Tag Archives: Jeff Derr

Seniors Graduate on May 15th

Aaron, Mike, Tim, Ben, Brady, Justin, and Ben do some post-graduation posing.

(Wenham)  I was there and I can confirm it – they graduated! 

Aaron Trigg waits to march to graduation.

I was at Gordon on sunny/breezy Saturday morning (May 15th) and watched Jeff Derr, Aaron Trigg, Brady Bajema, Tim MacDonnell, and Ben Gaskill end their four years among us.

Last time I saw the five of them together was in March in Middlebury (VT) when the home team took out our Scots in the NCAA D3 tourney.  Who knew that Middlebury’s Andrew Locke would block thirteen shots and send Gordon to a first-round exit?

It was good to see all the players’ families together for one last time.  You always imagine that there are games ahead that they will attend but it seldom, if ever, works out. 

There was talk of everyone getting back together when the CCC tournament banner is put on display in the Bennett Center during the 2010-11 season.  That would be special.

I was very impressed with commencement speaker Jim Cymbala.  It wasn’t just the brevity of his remarks but the topic – the importance of prayer.  There was something there for all of us!

Coach Tod Murphy waves to seniors.

One comment that previous Gordon coach Mike Schauer used to make to me when I mentioned a talented player on an opposing team: “The important thing,” he would say, “was to make sure he graduates.”  And here is Tod Murphy at graduation, probably hoping that Aaron, Brady, Tim, Jeff, and Ben weren’t graduating!

Anyone on board knows that there are big changes ahead.  For starters, look at the team picture on Championship Saturday and delete the front row.  However, one of the trademarks of your Scots over the past eight seasons has been to graduate players yet still be able to qualify for the CCC tournament (top eight) every season.  Let’s be optimistic here! 

The other significant change, other than the roster, is the future of the CCC.  My understanding is that in two seasons Gordon and eight other schools (UNE, Endicott, Salve Regina, Roger Williams, Nichols, Curry, Western New England, and Wentworth) will form a new conference.  That will leave Regis, New England, Colby-Sawyer, Anna Maria, and ENC out in the cold for reasons I choose not to guess at.  It will be interesting to see how this all works out.

Anyhow, God bless Aaron, Brady, Tim, Jeff, and Ben.  And God bless your families as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under CCC Tournament, Colby-Sawyer, Curry, ENC, Endicott, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Mike Schauer, New England College, Nichols, Regis, Roger Williams, Salve Regina, Tod Murphy, Wentworth, Western New England

Seniors Lead Way Past Salve Regina to 21st Win

Gordon seniors - Tim MacDonnell, Brady Bajema, Ben Gaskill, Jeff Derr, Aaron Trigg

(Wenham)  Plenty of where-did-the-time-go moments as each set of five parents paraded out to midcourt with their son on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The five seniors then became the game starters for Gordon (21-4/12-1) and played big roles, as usual, in leading the Scots to an 89-62 win over Salve Regina (4-21/3-10).

Gordon had clinched the top spot in the Commonwealth Coast Conference several games ago.  The real down-to-the-wire action today was sorting out the five teams below Gordon, Wentworth, and Curry in the standings.  Five teams in that group ended up with six losses.  Today’s results have Gordon’s first round opponent at the Bennett Center at 7PM on Tuesday to be Endicott.  Other teams in our bracket are Nichols and Colby-Sawyer.  Hey, who said this would be easy. 

Let’s return to the game I’m supposed to be telling you about.  The atmosphere was relaxed.  It had the feel of an exhibition game with a lot more open shots than usual.  Gordon, in fact, put up a season-high 68 shots and made half of them.  Many of the Scot opportunities were of the high-percentage, in-close variety.

Jeff Derr - 17 points/10 rebounds

Jeff Derr (17 points/10 rebounds) used his first start of the season to register his first ever double/double. 

Greg Walker (12 points/11 rebounds) collected a similar double/double. 

Both big men benefited from size advantages but it was the Seahawks weak interior defense that really hurt the visitor’s chances.  SRU played Brady Bajema (7 points/3 assists) and Aaron Trigg (15 points/4 assists) man-to-man and tried to zone everyone else.  This arrangement left many inside opportunities for the unselfish Gordon offense and in this game, the Scots cashed in regularly.

For ten minutes, though, this looked like a game that the Scots could lose.  The Seahawks were hot from the outside (four 3’s including two by Jabreche Boyd) and SRU had a 16-14 lead.

The next 6 ½ minutes were a Gordon delight as six different players helped the Scots run off seventeen unanswered points and end up with a 31-16 advantage.  The damage was done from in close except for Tim MacDonnell’s trey.

The halftime lead was 38-26.

Jabreche Boyd - led all scorers with 23 points

The Seahawks were very competitive for the first ten minutes of the second half as well.  Jabreche Boyd (game-high 23 points) and Ryan Birrell (14 points) were the primary scorers for SRU as the Gordon lead was just 57-48 with 10:17 left. 

Gordon, however, put the game away over the next 3+ minutes on free throws and layups from six different players during a 13-3 segment to move the Scots to a more relaxed, 72-51, advantage.  There was a 10-point run further along and opportunities for each senior to be replaced to rousing ovations.

The crowd was enthusiastic and sported pictures of the seniors

Ben Gaskill added some offense (13 points) to another fine defensive effort.  This time his defensive work limited Dan Royce (16.5 points per game) to one point. 

Adam Herod came in late and put up his first points of the season.

Brady’s last basket gave him 1090 points and put him into 15th place on the all-time scorer’s list ahead of Justin Kaufman (1088).

Aaron’s fifteen points gives him 1530 and puts him within range of fourth all-time scorer (Steve Heinz) who has 1545 points. 

Gordon had its best game of the season as far as turnovers go, committing just eleven.  SRU did do some pressing. 

Gone now, is the relaxed atmosphere of the last few games.  Now teams get to feel either the “thrill of victory and or the agony of defeat.”  I would like to be “thrilled” at least through next Saturday!

The last four seasons the Scots have defeated Nichols, Salve Regina, Wentworth, and Roger Williams in first round games.  

box score

Leave a comment

Filed under CCC Tournament, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Salve Regina, Western New England

Gordon Seniors Lead Scots Past Endicott for 11th Straight

Aaron Trigg (26 points) puts some free throw icing on Gordon's victory cake as the Endicott cheering section looks on.

(Beverly) Gordon 64 Endicott 55

That’s three straight at Endicott and this time it didn’t take a long-range prayer to do the trick, as it had required in the previous two matchups at Beverly.

What is took, was a collection of Gordon senior moments over the last 2:41 that turned into a tie-breaking, game-winning 12-3 run.

Gordon (15-3/7-0) has now won eleven straight.  Next is Regis at home on Wednesday night (8PM).  The Pride (8-11/4-3) has lost three straight but have a win in January over Colby-Sawyer.  Not to be taken lightly!

The crowd was incredible on both sides (estimated at over 1200) and loud music wasn’t required to simulate noise, which is the way it should be.

The win by Gordon avenged a 71-68 loss at the Bennett Center in early December.  In that one, the Scots trailed early, rallied all the way back from a 17-point deficit to tie, and then couldn’t finish the job in the last 1:10.

This time around the Scots once again trailed early (27-13) after six minutes, battled all the way back taking their first lead (43-42) after nine minutes of the second half on two David Dempsey free throws.  The teams traded baskets until Bobby Montrond notched two free throws to tie things with 2:41 to go. 

Aaron Trigg - nine points in crunch time

After that………..it was one Gordon wonderful senior moment after another carrying the Scots to the win.  Aaron Trigg (26 points) collected nine straight points from every location – three free throws, two layups, and a three.  Ben Gaskill (7 points/11 rebounds) had a steal and a block.  Jeff Derr (9 points/12 rebounds) had an assist and a rebound.  Brady Bajema (9 points/3 assists) had an assist and two free throws. 

No wonder the Gordon crowd was chanting, “It’s all over,” as the game-clock wound down with the Scot lead getting larger and larger after each possession.

Endicott (8-10/3-4) seemed convinced that they could win this game from long range despite the accumulating stats indicating otherwise.  The Gulls were 3-for-16 from downtown in the first half and added 2-for-10 onto that in the second half.  In fact, in the second half they went eighteen minutes between made 3’s.  You can live by the three’s and, well you know the rest – Lance Greene (1-7), Aaron Karkow (1-6) and Kevin McGuire (0-3).

Justin Martin (10 points) kept Endicott close late in the game.

I came away impressed with the play of Justin Martin (6-8 junior).  He led the Gulls with ten points and had eight of them in the second half in a row when the outcome was in the balance and his teammates put away the 3-ball.  Probably more impressive was the job he did on Greg Walker (13.2 ppg).  He muscled Greg away from his comfort spots in close to the basket and held him to just three points.

But Gordon had other players pick up the scoring slack.  David Dempsey had all of his ten points in the second half.  Add Endicott to the list of teams trying to cover him with a smaller player and paying the price.

Jeff matched a career high in rebounds (12).  Last time?  A blowout win versus Wheelock when he was a sophomore. 

I was not surprised when Timmy MacDonnell got the “Goggles” chant from the Endicott side.  At Colby-Sawyer, someone yelled, “Hey 33, the pool is down the hall.” 

During this game, however, Ben got the, “Shave your moustache,” chant which not everyone would disagree with. 

Coach Tod Murphy signs during warmups.

During warm-ups, I had a file for the never-seen-that-before drawer, as Coach Tod Murphy signed autographs for Endicott students in front of the team bench.

A conspiracy theorist from Kansas noted that Endicott opted to use the bench that Gordon normally uses.  Why?  So, according to the theorist, any last-minute 3’s that Gordon attempted (they won the last two years on such shots) would be taken from in front of the Gull cheering section. 

However, by switching benches the Gull team ended up in front of the vociferous Gordon cheering section that really turned up the volume during timeouts.  Maybe next time Endicott will relocate their cheering section.

Another significant second half plus was rebounding.  Close in the first half (21-19) but the Scots turned dominating (26-14) in the second half.  It sure helps when both Ben and Jeff reach double figures.

Another noticeable stat was free throws.  Gordon usually shoots from the outside unless Greg is open inside. In this game, though, a tight exterior Endicott defense forced Gordon players to create their own openings – there were only nine assists.  The result was foul after foul by the Gulls and Gordon getting into the bonus early. The Scots took full advantage connecting on 27 of 32.  

Brady Bajema - 994 career points.....and counting

The Brady 1000-point watch is now at 994.  Another reason to show up at the Bennett Center on Wednesday night for the Regis game.

Box Score

Leave a comment

Filed under Endicott, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Regis, Tod Murphy

Gordon Wins 14th and Extends Winning Streak to Ten

Aaron Trigg - Led Gordon scorers with 16 points

(Wenham) Make that ten straight for Gordon (14-3/6-0) as they defeated New England College, 79-57, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Thursday night at the Bennett Center.

The visiting Pilgrims actually outscored the Scots, 28-27, over the last 13 ½ minutes of the game but unfortunately for them, were trailing 52-29, when those last 13 ½ minutes started.

New England (5-13/0-6) has now lost ten straight.

Now we get to the circled game on the schedule – the rematch with Endicott at 3PM on Saturday.  If you recall, or checked this blog, the Scots and the Gulls were tied last time at the Bennett Center with 1:10 left.  Crunch time belonged to Endicott.  Also of note is that Endicott defeated Roger Williams tonight.  And of further note, the last two times over there, Gordon has won at the very end on shots from the same corner (first corner when you enter the gym).  Plan on an exciting afternoon.

Meanwhile, back at the game I’m supposed to be writing about, Brady Bajema and Greg Walker carried the Scots to a 12-4 advantage in the first 4 ½ minutes.  How many games have we seen Greg be a big contributor in the early going?  Teams seem to want to give single coverage a chance.

Later in the first half, David Dempsey and Jeff Derr combined for eleven points in an 11-2 spurt and the Scot lead was 26-12 with 8:25 left.  JT Himmelstein had two assists during this run.

The lead was fourteen (38-24) at the half and the same (43-29) after three minutes of the second half.  You doubted that NEC had the firepower (top scorer Joe Faragher wasn’t in uniform) to get closer but their deliberate style was keeping them closer than you would expect from a team on a nine game losing streak.  Then an extended cold spell (3 ½ minutes) did in New England, as Ben Gaskill, Aaron Trigg, and Brady put up points in a nine-point run.  Now the lead was 52-29 with 13 ½ minutes remaining and the bench clearing started. 

Coach Tod Murphy went heavily with reserves the rest of the way and hopefully saved the legs of his starters for the visit to Beverly on Saturday.

Aaron (16), Jeff (14), David (13) and Brady (12) paced the Gordon scorers.  Those interested in the Brady 1000-point number – he currently is at 985.

David Dempsey - Scored 13 points including a crowd-pleasing dunk

Most exciting play of the game?  A second half NEC turnover sent freshman David Dempsey off on a breakaway.  Expecting a simple layin, those on hand were greatly surprised to see him dunk the ball.  It is easy to forget that he’s 6’5”. 

The second most exciting moment was the last-second shot that NEC’s Paige Pearson made to give the Pilgrim women a 54-53 win.  I was watching that game at home on my computer and the GC women had a comfortable first half lead when I left. 

Seeing the referee, and then the athletic director, have to get involved with someone in the Gordon cheering section is embarrassing.  I thought that cheering section was supposed to be a group effort.  Soloists taunting opposing players and officials should not be allowed to give the cheering section a bad name. 

Speaking of “cheering,” only at Endicott would you get an entire section of students chanting, “Where’s your Bible?” as they did last year.  Maybe some on the Gordon side could have pocket editions and produce them in response.

Gordon is now alone at the top of the CCC.  Six teams are in second with two losses.  The Scots get to play three of them (Regis, Colby-Sawyer, UNE) among the eight games left in the regular season. 

One of the finest from Gordon’s immediate past (Jerry Logan) was in the house visiting his brother Jordan and hanging around for the Endicott game.  You talk about a tireless defender!

Box Score

Leave a comment

Filed under Endicott, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, New England College

Defense and Bench Trio Important in Gordon Win Over Wentworth in CCC Opener

Jeff Derr (sinking free throw) scored twelve points off the bench vs Wentworth

(Wenham) Efficient defense and strong contributions from the bench sent Gordon (8-3/1-0) to victory over Wentworth (4-7/0-1), 57-49, on Saturday afternoon at the student-less Bennett Center.

This was the first Commonwealth Coast Conference league game for each team.  The Scots next travel to Anna Maria on Tuesday for an 8PM matchup with the Amcats.

The Leopards had 6’11” Sam Herrick inside but Ben Gaskill (6’9”) did a remarkable job limiting Sam to seven points on 2-for-10 shooting. 

The other Gordon defenders weren’t too shabby either and had a part in Wentworth missing forty-three shots overall and shooting just 29.5% for the game.

The Scots didn’t shoot all that well in the second half but the first half was a different story – 13-for-23 (56.5%).

The game-deciding stretch saw Gordon face an 11-8 deficit at the 12-minute mark and turn it into a 28-16 advantage at 4:45 of the half.  In a game where the Scots made a season-low four 3-pointers, they connected on three of them (Jeff Derr/Brady Bajema/Tim MacDonnell) during this decisive segment.

The contributions off the bench of Jeff, Tim, and Dave Dempsey were huge on both ends of the court.  They usually help defensively but on this afternoon, they combined for 7-of-13 and 24 points.  Pretty important when the team tallies just 57 points in the game. Jeff’s twelve and Tim’s seven were season highs for them.

The Leopards had an 8-point run early in the second half to close to 38-29 with old-fashioned and new-fashioned three’s by Jack Barrett in there.  Jeff and Tim returned the Gordon lead to double-digits (34-29 with 13 minutes left).  The spread was still substantial (53-37) with two minutes left.  Wentworth put up 12 points the rest of the way but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

I have to admit that the second half (with both teams shooting poorly and Gordon turning the ball over eleven times) was painful to watch.  However, the most exciting play of the season happened during that half.  You know that Gordon fastbreaks are rare – we’re not a track team!  However, after an Aaron Trigg steal, off to the races the team went.  Brady headed to the basket on the right side and spotted Ben Gaskill going fullspeed at the top of the key.  A quick handoff to Ben and he sailed in for a dunk.  The crowd, what there was of it, loved it. 

That dunk gave Gordon its biggest lead of the game (38-21) but instead of igniting the offense, the Scots went the next five minutes without scoring and collected four straight turnovers to go with four missed shots.  But in a game where the opponent never seemed to produce consistent offense, the Scot’s erratic second half wasn’t costly.

Ben led everyone with 12 rebounds.  When you combine that with his neutralizing of the other team’s top scorer (Sam Herrick – 11.8ppg), you sense the senior’s value to the 2009-10 team.

Brady missed last year's OT loss at Wentworth.

This win lessens my recall of last year’s overtime loss in the league opener at Wentworth.  In that one Gordon played without Brady and was out-rebounded by ten.  This time around, Brady was available and the rebound margin was lowered to three.

I saw Mike Schnackenberg and Jon Marstaller in the house as well as the parents from away (Kansas/Ohio/Illinois). 

The next home game is in two weeks versus Curry. 

This was the first game (in 7+ years) that my usual seat behind the team benches wasn’t available.  Number me among those who aren’t all that thrilled with hope and change!

Hey, where'd my seat go??


Leave a comment

Filed under Anna Maria, Curry, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Wentworth

Strong Second Half Sends Gordon Past Union in Tourney Opener

Brady Bajema - Paced Gordon with 20 points and solid defense.

(Schenectady) In the first ten minutes of the second half, Gordon (6-3) missed two shots and turned the ball over three times.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  During the same ten minutes, they poured in 25 points from everywhere and changed a 30-28 close one at halftime to a 55-33 runaway at Union College (3-6).

The final score was 69-47 but this one unofficially ended during the pleasant-to-behold first ten minutes of the second half.

The win on Monday night starts 2010 off in nice fashion and puts the Scots in against Montclair State for the Sig Makofski Tournament Championship at 8PM tomorrow (Tuesday) night. 

Montclair State’s athleticism in their win over Elms reminded me of last year’s University of New England team.  Trust me, the Scots will be tested in protecting the ball and will need good shooting in both halves to win the championship.  By the way, the Scots did win the championship two years ago defeating Union.

In the Gordon/Union game both teams fell in love with the 3-point shot during the first half and proved that it wasn’t a shot that either of them could make very often – Union 2 for 12, Gordon 2 for 10.  

The Dutchmen grabbed a 12-8 lead early on when Drew Goldstein (9 points) hit a long one.  They still led 15-13 (11:51) as Evan Croll made an old-fashioned three drawing Brady Bajema’s 2nd foul in the process.

The next 8 ½ minutes Gordon started turning up layups with excellent passing and tallied seventeen points.  Meanwhile Union collected just five points during the same stretch.  So, with 3:15 left in the half the Scots led 30-19. 

The Dutchmen responded with nine unanswered points to close to 30-28 and have everyone wondering what might happen in the second half.

As I wrote above, Gordon came out making shots in the second half, especially three’s.  If I asked you to guess the two players doing most of the damage from long range, you’d guess right – Brady Bajema (20 points) and Aaron Trigg (15 points/8 assists).

2 ½ minutes into the second half, Brady had two 3’s and Aaron one.  Union?  They hadn’t scored yet and trailed 39-28.  Later Brady turned a steal into a layup but shortly thereafter had his 3rd foul and went to the bench. 

A Drew Goldstein free throw made the score 46-33 with 12 minutes left.  Plenty of time if the Dutchmen could make some shots.  What followed, however, was yet another trio of Gordon treys (Aaron, Jeff Derr, Brady) and what might have been for Union wasn’t anymore – 55-33.

Both teams ended up playing every player on their roster.  Maybe the shorter minutes for the Gordon starters tonight will help against Montclair State tomorrow night.

Joey Lokitis - Limited to just two points by Gordon defense

The defensive job Brady and Timmy MacDonnell did on Union’s Joey Lokitis was notable.  The Dutchmen senior came in averaging 16.4ppg.  In this one, he had only two free throws.  He did get off a number of NBA-range three’s.

The Scots had numerous passes inside for layups.  I’m not sure if that was because of the Union defense or some practice upgrades in that department.  Union was unable to defend Greg Walker (17 points) down low with just one player.

Ben Gaskill did not get his fifth straight double-digit rebound game.  Maybe it’s the new facial look?

An unusual stat for Union was that they had just seven fouls during the entire game.  There were plenty of shots to be had by Gordon throughout the game.  Fortunately, for the Scots they fell in the second half.

Matt Covucci paced Union with 12 points. 

The Dutchmen will have plenty of trouble with athletic Elms in the consolation game tomorrow night.  Maybe those 3-point shots will fall.  It sure would help them. 

Pregame gathering at Union College


Leave a comment

Filed under Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Union, Union Tournament 2010

Gordon Finally Defeats Salem State

Brady Bajema - Led all scorers with 31 points in rare win over Salem State

I was very pleasantly surprised this AM to read online in marvelous Barbados that our Fighting Scots had defeated nonleague Salem State on Tuesday evening at Salem – 95-83.  This was no normal occurance!

I saw them beat Salem State back in the Troy Justice coaching days at the Bennett Center in (I’m guessing) 2001.  Since then…………..a few games have been close like the overtime toughie when Jeremy Martin filled in for Mike Schauer but most games, however, have been one-sided and the Gordon website reported an eight-game losing streak. I’m not sure Gordon has ever defeated Salem State at Salem State before.

But it happened and a check of the boxscore indicates that the “stars were out” on this one.  Brady (31), Aaron (22), and Greg (22), regained their scoring abilities after that nightmare versus Westfield State on Saturday night.

Brady’s third three of the first half was part of a 9-0 run that had Gordon ahead 33-22 with 7 ½ minutes left.  The Vikings narrowed things to 43-39 at the half.

Salem State overtook the Scots at 17:15 on a resounding putback dunk by Brian Clark to make it 50-49.  That lead actually increased to three (56-53 and 58-55) before Brady nailed another three and added a couple of free throws to put Gordon in front 60-58. 

It took the Vikings 2 ½ minutes to regain the lead – 68-66 on a Jahmal Swanson layup with 11 ½ minutes remaining. 

The next segment was the game-decider.  Over the next 5 ½ minutes the Vikings were without a point while the Scots turned up 12. 

The key to this winning drive was a, “I’ve got the ball and the shot clock is expiring,” 3-pointer by Timmy MacDonnell from the corner.  (A source at the game captured the drama for me.) That answered prayer started things and later Jeff Derr would add a three under less stressful conditions. 

The resulting 78-68 spread did in Salem State.  The closest they got was 84-79 with two minutes left.  Then things turned strictly to free throws and the Scots dropped in 11 of 12.  Brady had seven of them.

This win was a great way to make thanks giving start early. 

The next opponent for Gordon is long-time rival ENC at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.  In a 3-1 season where there have already been two major surprises – losing a TipOff Tournament game and defeating Salem State – you hesitate to surmise how any future game could go.


Leave a comment

Filed under ENC, Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Salem State

Game #22 – Scots Score Twenty Straight in Defeat of Bates

Brady Bajema - 20 points including 15-of-16 free throws

Brady Bajema - 20 points including 15-of-16 free throws

(Wenham) Gordon returned to its winning ways with some of the sweetest foul shooting (24 of 26) you will ever see and defeated non-league Bates, 64-52, at the Bennett Center (That’s right!) on Thursday night.

The Scots (16-6 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) were down 33-31 with 10 ½ minutes left in the game. Without any sort of warning, Gordon then proceeded to score the next twenty points before Bates finally lit their side of the scoreboard with a layup from Nick Schmiemann with 3:17 left.

That amazing 20-point run (easily the longest of the season) had the Scots in front, 51-33, and, unlike at Nichols, the free throw shooting the rest of the way by Aaron and Brady (combined 13 of 14) kept the Bobcats a safe distance away.

The win ended a three game slide at home, which had begun to be troubling for all of us. Now the team moves ahead with some confidence to face Western New England (5-5 in the CCC) at 3PM in Wenham.

The race for the six playoff spots after UNE and Colby-Sawyer is way too close at this point with three CCC games to go. The possibility of being on the outside looking in when the season ends still exists. This fact will add to the tension of the last three contests, two of which are at home.

Mike Schauer and Keith Krass look on as Gordon regains its winning touch at home.

Mike Schauer and Keith Krass look on as Gordon regains its winning touch at home - courtesy Ron Harden

Bates (12-11) is a team that Gordon had never beaten until tonight. That is yet another first in the Mike Schauer era. We also have never beaten Western New England at the Bennett Center – okay, we’ve never played them at home. But it could be another Coach Schauer first in the making.

Both coaches could take away a statistical goody from the game. For Gordon it was the delightful season-high foul shooting percentage (92.3%). For Bates it was their rebounding. Their 46 rebounds, including 18 offensive rebounds, were season highs against your Scots.

The field goal shooting was nothing special for either team. The Scots hit their third lowest percentage (34%) of the season. The other lower ones led to losses to Roger Williams and Salem State.

The fingernails-on-the-blackboard stat for the Bobcats was definitely having only four assists combined with 17 turnovers. They had five of those turnovers during the game-deciding, 20-point streak in the second half.

No doubt, Bobcat first-year coach Jon Furbush wasn’t thrilled with his team getting only nine free throws while Gordon had 26. He shared those sentiments with the officials in a loud voice and next thing you knew Brady was shooting two technical foul shots.

By the way, Brady was 14-for-14 from the line in the second half and led all scorers for the game with 20 points.

A memorable play in this one took place in the midst of the big run. Jeff Derr and Jimmy O’Keefe of Bates got tied up chasing a rebound in the Bates end and both went to the floor in a heap. Jeff got up first, hustled down the other end, and nailed a wide-open three.

Austin Bentson - Reaches double figures for the second time this season

Austin Bentson - Reaches double figures for the second time this season

Austin Bentson had his first double-digit (11 points) game since the opener at ENC when he had 16 points. There will never be a question about his passion to defend.

Greg Walker has struggled since the breakout game (22 points/19 rebounds) at Regis. He has had a horde of shots rim out over the last couple of games.

We did get to see quite a shooting show by Marshall Hatch in the last few minutes of the game. He connected on three long shots and totaled 13 points in the second half.

The turnout was better than Tuesday night’s was. I am told that there is a lot of academic activity going on at this time. Students have to make choices over time use. That is why it is always good to see the team salute the home fans after the game.

I noticed that the 7PM start caught a few folks by surprise. At least they saw some of the second half. The game-of-the-year between UNE and Colby-Sawyer starts at 1PM on Saturday afternoon. I’m guessing that some folks will miss that game entirely.

Box Score

Leave a comment

Filed under Bates, Gordon men's basketball 2008-09

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

Leave a comment

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

Game #16 – Jeff Derr’s Shooting Leads Gordon Past Newbury

Jeff Derr (6-8 Junior) has career game versus Newbury.

Jeff Derr (6-8 Junior) has career game versus Newbury.

(Brookline) How hot is red hot?  I’m not sure but Jeff Derr might know.

This kid had a career game (23 points on eight-for-ten shooting) against nonleague Newbury on Tuesday night leading Gordon to an  84-66 win at Hellenic College in Brookline.

The 6-8 junior surpassed his previous point high of 17 (Wentworth last year) in just 18 minutes of playing time.

The Scots (12-4) took a double-digit lead (25-14) for good on a Ben Gaskill layup on a feed from Brady Bajema (eight assists) with eight minutes left in the first half.  Gordon approached a 20-point lead a couple of times in the second half but explosive Nighthawk guard John Rowley (14 in the second half) kept that from happening.

Coach Schauer told me last season after a similar scoring feast, “When you shoot like that, the game gets real easy.”

I’d say that Newbury contributed to Gordon’s scoring looks by trying at times to zone the Scots.  There were plenty of clear shots available most of the time.

Jeff led the way in this one but he was surrounded by teammates who were hot in their own right.  The Scots had their best game of the season from long range – 12 for 17.  Brady (3), Aaron Trigg (4), Austin Bentson (1), and Jeff (4) all dialed in successfully from long distance.

What led to many of the successful shots was Gordon’s willingness to pass, and pass, and pass around the perimeter looking to turn up wide open outside shots or to get the ball inside to Greg Walker.  This sort of patience led to a season-high 26 assists.

The Nighthawks (5-9) had just nine assists, which signals to me that the Gordon defense was tough enough to force them into one-on-one basketball.  Nighthawk sophomore John Rowley put on quite an impressive display of that type of basketball in the second half by getting to the rim and either making his shot or going to the foul line.

I continue to be impressed with the defensive efforts of Timmy MacDonnell and Austin.  They appear to take defending seriously every time they play.  Anyone heading to the basket with a head of steam up runs the risk of getting set up for a charging foul by either one of them.

The only flip side from this game is the avalanche of turnovers (21 in this one) that the Scots continue to commit.  In a game that saw numerous terrific passes for baskets there were plenty others that were intercepted.  Handling double-teams without panicking is a work in progress.  Arguably, the best team in the CCC, UNE, presses relentlessly.  They are the February 18th opponent at Gordon. They turned New England over 30 times.

Gordon players await start of Newbury game.

Gordon players await start of Newbury game.

There was a “crowd” of about 15, not counting the players and statisticians, when the game started at 5PM.  The numbers increased as players for the 7 o’clock women’s game arrived. 

Newbury AD Peter Centola told me afterwards that Hellenic had put down the new floor, which is beautiful, in the summer.  A very long time ago, the Celtics used Hellenic for their preseason workouts.

The Scots are scheduled to be in Henniker (NH) on Thursday night – weather permitting – to face the Pilgrims at 7:30 in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game. 

Plenty of skiing is available nearby, so why not come early and make a day of it.

Box Score

Leave a comment

Filed under Gordon men's basketball 2008-09, Newbury