubled, I had guys I could kick it out to.”

The margin was just two (90-88) for Gordon with thirty-six seconds left.  The Scots held onto the ball for twenty-three seconds of the remaining time and then Eric Demers got to the rim.  Garrisson went from there to block a shot down the other end and then put GC ahead 94-88 with two free throws.

“The guys never stopped believing that we were going to win,” said Garrisson.  “The coaches told us things that worked.”

Coach Murphy: “You’ve got to have games like this in order to have a special season.  It was silly that we waited so long to make the plays we needed to make.  At least we got the wake-up bell before the game was over!”

Garrisson: “The streak (now fourteen) doesn’t matter to us.  Our record doesn’t matter to us.  All we care about is getting better each game.  In the second half we got better.”

Noah Szilagyi finished with ten points and had an important three during the comeback in regulation.

Gordon made 26-of-31 free throw attempts

The Gordon free throw shooting was excellent and they had plenty of opportunities.  The Scots ended 26-31 for the game.  During the second half?  14-for 14 and they needed every one of them.

Eric Demers had a season-high thirty-five points.  That was enough to put him in 9th place on the all-time scoring list ahead of Tim Kehoe.

Garrisson’s 33 points was his second highest point production of his career.  He had thirty-four against Nichols as a freshman.  GD’s points today moved him beyond Doug Lindland.  He’s now in second place with 1675 points.  Jim Petty heads the all-time scoring list with 1902.

Garrisson Duvivier eyes the hoop

Garrisson added seventeen rebounds to earn his 13th double/double of this season.  He tied a season high with four blocks.  He also tied a season high with seven turnovers.

“At the end of the game, Garrisson took over and refused to be stopped,” said Coach Murphy.

RW’s Austin Coene had a nice stat line (34 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) but he too had seven turnovers.

Last year at Gordon, freshman JJ Pfohl, with a 5-point average, hit the Scots with twenty-five points.  In the same game Eric reached 1000 points.

Garrisson Duvivier slams

Gordon has won three straight from Roger Williams.

Both teams were 18-9 last season.

Good crowd at the Bennett Center in the condensed stands.  They saw a terrific game.

Box from the game

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

The Bennett Center crowd was happy with the result

Josh Crutchfield and Noah Szilagyi apply pressure

RW coach Mike Tully

Garrisson Duvivier defends an inbounds attempt

Shirt tug

 

 

 

 

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Gordon holds on for a 72-71 win over Endicott

Noah Szilagyi (14 points) drains the eventual game winner.

(Wenham MA) This one was good to the last shot.

Matt McDevitt (34) takes the last shot with Parker Omslaer defending

Good thing for Gordon that Matt McDevitt’s layup over Parker Omslaer at the final buzzer wasn’t good because that miss preserved a 72-71 win for the Scots over Endicott on Thursday night.

The Gulls (10-5) trailed by a point and had the ball with thirteen seconds left. Plenty of shooters to choose from but it was sophomore Matt McDevitt in close for the win-or-lose last shot.

Keith Brown (21 points) shoots over Parker Omslaer

“I was worried that Keith Brown was going to get it at the high post,” recalled 6-11 Parker Omslaer, “and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t get it there.  But when the kid (Matt McDevitt) rolled to the basket I just wanted to stop him but make sure I didn’t foul.”

Mission accomplished defensively.

The shot was hurried and didn’t go in and Gordon (14-1) had its 13th straight win.  They haven’t lost in 55 days!

“Just another typical Gordon/Endicott game,” said GC coach Tod Murphy.  “Right down to the last shot.”

Gordon has won three of the last four matches with Endicott including two in overtime.

Coach Murphy was surprised by the lack of points.  “I don’t know whether we’re good defensively.  I didn’t expect low-scoring games against Nichols and then Endicott tonight.”

Eric Demers (22 points) shoots over Joe Shehadi (10) in the first half

Both teams had some cold-shooting segments during which the other team took advantage.

Endicott was up 13-5 (16:06) and then trailed 29-20 (7:00).

In the second half, Gordon led 47-34 (17:01) only to fall behind 57-56 (10:10).

With 5 ½ minutes left, the Scots seemed to be in good shape (69-60).  The home team was ahead with 3:40 to go (72-65).

But Gordon stayed stuck on 72 for the last three minutes and forty seconds!  Eric Demers, Garrisson Duvivier, and Parker Omslaer each had shot attempts that didn’t fall.

Eric Demers had a career-high thirteen rebounds

During Gordon’s offensive lull the visitors from Beverly nearly erased the entire lead thanks to a Matt McDevitt layup, and two free throws and a layup by Keith Brown (21 points).

But in the mix of Endicott’s late surge Matt missed two three’s and the final shot during the last two minutes. That was enough to enable GC to hold on.

Good crowd even with neither school in session.

One of the referees said to me, “How can you beat this, good basketball for free?”

Eric Demers paced GC with twenty-two points.  Did he shoot well?  Not so much.  “Eric couldn’t hit a shot at times, but he did make some big ones,” said Coach Murphy.

To limit an evaluation of ED to points is an injustice.  He is second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference in steals and he had two more tonight.  He had five assists.  Ball hog?  Not so.  Biggest Eric surprise of the night?  Thirteen rebounds!  He had never had double figures before.  Big game, big contributor in a variety of ways.

Garrisson Duvivier sends a no-look pass

Garrisson Duvivier reached double figures in rebounds (10) and points (14) for the 12th time this season.  He has also moved to within three points of being Gordon’s 2nd leading all-time scorer.

Noah Szilagyi (14 points) was extremely accurate tonight missing only one shot.  His three with 3:40 left turned into the eventual game winner.

I asked Parker about the success the Scots have had so far: “I think that we have a different mindset.  Last year we had some trouble closing out games.  This year we’re going in there with all our strength and it’s working right now.”

Parker Omslaer shoots as a large crowd looks on

Coach Murphy on Gordon’s zone defense: “We’re figuring the defense out a little more each game.  At times we just don’t get where we’re supposed to be.  The defense will work if we do it correctly.”

The Scots stunned perennial champ Nichols, 76-72, five days ago.  “It would have really hurt to lose tonight’s game after the big win at Nichols,” added Coach Murphy.

Saturday afternoon we’ll see Roger Williams at the Bennett Center.  RWU has a win over Endicott.

“We haven’t played our best basketball yet and we have defeated two of the best teams in the CCC,” said Coach Murphy.  That “best” game by the Scots could well be needed on Saturday afternoon.

Box from the game

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

Avelino Damoura (6 points) elevates for three over Keith Brown

David Massillon in close

Eric Demers gets fouled by Keith Brown late in the game

Matt McDevitt ready to inbounds the ball with 13 second left

Nick Thibeault (22) crowds Garrisson Duvivier

Eric Demers shoots a free throw late in the game

Eric Demers uses a Garrisson Duvivier screen

Garrisson Duvivier (14 points) in for two

Jake Haar in open space

Josh Crutchfield (10) corrals a loose ball

Josh Ribeiro (24) chases Jordan Pettway (4)

 

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Streaking Gordon stuns Nichols 76-72 for 12th straight

Eric Demers had a season-high 32 points including 21 in the second half.

(Amesbury MA) March 1, 2014.

Long time ago.

I was out in Dudley (MA) that afternoon when Gordon stunned Nichols to win the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament.

After that?  Eight straight losses to the Bison.

But this year’s Scots (13-1) put an end to all that with a 76-72 W this afternoon.

Nichols (11-2) has won the regular-season CCC title the last five seasons.  Their league record during that time?  80-10!  The Scots were not in the “10” side of it, in fact, some of their most lopsided losses have been to NC.

Today’s result, however, temporarily erased those bad memories and put Gordon all by its lonesome atop the CCC standings with a 5-0 record.

Hold the celebration plans!  There’s a ton of season left starting with the neighbors (Endicott) at the Bennett Center on Thursday night.

How did Gordon defeat Nichols?  Give their zone defense some credit.  It changed the offensive dynamics for the home team.

The Bison love to get to the basket or make three’s and they have the speed and shooters to do it.  But this afternoon the zone took away most of the NC uncontested layups.  That left the long-distance approach for the Bison and today they missed 24-of-31 triple tries.

I saw UNE beat Nichols last year at Biddeford.  In that one, Nichols tried to force their style on the non-stop Nor’Easters and couldn’t do it.  Today there was 2-point gold available for them between 3-point range and layups, but the Bison turned down 2-point jump shots inside the foul line most of the game.  Stubborn and it cost them.

Give Eric Demers a ton of credit for the big win.  No sooner had I raved about his “best I’ve ever seen” half against UNE on Thursday, when he tops it two days later!

Eric’s second-half line was this: 21 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5-of-6 free throws in the last minute.

Eric (32 points) gave Gordon the lead, 69-67, using a screen to get the go-ahead jump shot.

During Nichols next four possessions they tried to force layups twice where plenty of GC defense was already in place.  They also launched two unsuccessful three’s.  No interest in the short jumpers in the lane.

Meanwhile, Eric attempted a three, got fouled and nailed all three attempts.  72-67.

Another NC miss and another Parker Omslaer rebound.  He had a career game in that category with sixteen of them.  Parker made one free throw with 28 seconds left.  73-67.

The Scots had the margin they needed to go on to a 76-72 win.

Garrisson Duvivier finished with another double/double and believe me there was nothing easy around the basket.  But that didn’t deter GD from attempting shots and drawing fouls.  Garrisson had a lot to do with getting NC’s best big man (Jerome Cunningham) out of the game early on fouls with 3:46 left.

Jake Haar regained his scoring touch (14 points on 5-for-10 shooting) after going a combined 2-12 against ENC and UNE.  The Scots have been good at getting Jake open looks out of set plays.

Senior Marcos Echevarria had a quiet (for him) twelve points.  Marcos recently became Nichols all-time leading scorer.  Today Marcos was slowed down a bit by a thigh injury.

Garrisson (1628) moved past Woody Anderson (1622) today into 3rd place on Gordon’s all-time list.

Today’s pleasant surprise extends the Gordon win streak to twelve.

Nichols has had five seasons in a row with 20+ wins.  During the last 5+ years they are 128-29!  Beating them today was something special.

I enjoyed the win but those twelve missed free throws were unnerving.  Practice, practice, practice.

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

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Gordon rolls past UNE 110-90 to run streak to eleven

Josh Crutchfield set a career high in points with thirteen

(Amesbury MA) Reach for the record books when UNE is the opponent.

The Nor’easters play most of their defense in the backcourt, shoot three’s with abandon, and look to wear down opponents with frequent substitutions.

The style can throw an opponent off but not the Scots tonight as they started fast and routed UNE, 110-90, on Thursday night in Biddeford (ME).

Gordon (12-1) went up by double figures five minutes into the game and put together an astounding 67-point first half while UNE committed seventeen first-half turnovers.

Eric Demers set a career mark in steals with seven

If Eric Demers has had a better half, I can’t recall it: Twenty points, three assists, six steals!

The Nor’easters were better in the second half but a 24-point deficit (67-43) is large when GC had so many good looks to choose from when they took care of the basketball.

When the Scots forced UNE to play half-court defense there was gold to be found and it was usually close to the basket.  Sophomore Parker Omslaer (20 points) had a career game inside not missing a shot.

Noah Szilagyi (24) and Josh Crutchfield (13) set career marks in points scored.  Three of Josh’s points came on a half-court buzzer beater ending the first half.

Garrisson Duvivier (17 rebounds/17 points) had his tenth double/double of the season.  His nine assists were a career high.

Eric Demers had the awesome first half and ended with 25 points, 7 assists, and 7 steals.  The steals were a career high.  With tonight’s points Eric passed Gene Fitzgerald and Nathan Ubelhofer on the all-time scoring list.  ED is now 10th and climbing.

Garrisson Duvivier set a career mark in assists with nine

The first half was a treat to watch.  The second half, not so much.

How come?  The Gordon zone gave up too many three’s and layups.  In the first half UNE struggled to get those kinds of shots.  Not in the second half.  On offense?  Way too many turnovers.  Twenty-five is a season high.  Hanging onto the ball too long led to many of them.  Trying to dribble through double-teams probably accounted for the rest of them. However, when Gordon found the open man, and passed the ball around, UNE was in trouble.  On one beautiful sequence every Gordon player touched the ball with a dunk finishing the possession.

Gordon has now won eleven straight, but that mark won’t mean much to Gordon’s next two opponents; Nichols (Saturday) and Endicott (Thursday).  If we’re still talking about Gordon’s win streak a week from now, it will be time to really get excited about this year’s team.

Box from the game

Noah Szilagyi set career marks in points (24) and turnovers (8)

 

 

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Garrisson Duvivier leads Gordon by ENC 83-73 in rematch

Garrisson Duvivier – big game for the Scots

(Newtown CT) That’s ten straight.

Who knows what the rest of the season will bring but so far, very good.

The Scots moved to 11-1 with an 83-73 win over Eastern Nazarene in a New Year’s Eve afternoon non-league matchup at the Bennett Center.

Based on the Efficiency Stat (subtract the negatives from the positives), Garrisson Duvivier put together his best game of the season.

The talented senior was able to tone down the turnovers (only one) and nicely fill the rest of the stat sheet: 21 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Eric Demers (21 points)

The Lions (3-7) nearly got the Scots nineteen days ago in Quincy.  Only a seventeen-point streak in the closing six minutes gave GC a 77-75 W that time.

In that tight one, ENC picked Gordon’s zone apart and for much of the game passed/dribbled into open looks and made shots.  Things got so bad for the Scots that they switched to a man-to-man in the second half.

This afternoon, the Lions came out making shots but most of them were by junior Garrett Crandell (26 points/6-for-8 on 3’s).

The visitors sat on a 26-17 spread with 8 ½ minutes left in the first half.  And that was about where they sat for the next 7 ½ minutes!

ENC shot 0-for-11 and had four turnovers during the lose the lead/fall behind segment.  The Scots featured all inside scoring, including a dunk by Garrisson, and came out with a 34-27 advantage at the other end of the 7 ½ minutes.

Gordon would never trail again.

The Lions were able to get within four points in the second half, but the Scots had plenty of offense (49 points) to offset any ENC upset plans.

Garrisson tallied thirteen in the 2nd half while teammate Eric Demers (21 points)g put up fifteen.

The Gordon zone, by the way, survived both halves.  At times it thrived, causing twenty turnovers.  A lot of the successful passes/dribbles in the first game led to shotless possessions for the former Commonwealth Coast Conference member this time.

Avelino Damoura came off the bench to contribute for the Scots.  The sophomore made two 3’s in short minutes.

Noah Szilagyi and Jake Haar struggled from long range (2-for-10) but keyed the improved GC defense.

Garrisson’s 21-points moved him up the all-time scorer’s list (1601 points) into 4th place ahead of Aaron Trigg.  The status of #3 Woody Anderson (1622) and #2 Doug Lindland (1645) would appear to be in jeopardy.

AJ Terry was not in uniform.

Nothing but CCC opponents the rest of the way. UNE on Thursday and Nichols on Saturday.  Both teams are dangerous.

UNE shoots the first open shot, presses full-court, and plays everyone.  Points will be flowing.  Can the GC offense keep pace?

Nichols?  Best team in the CCC.  Won the league last year.  Took their first loss recently against Salisbury which is 11-1.  Can the GC offense get production from all five starters and how will the zone hold up against a team with so many shooters?  We’ll have the answers to those question in a week.

The seating at the Bennett Center was consolidated and it looked like a good-sized crowd ended 2018 on campus.

The Gordon link worked perfectly.

It was interesting to look at the ENC video recap of the last game with Gordon.  The recap ended abruptly with six minutes left just as one of the Lions drained a three to give ENC a big lead and force a Gordon timeout.  A Gordon recap might have only included the six minutes AFTER the ENC video recap ended.  To each his own!

Box from the game

 

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Gordon (10-1) tops Framingham State 86-70 for 9th straight win

Eric Demers (17 points) was part of an 11-point Gordon run

(Amesbury MA) Another game, another surge of points that were significant in the outcome.

Gordon dropped non-league Framingham State, 86-70, on Friday night at Framingham.

The Scots (10-1) remarkable run continues as this makes nine straight for the team from Wenham.

In this one GC put eleven unanswered points together scoring on four straight possessions in the second half between 12:24 and 10:38. That run of eleven turned a one-possession 52-49 lead into a many-possession 63-49 spread.

The Rams (1-9) managed to hang around but a mini-run of six points between 4:41 and 3:27 did them in as the lead stretched to 77-60.

Eric Demers, AJ Terry, and Avelino Damoura were the sparks during the collection of eleven.  Eric nailed consecutive three’s to start it.  The first was after AJ grabbed an offensive rebound and the second was assisted by AJ.  Then AJ hit his own three assisted by Avelino.  Avelino finished the run with a layup.

Josh Ribeiro was a big part of Gordon’s final separation from FSU

The six-point run that sealed any Framingham rally plans featured a Josh Ribeiro layup and two free throws plus a layup by Garrisson Duvivier.

The variety of contributors is a good thing.  The team does not lack scorers.

The Gordon zone did return after being exiled after a dismal first half against Eastern Nazarene.  Unlike ENC, the Rams looked uncomfortable against the zone in the half-court offense.  Where they did look comfortable was during high-speed transitions.  Too often missed GC shots turned into drives and fouls down the other end.

And there I go whining after the team has just won its 9th straight!

Garrisson Duvivier – Had 20 points and 14 rebounds

The Scots took advantage of their size-edge down low and owned the boards all night.  Garrisson Duvivier finished with his ninth double/double (20 points/14 rebounds) of the season.

Eric Demers had a quiet first half (five points) but registered thirteen points in the second half.  Tonight featured his outside game.

Jake Haar added twelve points while Parker Omslaer put in ten with eight rebounds and three blocks.

FSU’s Manny Payton (17 points) had the speed and the green light to keep GC defenders busy.  The senior had 32 points last game vs Tufts.

The Rams are now 0-6 at home.  They had a 6-20 record last season.

The Scots have exams and a vacation before returning for a rematch with Eastern Nazarene on New Year’s Eve afternoon (1PM).  Many in attendance will be dressed up as empty seats!

David Massillon was injured against Framingham State and saw short minutes.

One way to attack a zone has always been to fast break and not let it get set up.  I saw some of that happening tonight.

Box from the game

Christmas thought: Jesus came down to earth because we can’t get up to Him.  What a Savior!

 

 

 

 

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Scots scored seventeen straight in final six minutes to catch ENC 77-75

Eric Demers (21 points) dropped three 3’s in the closing minutes comeback

(Amesbury MA) It has been a season where points can come in bunches.

That happened again tonight in Quincy as Gordon (9-1) put shutout defense together with a run of seventeen straight points and pulled out a, 77-75, struggle against Eastern Nazarene on Wednesday night.

That run-of-points thing appeared to have been left somewhere in Wenham for seventy-four of this game’s eighty minutes.  The only runs were by the Lions (3-6) as they sat with, what seemed like, a comfortable, double-digit lead most of the time.

However, with six minutes left The Run kicked in and ENC became the most recent part of the Scots eight-game win streak.

The Lions may have entered the game with a 3-5 record but against Gordon’s zone defense in the first half they had answers.  The team from Quincy shot 70%, made nine three’s, had fifteen assists, and led by eight (47-39) at the half.

Senior Garrisson Duvivier had another double-double

What to do?

Somewhere on the trip to the locker room at the half the GC coaching staff decided that something had to give.

Gordon coach Tod Murphy explained to me earlier in the season why the zone defense was being used, “I hate the zone but if it will help us win, I’ll use it.”

Against ENC it was quite clear that the zone was not working.  Whether it was a problem with Gordon’s execution or ENC’s ability to work against it, is not for me to say.  Maybe it was a little of both.

My internet went out at halftime and I was on the phone with Comcast getting that resolved.  My connection was returned six minutes into the second half.  First thing I noticed was that Gordon was now playing a man-to-man defense.  My suspicion was that the zone had been left in the locker room at halftime for repairs!

Anyhow, the Lions still had separation and kept it against the new defense.

Noah Szilagyi – part of a great defensive effort in the final minutes

Maybe playing at ENC was the problem.  Last year in January the Scots buried ENC, 81-59, at the Bennett Center.  A month later GC was at ENC and lost, 93-88.

I began to prepare the “jinxy location” explanation for the likely loss as the minutes went by.

With 6:05 it was ENC 72, Gordon 59.  The Scots would need to put defense and offense together in a near-perfect package to pull this one out.  And that was exactly what they did!

The only shot the Lions made was a Josh Rice three with less than a second left and the outcome decided.

Clean looks vanished.  Every shot was heavily contested.  Dribbling and passing became risky.

Eastern Nazarene missed all six shots they took and had three turnovers in those fatal six minutes.  The scoring window was no longer open.

David Massillon – continues to impress on both ends of the court

My fondest memory of the comeback minutes is that all five players contributed.  All the parts needed to be working to pull this one out.

Jake Haar – steal, assist.

Noah Szilagyi – steal, assist, rebound.

Garrisson Duvivier – 2 layups, 1 free throw, 1 offensive rebound, 1 defensive rebound.

David Massillon – 2 offensive rebounds, 2 defensive rebounds, 2 assists, 2 free throws, 1 layup.

Eric Demers – 3 three’s.

Garrisson finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.  Most of that was in the second half since he had quick fouls in the first half.

Eric ended with 21 points.

Eric (1251 career points) moved past Mike Herr into 12th place on the Gordon scoring list.

Jake Haar – Had a steal and an assist in the comeback

Garrisson (1560 career points) passed Steve Heintz to reach 5th place.

The Scots will visit Framingham State on Friday night (7PM).

The team has vacation time beyond that game and then back to Wenham for a New Year’s Eve afternoon revisit with Eastern Nazarene.  I will most likely be absent from the Bennett Center and sitting in front of my computer in Connecticut wondering what type of defense will be used.

Garrett Crandall led ENC with twenty-one points.

The Lions had an astounding twenty-five assists in this game including fifteen in the first half.  I couldn’t find a number like that 25 in any of the ten years of stats that I have collected.  Another half of tonight’s zone might have enabled ENC to set an NCAA record?

Sophomore Avelino Damoura made his debut tonight.  In a 5-minute stint he hit a three and had two assists.

Box from the game.

Avelino Damoura returned to action for the first time this season

 

 

 

 

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Make that seven straight: Gordon 99 Johnson and Wales 91

Freshman David Massillon (23 points and 8 rebounds) for Gordon

Eric Demers (28 points) made five three’s in the first half

(Wenham MA) Welcome to the Gordon family, David Massillon.

The young man from Lynn and Pingree (Hamilton) moved from the “another-good-player” zone into the Wow zone.

David had twenty-three points (previous high nine) and eight rebounds (previous high six) and helped Gordon drop Johnson & Wales, 99-91, on Saturday afternoon.

The Scots (8-1) take a seven-game win streak into next week’s games with Eastern Nazarene and Framingham State.

This was another misleading final score.  Gordon was up by twenty/plenty in the closing moments and opted for the “Blessed are the merciful” approach.  JWU said “Thanks,” kept their starters in, pressed full-court, and narrowed the gap so quickly that Coach Tod Murphy had to return his starters for the closing seconds.

Garrisson Duvivier (19 points, 11 rebounds)

“I hated to put the starters back in and it’s my fault that the reserves didn’t do better against pressure,” said Coach Murphy.  “Some of them just don’t get the reps against pressure.”

Minus the late-game closeness, the Scots once again put a lot of points together.  They had fifty-six points in the first half.

Eric Demers finished with twenty-eight points and had twenty-four of them in a dazzling first half.  He canned five-of-seven three’s.

The Wildcats (3-5) didn’t have a starter over 6’4”.  “In the beginning we were exposing their bigs with Parker (6-10) and Garrison (6-6),” explained Jake Haar.  “They couldn’t contend with the size.”

Eric Demers gets in close

And then you add a red-hot Eric Demers to the mix.  “When Eric is scoring like he was, it just opens up so many things,” said Jake.

In the win streak there have been moments in each game where GC has bunched points to gain sizable separation.  Against Colby (Thursday night) it was late in the game.  Today it was late in the first half.

At 5:58 Gordon led, 35-24.  The next 3+ minutes were all Scots as they scored thirteen in a row.

Brian Hogan-Gary (32 points) had 25 of them in the second half

While JWU missed seven shots and had three turnovers, Gordon got a dunk by Parker Omslaer and three’s by Eric Demers and Jake Haar both set up by Garrisson Duvivier.

The resulting, 48-24, lead was a mountain the visitors from Providence (RI) couldn’t scale.

Coach Tod Murphy loved the “W” but was a little disappointed with some of the offense he saw in the second half when his team had the 20+ point lead. “It’s human nature,” he said, “when you get a big lead like that to start thinking that ‘I can go ahead and get mine now.’”

Parker Omslaer (12 points) in a crowd

Gordon’s use of a zone defense continues to stimulate plenty of discussion.  No question, it is a work in progress.  No question it looks exploitable at times.  But so far it has thrown teams off from their normal ways of scoring points.

But the defense still needs work.  “In terms of defensive effort, it wasn’t great,” said assistant coach Didier Dinh.  “It wasn’t terrible but it’s not where we need to be for a long run this season.”

It’s the open three’s that seem to be driving the GC coaching staff crazy.  “Near the end of the first half we left #0 (Donovian Maxfield) a couple of times because we didn’t get where we’re supposed to be,” said Coach Murphy.

“At halftime we told the guys that the score might as well be 0-0 because we gave them some life when we gave them a couple of three’s late in the half,” added Coach Dinh.

The defense may have flaws, but it still has been a plus in the 8-1 start.

David Massillon (11-for-12 from the foul line)

UNE came out last season with a “fire up three’s” approach and it was new to the Commonwealth Coast Conference.  They beat Gordon with it and even surprised Nichols with a win over them.  But the coaches in the CCC are talented enough to prepare their teams to handle new schemes and adjust.  UNE is off to a 2-8 start this season.  Point?  The GC zone must get better or it may eventually become a liability.

“The run so far shows that we have a good amount of talent,” said Coach Dinh.  “The ultimate goal is to still be playing in March.”

Eric Demers had twenty-four points in the first half and the Wildcats’ Brian Hogan-Gary dropped twenty-five in the second half.

Eric Demers gets off a three

Eric feasted on one-on-one coverage, creating shots from almost any spot he chose.  Brian (6’4”) attacked the Gordon big men and hustled for the full forty minutes.

The play of freshman David Massillon (6’4”) was exceptional. He was a handful for any defender near the basket.  He also had the good touch to make 11-of-12 free throws.  What’s not to like?

I checked in with Coach Murphy on why they were playing at home on New Year’s Eve afternoon. “There won’t be anyone here,” he conceded, “but I wanted a game before the league starts on January 3rd.  I also wanted to do it as late as possible so that our guys could stay home longer.”

Plenty of “formers” in the house this afternoon.  I saw Greg Walker, Dave Dempsey, Keith Krass, Jerry Logan, Jake Hart, Graham Tienhaara, and Sam Johnson.  All are gainfully employed.  Most of them liked what they were seeing of the zone defense.

Sam Johnson, Jake Hart, Graham Tienhaara

Jake Haar on the team: “When we move the ball, we’re pretty unstoppable. We’ve got five starters that are unselfish.”

Jake Haar (from Californina) on the current New England weather: “I wear three jackets and a hat when I go outside.”

Jake told me that it was going to be in the 80’s in the part of California that he is from next week.  He’ll be there for a week over Christmas.

Instructions

Johnson & Wales will be hosting Nichols on Tuesday.  The result will give us a comparative score before our two CCC matches with the Bison.

J&W are part of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).  They were 19-10 last year and 28-3 in 2015-16.

I will be watching the next five games from Amesbury and Newtown.  Lord willing I’ll catch the Endicott game on January 10th.  The away league games (Jan 3rd UNE and Jan 5th Nichols) will be tough ones.

“We want to finish the semester strong,” said Coach Murphy.  “Our league is going to be a title bout every single night.”

Box from the game

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

AJ Terry (2) finds Parker Omslaer (44)

Arms

David Massillon eyes the hoop

Donovian Maxfield (22 points)

Jake Haar (20) leads the attack

Lane humor

Matt Madoian (5) blocks

Facial

Garrisson Duvivier to the hoop

 

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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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