(Wenham MA) I thought that the best thing that happened at the Bennett Center tonight was the Gordon women breaking an 11-game losing streak in defeating Wentworth, 42-39, in the opening game.
The second game certainly was exciting but when it came time for a really big shot to be made the Scots weren’t up to it and lost, 69-67, to the Leopards.
The loss ended a very enjoyable four-game GC win streak. With Endicott Saturday and 13-2 Nichols next Tuesday it is clear that keeping a 3-game losing streak from happening won’t be easy.
Tonight’s loss against Wentworth is probably the end of Gordon’s chances to finish in the top four in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and earn a home game in the CCC playoffs.
The Scots (8-7/11-11) are still in 5th place but two games separate them from the 4th spot and there are only three games left. They could still get 4th but an awful lot of things would have to go their way to make it happen.
One thing that certainly went right against WIT was the play of Garrisson Duvivier. The freshman from Brockton put together a 24 points/14 rebounds evening.
Garrisson also put some pretty good defense on Jason Ganley limiting the sophomore to seventeen points. If you recall the game at Wentworth, Jason registered thirty-nine points setting the school record in the process in the Gordon defeat in Boston.
Tonight’s game came down to the very end. The Leopards (10-5/11-11) had the ball in a tie game. That ball intentionally ended up in the hands of senior Kyle Romich (17 points) and and his teammates gave him room to operate straight away. Kyle was able to get by defender Eric Demers and into the foul line area where his made jump shot gave WIT a 2-point lead with 4.5 seconds to go.
The Gordon response was a half-court prayer by Eric Demers before the buzzer. The shot hit the rim but did not become the game winner and the visitors had a 2-point victory.
The Scots wasted two terrific comebacks. In the first half the home team trailed by eleven (34-23) with 3:12 remaining. The Leopards didn’t score again the rest of the half. Garrisson Duvivier had a dunk and two layups. Noah had a layup and Jaren connected on a three. That run of good Gordon offense ended the first half in a 34-34 tie.
In the second half, another Wentworth lead (55-46) with 11:23 left in the game. By 7:59, the Scots had scored nine straight (Noah Szilagyi three, jumper by Eric Demers, layups by Garrisson Duvivier and Sam Johnson) to earn a 55-55 tie.
Those nifty comebacks were why the end game was so frustrating. This time GC had a lead. Not big but enough that some consistent offense might have maintained until the end. Not on this night!
The Scots were ahead 66-62 with 3:27 to go. Gordon was only able to get ONE POINT the rest of the way. The Scots had two turnovers, missed a free throw, a layup, a three, and two jump shots. That’s ugly.
Meanwhile Wentworth got a clutch three from Dan DeVaux and Kyle Romich’s end-game jump shot to win it.
Garrisson’s remarkable game included twenty points in the first half. Looking for a reason for the loss? Garrisson had fifteen shots in the first half and only four in the second half. The Wentworth defense didn’t improve that much in the second half. There is a fine line between taking your best shot and the team’s best shot. Sometimes those three’s go in but on this night there was first-half evidence that Garrisson and Sam Johnson were tough matchups for the interior of the WIT defense. Connect the dots.
I enjoy watching Wentworth in their offensive end. No team works the ball as effectively as they do. What it all adds up to are great open looks. You watch the perimeter guys shoot on any team in the CCC in pre-game and they make most of their long-range attempts. Wentworth is able to turn up similar shots during the game better than others teams do.
The Leopards used a 1-3-1 defense quite effectively. The problem with any zone defense is that a team on the move can get shots before that defense is in place. I thought that Jaren Yang did a nice job of speeding up the tempo for GC.
Garrison Duvivier 39
Sam Johnson 18 (10 points/11 rebounds)
Kyle Romich 18 (17 points/10 rebounds)
Jason Ganley 16 (17 points)
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)