Tag Archives: Park Thomas

Gordon College Graduation – 2014

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland - two of the biggest GC basketball fans

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland – two of the biggest GC basketball fans

(Wenham MA)  I took in the 124th Gordon College commencement on a Saturday where there was rain when it started and bright sunshine when it was over.

This was the first rainy one I’ve been at.  That rain pushed the activities to indoors at the Bennett Center.  Logistical nightmare, no doubt!

My goal at the commencement was to get a final picture of the  seniors – Roy Ray, Shaun Roach, Alex Carnes, Luke Hamilton, and Park Thomas all members of this season’s CCC championship team.  I did get that done.  I also like to get pictures of their families too.  Didn’t do so well there………way too congested afterwards.

President Michael Lindsay

President Michael Lindsay

I loved the crowd and couldn’t help but wish that maybe next February the Fighting Scots could play the CCC championship game in front of many of them.

I also noticed that the 2013-14 championship banner isn’t in the Bennett Center rafters yet.

One of the memorable moments of this graduation was a medical emergency that happened when President Michael Lindsay was speaking.  The emergency staff was quick and efficient.  Later family members came back informing that the lady involved was okay.  I was pleased that President Lindsay did the role-model thing by taking the situation to God in prayer.  I can tell you, he wasn’t the only one in the crowd doing it!

I wish the players and their families well in the days ahead.  It has been a pleasure connecting with all of you.

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes

Val Gin..........always serious!

Val Gin……….always serious!

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

The Rays

The Rays

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Luke Hamilton

Luke Hamilton

Kevin and Linda Roach

Kevin and Linda Roach

Drew Hall - my dorm my freshman year (1959)

Drew Hall – my dorm my freshman year (1959)

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Gordon defeats Babson 76-68 in NCAA tourney opener

Alex Carnes (20 points) shoots from in close

Alex Carnes (20 points) shoots from in close

Park Thomas hit six free throws in the final 39 seconds

Park Thomas hit six free throws in the final 39 seconds

(Williamstown MA) It was a shock to some and a surprise to the rest of us.

But there was Gordon winning their first round game in the NCAA Division 3 men’s basketball tournament, 76-68, over Babson on Friday night at Williams College.

No Commonwealth Coast Conference team had ever won a first round game before the Scots (18-10) got it done.

Gordon trailed the Beavers (20-7) in the early going, 10-6, but then went on a game-turning 15-1 stretch to get up by ten (21-11).  That lead would get larger (32-16) but never smaller than five (70-65) the rest of the way.

The 15-1 separator segment was driven by three’s (Park Thomas, Shaun Roach, Dominic Paradis) and three jumps shots by Alex Carnes.

As you can see, the points were coming from everyone.  The Beavers chose not to press until late in the game giving Gordon plenty of time to run what has become an excellent half-court offense.  Yes there were 19 turnovers but there also were plenty of high percentage shots turning up.

Hans Miersma sets up inside

Hans Miersma sets up inside

In the hard-to-top second half, Gordon made a remarkable 11 of 15 shots attempted.  The Beavers made runs to within six twice late in the game but the Scots responded with layups (Alex Carnes & Hans Miersma) to push Babson back.

Anyone at Williams sweating this one out in the final minutes will rave about Gordon’s foul shooting.  Terrific!  The team shot 19-for-21 in the game.  Park Thomas made all ten of his in the second half including six straight in the last 39 seconds.

Alex Carnes (20 points) topped the efficiency chart.  The 6-4 senior carried Gordon in the first half with thirteen points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Alex also spent time defending Babson’s Joey Flannery.  Joey was the ROY and POY in the NEWMAC this season.  Joey heated up in the second half and ended up with 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Joey Flannery

Joey Flannery

Watching Joey Flannery put up a lot of shots late reminded me of the Nichols game in which the Bison turned their scoring opportunities over to Ryan Sheehan.

Efficiency chart

Alex Carnes 22

Joey Flannery 19

Hans Miersma 18

Jason Dempsey 14

David Mack 11

Gordon 85

Babson 52

The Scots will play the host team (Williams) tonight.  Only some were shocked when Gordon defeated Babson.  Almost everyone will be in that state if the Scots find a way to defeat the 24-4 Ephs.  One player certain to require special attention will be Williams’ Mike Mayer.  Mike is 6-9/240 pounds and put up a 40 in Efficiency (25 points/15 rebounds) in last night’s Ephs’ win over Mitchell.

Game box

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

Dominic Paradis gets a shot

Dominic Paradis gets a shot

Alex Carnes shoots from long range

Alex Carnes shoots from long range

Jason Dempsey gets fouled

Jason Dempsey gets fouled

Eric Dean chases a loose ball

Eric Dean chases a loose ball

Kenny Ross

Kenny Ross

Richie Armand passes

Richie Armand passes

Park Thomas drives

Park Thomas drives

Hans Miersma free throw

Hans Miersma free throw

Shaun Roach shoots three

Shaun Roach shoots three

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Gordon takes the CCC title 69-65 with remarkable comeback against Nichols

Gordon College: 2013-14 Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball champions

Gordon College: 2013-14 Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball champions

Ryan Sheehan (24 points) drives

Ryan Sheehan (24 points) drives

(Dudley MA) The Gordon men’s basketball team was on the doorstep of, “Better luck next year,” and, “Have a safe ride home,” in the second half of the biggest game of their Commonwealth Coast Conference season.

Gordon trailed, 56-39, with 10:32 left against Nichols, the best shooting team in the CCC, in front of very noisy Bison crowd.

The Scots had lost to Nichols twice during the regular season.  Ryan Sheehan (Nichols’ top all-time scorer) had already scored sixteen points in the second half.

Have you gotten the point that Gordon was in very serious trouble? Okay, then let’s move on.

The amazing Scots rallied from near-death to the CCC championship in a remarkable final 10 1/2 minutes.

Hans Miersma (15 points) spins into the paint

Hans Miersma (15 points) spins into the paint

During the memorable final stretch anything that could go right for Gordon did while, simultaneously, Nichols had few answers to the Scots’ surge on either end.

The Scots heated up big-time making eight-of-twelve shots including four 3’s.  They also sank nine of the biggest ten free throws of the season.  And the best stat yet?  ONE turnover.

That turnover stat was significant because going into the final 10 1/2 minutes the Scots already had twenty-one of them.  In fact the first question most Gordon folks had at halftime was, “How many turnovers did we have?”  The answer was “fifteen!”

Gordon was able to generate one point-producing possession after another while Nichols (averaged 78.9 points per game) struggled to score.

The Bison (22-6) could produce only nine points shooting just 2-for-14.  Sam Horning’s two 3-pointers were the only connections from the field that Nichols had.  Ryan Sheehan added three free throws.

Gordon (17-10) put together streaks of twelve and eight unanswered points to pull even, 62-62, with 2:41 left in someone’s season.

Shaun Roach launches a three

Shaun Roach launches a three

In the 12-point run, Shaun Roach had a three, Richie Armand made two free throws, and Hans Miersma added two layups and three free throws.

Hans earned the last two free throws after getting fouled by Joe Gallant.  Joe went out with five fouls and 6:24 left.  In the process Nichols lost their best defender against 6-9 Hans Miersma.  That would cost the Bison later.

Sam Horning’s two 3’s stabilized Nichols for the moment giving the home team a, 62-54, lead with 4:48 remaining.

But Nichols couldn’t hold that lead because Alex Carnes, with family (from Arizona) and fiancé looking on, went on his own 8-point run.  Alex (2nd team CCC) drilled two 3’s, had a steal, and drove in for a tying layup (62-62) with 2:41 left.

Park Thomas looks for an opening

Park Thomas looks for an opening

Ryan Sheehan and Park Thomas both converted two free throws so the score was still tied (64-64) with 2:17 left.

In Nichols next possession, Ryan made only one of two free throws but the Bison now had a one-point lead.

Alex Carnes then missed a three and Chris Johnson had a turnover (steal by Jason Dempsey).

I referenced earlier that Nichols defender Joe Gallant had fouled out.  Next Gordon possession Hans was able to get an entry pass and spin in for a short soft hook to put GC in front, 66-65, with 1:09 remaining.

Plenty of time for Nichols to do something.  Ryan Sheehan (defended by Alex Carnes) was able to work his way in close to the basket.  However, Hans Miersma, who is now Gordon’s all-time shot blocker, rejected Ryan’s shot and controlled the ball.  Ryan fouled Hans immediately with thirty-nine seconds left.

Hans gave the Scots a two-point lead (67-65) making one of two free throws.

Still plenty of time for Nichols to pull out a win.  Gustave Koumare drove on Park Thomas and missed a contested layup.  However, Gustave got his own rebound and was fouled by Park with six seconds left.

The chance to tie was still in play but Gustave missed both shots and Luke Hamilton got the rebound on the second miss and was quickly fouled.

Luke Hamilton (11 points) about to put Nichols down by four points with five seconds left

Luke Hamilton (11 points) about to put Nichols down by four points with five seconds left

The Gordon senior had taken only eleven free throw tries during the entire season…….but Luke had made ten of those tries.  He added two more “made’s” to his season and sent Nichols down by four points with five seconds left.

Sam Horning made a desperate attempt to get back three of the points but missed and the GC celebrating began.

Getting the conference championship gives the Scots an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  Gordon played in that tournament in 2006 (Utica) and 2010 (Middlebury) getting eliminated both times.  Gordon’s opponent and the site of the game should be known tomorrow (Sunday).  The game will probably take place at the end of the week.

The win over Nichols takes away some of the sting of last year’s loss in the same game at Curry.  Watching the Colonels celebrate while Gordon team members looked on was rough.  But on this day it was Gordon’s turn to celebrate their improbable win as the Nichols fans headed for the exits.

Hans Miersma goes for the block against Ryan Sheehan

Hans Miersma goes for the block against Ryan Sheehan

The efficiency stats reveal the obvious; Hans Miersma had an awesome game.  The GC junior had his 13th double/double of the season in the biggest game of the season.  His points and block in the last minute were crucial for the Scots.

Efficiency stats
Hans Miersma 24
Park Thomas 15 (13 points/8 assists)
Ryan Sheehan 14 (24 points)
Sam Horning 11 (14 points)
Jason Dempsey 10 (8 rebounds)
Alex Carnes 10 (11 points/4 assists)

Gordon 80
Nichols 63

All eyes are on the 3-point attempt of Alex Carnes (#4)

All eyes are on the 3-point attempt of Alex Carnes (#4)

What backfired for Nichols in the last 10+ minutes was opting to be more deliberate as well as taking off the press.

Gordon’s last CCC championship was in 2010 when they defeated Curry, 56-54, at the Bennett Center.  Brady Bajema and Greg Walker (both from that championship team) were on hand for this one.

The crowd was loud and in the gym very early.  There were late arrivers who couldn’t get in.

Coach Todd Murphy has now led two Gordon teams to conference titles in five years.  If he keeps up the good work, maybe someday he’ll get his first CCC coach-of-the-year award……….that’s the sound of sarcasm you hear dripping!

Luke Hamilton lines up a three

Luke Hamilton lines up a three

Luke Hamilton reached double figures for the fifth time this season.  I wondered why he was smiling as he took the two most important free throws of his GC career with five seconds left.  His mother explained it to me afterwards, “He has a good sense of humor!”

Things I knew before the game that made me optimistic: (1) Gordon had won eight straight road games, (2) Gordon had been to the Big Game last year and Nichols had never been to a championship game, and (3) Nichols had struggled to win three of their last four games.

Box from the game

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

The celebrating begins

The celebrating begins

Richie Armand and Christian Horton

Richie Armand and Christian Horton

Gustave Koumare breaks free after a steal

Gustave Koumare breaks free after a steal

Sam Johnson goes for the block

Sam Johnson goes for the block

Ryan Sheehan shoots over Luke Hamilton

Ryan Sheehan shoots over Luke Hamilton

Matt Langadas controls a rebound

Matt Langadas controls a rebound

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach celebrate afterwards

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach celebrate afterwards

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Gordon ousts Roger Williams 78-59 to reach CCC semi-finals

Hans Miersma moves in for second-half dunk vs Roger Williams

Hans Miersma moves in for second-half dunk vs Roger Williams

Jason Dempsey gets one of his career-high twelve rebounds

Jason Dempsey gets one of his career-high twelve rebounds

(Wenham MA) For the second Tuesday in a row, Gordon used a strong second half to dispatch Roger Williams.

The stakes were much higher this time around as Gordon’s, 78-59, win over RWU gets the Scots to the Commonwealth Coast Conference tourney semi-finals on Thursday night (7PM) back at the Bennett Center.

The surprise opponent on Thursday night will be #7 seed Wentworth.  The 12-14 Leopards had lost three straight, been beaten twice by Eastern Nazarene, but still found a way to hush the Lions, 81-78, tonight.

The #3 seeded Scots (15-10) would have been playing ENC in Quincy if the Leopards had lost but now Gordon gets a second home game in the CCC tournament.

Freshman Josh Syska

Freshman Josh Syska

The undersized Hawks (10-16) lived from long range in the first half in this CCC quarterfinals matchup.  Freshman Zac Campbell (he had 22 in RW’s win over GC on January 22nd) and Josh Syska were a nifty 6-for-6 from beyond the arc in the first half.  The visitors only trailed, 36-32, at halftime.

In the second half, however, the Hawks struggled mightily to get points.  Meanwhile, Gordon found high percentage offense from many sources.  The Scots shot a sizzling 65% in the second half.

Gordon’s four-point halftime lead (36-32) had expanded to eleven (47-36) six-plus minutes into the second half.

The game-deciding segment followed.  The Scots ran nine straight to get up by twenty (56-36) with 11:57 left.  The keys to this crucial run were a layup by Sam Johnson, jump shots by Alex Carnes and Sam, plus a Shaun Roach triple.

The best RWU could do the rest of the way was to get within twelve (70-58) with four minutes left.  But the Gordon trio of high percentage shots, defense, and rebounding kept the Hawks from making a serious run at the lead.

Shaun Roach fires a three and Roy Ray on the bench signals it

Shaun Roach fires a three and Roy Ray on the bench signals it

The most notable final stat was Gordon’s 41-19 rebounding edge.  That “19” was a season-low for an opponent.  Jason Dempsey led the rebounding Scots with a career-high twelve rebounds.

Again no Chris Bardwell for Roger Williams.  The talented freshman has a concussion.  He was in uniform but not allowed to participate.

Hans Miersma had six points and two quick fouls in the first half and played only five minutes.  In the second half, the first-team CCC selection stayed out of foul trouble and added ten points and two blocks.  Hans was once again named the CCC’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Park Thomas (11 points) had his best game stat-wise in the last three weeks.  The key to his improved play, in my head, is the assists-to-turnovers number.  Over the last five games the CCC’s third teamer has 37 assists and only 13 turnovers.

Park Thomas and Ryan Palumbo

Park Thomas and Ryan Palumbo

Taylor Bajema (10 points) did a nice job defending Hawks point guard Ryan Palumbo.  The Scots were taller at every position and had shot-blocking Hans Miersma lurking in the lane.  The Hawks were forced to score from long range and that only worked for them for one half.

Efficiency stats
Hans Miersma 18
Ryan Palumbo 17 (13 points/6 assists)
Josh Syska 16 (16 points/7 rebounds)
Park Thomas 16
Zac Campbell 12 (13 points/3 assists)

Gordon 111
Roger Williams 38

Josh Syska (formerly of St. John’s Prep in Danvers) was able to draw another offensive foul on Jason Dempsey.  It looks as if some pretty serious embellishment was on display to me.

Sophomore Richie Armand gave GC coach Tod Murphy five assists with no turnovers.  He also made his second three of the season.

I got home in time to watch the end of the Endicott/Salve Regina game.  With the score tied very late in the game, a Salve turnover is followed by a wide open three from the corner by Lachlan Magee with four seconds left.  The Gulls’ shot misses and they are very slow to get back on defense.  Salve breaks away 3-on-1 and gets a foul call at the buzzer.  Scott St. Lawrence makes the second of two free throws to win the game.  That free throw ends my hoped for scenario of Gordon/Endicott in the finals at the Bennett Center on Saturday.  I am now willing to settle for Salve being with us at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon.  We’ll see how things work out.

Alex Carnes made second team in the CCC.  Ryan Palumbo was on the second team as well.

Box from the game

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

Joseph Henry and Luke Hamilton look for the handle

Joseph Henry and Luke Hamilton look for the handle

Ryan Palumbo looks to pass

Ryan Palumbo looks to pass

Andrew Wasik and Richie Armand

Andrew Wasik and Richie Armand

eyeing a rebound

eyeing a rebound

Dominic Paradis heads for the hoop

Dominic Paradis heads for the hoop

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Park Thomas (21 points) leads Gordon past Western New England 73-57

Park Thomas (#33) had twenty-one points for Gordon including five treys

Park Thomas (#33) had twenty-one points for Gordon including five treys

Hans Miersma gets one of his ten rebounds

Hans Miersma gets one of his ten rebounds

(Wenham MA) Park Thomas (21 points) connected from long range eleven seconds into the game and sent Gordon on its way to a 73-57 win over Western New England.

The Scots never trailed as the Bears had an off shooting night (30%) and struggled to run points together.

The Scots victory clinched a spot in the eight-team Commonwealth Coast Conference postseason tournament with five league games left.

Gordon (9-4 in the CCC) is currently in second place three games behind Nichols.  The possibility of the Scots overtaking Nichols (won ten straight) is remote.  However, finishing second will earn Gordon at least two postseason home games if they win their opener.

Kevin Wilkes looks for someone to pass to

Kevin Wilkes looks for someone to pass to

A second place finish would also keep Gordon away from Nichols (defeated Gordon twice) until the championship game.  Plenty of speculation in what I’ve just written.  We’ll have to wait and see where everyone is standing after the final regular season CCC games on Saturday February 22nd.

This was a big game for Park.  The senior point guard reached twenty points for the third time in his GC career and the second time this season.  He had 25 points versus Worcester State this year.

Park was hot from long distance (five 3’s) and contributed significantly to Gordon’s season high in three’s (eleven).  Isn’t it amazing how easy the game is when shots are falling from the outside??

rebound action

rebound action

While Gordon was making shots, WNE struggled.  Good defense?  That was surely some of it but missing thirteen free throws (13-for-26) is hard to explain.  The Bears’ shots just weren’t falling from anywhere.

Gordon got up 16-4 before WNE rallied back to trail only, 26-25, with 4:14 left in the first half.  The Scots led by nine (39-30) at halftime.

In the second half, GC had a seventeen point spread (53-36) with 12:53 left before the Bears moved to within eight (58-50) with 7:29 to go.  But on this night WNE couldn’t run points together and Gordon ended up winning, 73-57.

Alex Carnes, just off being CCC player-of-the-week, had a career high seven assists in this game to go along with 16 points.

Nick DeFeo and Park Thomas were toe-to-toe most of the game

Nick DeFeo and Park Thomas were toe-to-toe most of the game

One of the better matchups in this game was between the top two rebounders statistically in the conference; Dennis Rinaldi and Hans Miersma.  Hans won the rebounding matchup 10-9.  Dennis, however, did get twelve points (11 in the second half) while foul-plagued Hans was held to a season-low two points.

Plenty of interaction between Park Thomas and Nick DeFeo with both applying tight defense on the other.  Park did run into a blind pick set by Musa Elsir that had him wondering for a minute whether he was on foot or horseback.

Efficiency stat

Park Thomas 21,  Alex Carnes  19, Hans Miersma 13, and Dennis Rinaldi 11.

Gordon 94, Western New England 49

Western New England is currently in 8th place in the conference one game ahead of Curry.

The Scots will be in Milton on Saturday afternoon to face Curry.  Reflecting on the last time Gordon was down there (CCC title game) will not bring back pleasant memories.

Box from the game

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

Coach Tod Murphy instructs

Coach Tod Murphy instructs

Hans Miersma and Dennis Rinaldi wrestle for a rebound

Hans Miersma and Dennis Rinaldi wrestle for a rebound

Zack Askew finishes

Zack Askew finishes

Richie Armand defends

Richie Armand defends

Ryan Mickiewicz gets in for two

Ryan Mickiewicz gets in for two

Dominic Paradis finishes

Dominic Paradis finishes

Sam Johnson at the line

Sam Johnson at the line

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Gordon takes down Endicott 80-75 before a huge crowd

Luke Hamilton launches the three from the right that gave Gordon a five-point lead late in the game.

Luke Hamilton launches the three from the right that gave Gordon a five-point lead late in the game.

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

(Beverly MA)  What a crowd!

And for that matter what a game!

Gordon (9-8) did everything right late in the game and held off Endicott, 80-75, on Wednesday night.

The crowd at the MacDonald Gymnasium was estimated at 1200 and there didn’t appear to be a person in that crowd who wasn’t emotionally and verbally involved.

Most games I attend I hear folks complaining about the loud music played in the pregame.  Tonight you couldn’t even hear the music in the pregame!

Gordon had some fans as well and there was plenty for both teams to get excited about.

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

Endicott (13-5) got off to a 13-4 start but after Gordon erased the deficit this one settled down into a tense struggle with very little separation between the teams.

This game reached its excitement peak in the final 2:41 after the Scots had taken a 74-72 lead.

The Gulls missed three layups in their next three possessions including one (by Greg Jacques) that was blocked by Hans Miersma.

The Scots had a turnover and a missed layup in their next two possessions.  It was the third possession where things worked nicely for the visitors from Wenham.

After a timeout with fifty seconds left, Gordon seemed content to dribble as much time off the clock as possible.  Finally with the shot clock running down, Park Thomas found teammate Luke Hamilton on the right wing.  Luke, with defender Stephen Basden all over him, swished a three with two seconds on the shot clock and twenty-four seconds left in the game to put GC up by five (77-72).

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

John Henault got three of those points back.  Then Alex Carnes was fouled getting an inbounds pass with seven seconds left.  GC had a slim two-point lead at the time.  Alex, shooting one-and-one, made the first but missed the second.  However, Jason Dempsey got his career-high 7th offensive rebound on the miss and was fouled.  Endicott was over the limit in fouls so Jason got two free throws and made both.  The resulting five-point lead (80-75) turned out to be the final score.

That Alex and Jason would make 3-of-4 free throws was very surprising since Gordon ended up missing thirteen free throw attempts (26-for-39).

The Scots have now beaten Endicott four straight times.  The games this year have been very close.  I would suspect that the last thing the Gordon coaching staff would want would be a tournament game in front of the Endicott crowd in late February.

Hans Miersma goes for the block

Hans Miersma goes for the block

Lachlan Magee (21 points) topped all scorers.  The Gulls’ senior had sixteen of those points in the second half.

Junior John Henault had fourteen points including a big three in the last minute.  It did take Endicott’s top scorer sixteen shots to get the 14 points, however.

Hans Miersma (16), Alex Carnes (16), Park Thomas (15), and Jason Dempsey (11) all ended up in double figures.

Park Thomas and Richie Armand did a pretty good job dribbling and distributing against tight Endicott pressure.

Sam Johnson’s return to Endicott did not escape the notice of the Endicott crowd.  Sam may have been the one savoring the Gordon win over the Gulls the most when it was all over.

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Endicott missed two dunk attempts.

Endicott coach Mike Rowe found a way to get seventeen of his players into the game.

Efficiency stat
Lachlan Magee 21 (22 points/9-for-9 free throws)
Alex Carnes 18
Hans Miersma 17 (16 points/11 rebounds)
Jason Dempsey 14
Park Thomas 14

Gordon 90
Endicott 81

Box

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

Taylor Rioux

Taylor Rioux

Jason Dempsey dunks

Jason Dempsey dunks

Greg Jacques (11 points) heads in where shots are blocked

Greg Jacques (11 points) heads in where shots are blocked

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

blocking out

blocking out

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Richie Armand and Chris Light

Richie Armand and Chris Light

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Zac Campbell (22 points) leads Roger Williams in upset over Gordon 68-52

Freshman Zac Campbell shoots a three (he made four) over Luke Hamilton

Freshman Zac Campbell shoots a three (he made four) over Luke Hamilton

Ryan Palumbo was 10-for-10 from the foul line for the Hawks

Ryan Palumbo was 10-for-10 from the foul line for the Hawks

(Wenham MA) This one certainly wasn’t eye candy to any of the Gordon faithful at the Bennett Center Wednesday night.

Roger Williams stunned the Scots, 68-52, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game that was rescheduled after Tuesday’s snowstorm.

The Hawks (5-11 overall/4-5 in CCC) were undersized, winless on the road, relying heavily on underclassmen, and had to travel 2+ hours to Gordon.  But the visitors from Bristol (RI) still won convincingly.

The Scots (8-7 overall/6-3 in CCC) had won five straight and had defeated Roger Williams three straight times.  You kept waiting for Gordon to clump points together and separate from the Hawks but on this evening it just didn’t happen.

Freshman Zac Campbell had a career game for RW putting together a stat line that included twenty-two points, four steals, and four 3’s.  Zac’s previous high in points had been sixteen.  He was averaging six points per game before his eruption at Gordon.

Jason Dempsey finger roll

Jason Dempsey finger roll

Gordon tied the score in the second half at 37-37 (15:55) and later only trailed by a point, 42-41, with 12:45 left.  The RW lead grew to nine (50-41) before the Scots tightened things (55-48) with 4+ minutes left.  After that, RW finished on a 13-4 run to thwart any late-game heroics by Gordon.

The biggest struggle for Gordon was their shooting, especially around the basket.  Hans Miersma & Jason Dempsey combined to miss thirteen shots in high percentage areas.

That duo had trouble at the foul line as well combining to go one-for-eight.  They did, however, combine for six blocked shots.

The Gordon foul shooting (8-for-17) might not have been as noticeable if the Hawks hadn’t been an amazing 19-for-21.  Ryan Palumbo was a flawless 10-for-10.

RW were content to use the clock and try to pass their way into open looks.  That meant plenty of three’s (32).  The strategy worked as the Hawks connected nine times from downtown.

Hans Miersma (#35) gets one of his ten rebounds

Hans Miersma (#35) gets one of his ten rebounds

The Scots, meanwhile, added to their misfortune on the inside by making only 2-of-12 three-pointers.

If you haven’t sensed it yet, this was a very frustrating game to watch!  But I give credit to Roger Williams.  They knew their limitations and were able to successfully compensate.  Gordon just didn’t capitalize on their advantages.

Efficiency stats
Zac Campbell 24
Ryan Palumbo 13
Hans Miersma 12
Park Thomas 12
Joseph Henry 12

Roger Williams 78
Gordon 60

Josh Syska draws a charge

Josh Syska draws a charge

The Hawks were also missing freshman Chris Bardwell (from North Andover) who averages 13.6 points per game.

The Hawks have now won three straight and will face their biggest rival (Salve Regina) on Saturday afternoon (3PM).

The Scots run into the CCC’s top team (Nichols) at home on the same day and time.  The Bison won the first meeting in Dudley.

Hans Miersma (12 points/10 rebounds) had his eighth double/double of the season.

Alex Carnes had a quiet two points for Gordon.  A year ago he assaulted the Hawks for thirty-nine points in a game at Bristol.

Freshman Derek Collins (from North Andover) has been out all season with back issues.  He is expected to rejoin the Hawks this weekend.

Ryan Palumbo (12 points) and Joseph Henry (10 points) joined Zac Campbell in collecting double figures.

Ryan Palumbo and Park Thomas

Ryan Palumbo and Park Thomas

Park Thomas added thirteen for Gordon as he made all six free throws.  Park is second in the CCC in free throw percentage (84.3%).

I did a quick check on Zac Campbell via Google.  Last January 16th he led Amity (CT) past Sheehan as he put this stat line together: 17 points/14 rebounds/10 assists/3 blocks.

Last time Gordon faced Roger Williams was in the first round of the CCC tournament last year.  The Scots shot 52% for the game and made nine three’s and came away with a convincing, 81-59, win.

Gordon will face RW again on February 18th in Rhode Island.

Good to see big-time GC men’s basketball fan Jim Graham back in the house.

Boxscore

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

Sam Johnson puts up two

Sam Johnson puts up two

Will Gerencer drives the lane

Will Gerencer drives the lane

Zac Campbell breaks in after one of his four steals

Zac Campbell breaks in after one of his four steals

Josh McCourt gets up in traffic

Josh McCourt gets up in traffic

tie up

tie up

Shaun Roach gets two

Shaun Roach gets two

Hans Miersma finds an open Jason Dempsey

Hans Miersma finds an open Jason Dempsey

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Gordon holds off Eastern Nazarene 67-60 to get fifth straight win

Hans Miersma recorded his seventh double/double (15 points/13 rebounds) of the season in win over ENC

Hans Miersma recorded his seventh double/double (15 points/13 rebounds) of the season in win over ENC

Jason Dempsey was part of a dominating Gordon inside game.

Jason Dempsey was part of a dominating Gordon inside game.

(Amesbury MA) Plenty of excitement in this one before Gordon escaped Quincy with a 67-60 win over Eastern Nazarene on a snowy Saturday afternoon in a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup.

The Scots took the lead for good eleven minutes into the first half.  Holding onto that lead provided plenty of excitement especially down the stretch.

Gordon (8-6 overall/6-2 CCC) now has a five-game winning streak and is just a game back in the CCC to 7-1 Nichols.  GC is tied with Endicott and Wentworth.

Hans Miersma paced the Scots with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  Gordon was able to get the ball into the high-percentage area frequently and shot a sizzling 70% in the second half.

 Jaylen Owens led ENC with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Jaylen Owens led ENC with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

ENC hung around in this one because they had the long ball going in the second half.  The Lions (10-4 overall/4-4 in CCC) nailed eight of their nine three’s in the second half.

ENC got within one possession several times late but GC never flinched.

With 4:08 left, the Lions trailed 49-47 but Luke Hamilton’s three provided some breathing room.

At 2:34 ENC cut the spread to 54-52 but two free throws by Hans Miersma, followed by a three from Alex Carnes, and GC moved beyond the one-possession zone.

Hans recorded his seventh double/double of the season.  He was credited with four blocks plus an untotaled number of intimidations.

Jason Dempsey (11 points/6 rebounds) had his best game since the Worcester State game in November.

GC ended up with 32 points in the paint.

Efficiency Stat
Hans Miersma 29
Jaylen Owens 18 (18 points/7 rebounds)
Park Thomas 14
Jason Dempsey 12
Luke Hamilton 11

Gordon 85
ENC 50

(Kevin Durant had a 51 Friday night versus Golden State.)

Gordon faces Roger Williams (4-11) at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.  The Hawks have won two straight.

After the Roger Williams game, the Scots will face  Nichols and Endicott.  Nichols has won six straight.  Endicott has won eight of nine.  Can the Scots run their streak to eight??

Boxscore

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Gordon rolls past UNE 84-59 for fourth straight

Richie Armand breaks ahead against UNE

Richie Armand breaks ahead against UNE

Luke Hamilton (12 points) had four long ones in the first half

Luke Hamilton (12 points) had four long ones in the first half

(Wenham MA) It worked last year.  Why not try it again?

A year ago (January 8th) the underdog University of New England played at the Bennett Center and upset Gordon, 59-50.   What did it for the Nor’Easters that night was a zone defense and a very, very patient offense.

For the first 7 1/2 minutes it was same-old, same-old.  UNE had a 19-13 lead hitting four late-in-the-shot-clock three’s.

But this time around, the rest of the game was all Gordon as they rolled away from UNE, 84-59, on Wednesday night before an active crowd of students in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest.

Two good ways to wreck a zone defense are quick passes and good outside shooting.  The Scots (7-6 overall/5-2 in CCC) were outstanding at both as the game progressed.

Their offense in the second half was amazing.  They made 18-of-25 shots (72%!) and had thirteen assists in that half.  UNE never gave up on the zone defense despite the good looks Gordon turned up.  The score reached 65-45 with 7+ minutes left and the reserves from both sides saw significant minutes.

Gordon had eight 3’s in the first half (Luke Hamilton-4, Alex Carnes-3) as quick passes set up great looks.

Park Thomas drains a last-second three to end the half

Park Thomas drains a last-second three to end the half

UNE should have guessed that it might not be their day when Luke tried a late-in-the-half three.  His shot missed but the rebound caromed directly to Park Thomas in the right-hand corner.  Park’s successful three was in the air as the halftime horn sounded.

The Scots ended with eleven 3’s.  I had to go back to a January 2010 game with Curry to find an equal to that stat.

Gordon has now won four straight and only Nichols has won more games in the conference.  A common stat in the four wins is that the Scots have had more assists than turnovers.  The difference in this one was 23-20.  A bit misleading, however, because seven of the miscues happened after Gordon had built up the 20-point lead and a heavy dose of reserves were involved.

Hans Miersma dunks

Hans Miersma dunks

That good passing I mentioned not only opened up the outside but also gave Hans Miersma (17 points) some juicy opportunities in close.  Hans made seven of eight shots.  This was the 6-9 junior’s seven straight game in double figures.

Alex Carnes finished with fourteen points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Park Thomas had an eight-assist game.

UNE (1-13 overall/1-6 in the CCC) was led in scoring by Justin Pollard.  Justin tallied thirteen points but it took him thirteen shots to get there.

The Nor’Easters have now lost seven straight.  Their only win was against Western New England on December 7th.

Neither Josh Butler nor Devin Thompson played in this one.  Devin was injured in practice a while ago and has missed four games.  He was their top scorer.  Josh had sixteen points and fifteen rebounds in UNE’s upset win at the Bennett Center last year.

Gordon travels to Quincy on Saturday to face Eastern Nazarene.  Records don’t usually mean much in this rivalry.  ENC is 10-3 overall.

Roy Ray nails a three

Roy Ray nails a three

Roy Ray hit a crowd-pleasing three late in the game.

Efficiency Stat
Hans Miersma 25
Alex Carnes 21
Luke Hamilton 18
Park Thomas 16

Gordon 108
UNE 47

Box

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

Justin Pollard gets two

Justin Pollard gets two

tough UNE defense

tough UNE defense

Alex Carnes (14 points) floats in the lane

Alex Carnes (14 points) floats in the lane

Craig McFarlane

Craig McFarlane

Udoka Obiora

Udoka Obiora

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach battle for a rebound

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach battle for a rebound

action in close

action in close

good Bennett Center crowd

good Bennett Center crowd

Hans Miersma set to block Kurt Steiner

Hans Miersma set to block Kurt Steiner

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Balanced attack gets Gordon past nonleague Lesley 76-68

Hans Miersma led a balanced Gordon attack with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

Hans Miersma led a balanced Gordon attack with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

Taylor Bajema (11 points) drives on Justin Rosa

Taylor Bajema (11 points) drives on Justin Rosa

(Wenham MA)  Gordon closed the 2013 part of their season with a, 76-68, nonleague win over Lesley University on a snowy Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The visiting Lynx (2-7) were a made shot or two down the stretch from putting a serious scare into the Scots and their fan base.

Leslie was within three (63-60) with 3:23 to go but the Scots (3-5) had a balanced scoring attack in place in this one and would not allow the Lynx to get any closer the rest of the way.

A big help for Gordon was a season low in turnovers (11).  The previous low was sixteen.

Senior Park Thomas (18 points) took charge in the last minute setting up Hans Miersma (15 points) for a crowd-pleasing breakaway dunk and drilling six straight free throws. lego A1 Park pass to Hanslego A2 Hans gets passlego A3 Hans set to dunk

Alex Carnes (17 points) and Taylor Bajema (11 points) were also in double figures for Gordon.

Alex Carnes (17 points/11 rebounds) recorded his first double/double

Alex Carnes (17 points/11 rebounds) recorded his first double/double

Both Alex and Hans came up big on the stat sheet in rebounds as well.  Alex recorded his first career double/double with his eleven rebounds.

For Hans it was his 5th double/double of this season.  The 6-9 junior also added six blocks today.

Freshman Trevonn Lewis led all scorers with twenty-one points.  It was a season-high for the talented guard.

Luke Hamilton shadowed Mike Kaufman (10 points).  The Lesley senior hit six 3’s in Lesley’s last game to collect 18 points.  Luke lowered that number to two in this game and therein contributed to the final outcome.

Trevonn Lewis (21 points)

Trevonn Lewis (21 points)

Nikalus Oliver (12 points) also reached double figures for Lesley.

Kris Bennett totaled twelve rebounds for Lesley.

Park Thomas struggled from long range (2-for-10) but did get one to fall (off the backboard) just beating the halftime buzzer.

Gordon defeated Lesley last year, 62-61, as Hans Miersma was fouled just before the final buzzer and sank a free throw.

Efficiency numbers:
Hans Miersma 27
Alex Carnes 19
Nikalus Oliver 15
Mike Kaufman 14
Park Thomas 14

Gordon 93
Lesley 68

Park Thomas made six straight free throws in the last minute

Park Thomas made six straight free throws in the last minute

The Scots don’t play again until January 2nd when nonleague Wheaton visits the Gordon campus.

Those home games played in the first half of January are usually attended only by family and friends.  Gordon also hosts Wentworth (January 4th) and Curry (January 9th) at home in Commonwealth Coast Conference games during that student-less part of their schedule.  Good seats will be available!

Boxscore

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

Park Thomas looks to pass

Park Thomas looks to pass

Park Thomas hits a three at the halftime buzzer

Park Thomas hits a three at the halftime buzzer

Richie Armand (12)

Richie Armand (12)

Hans Miersma tip-in

Hans Miersma tip-in

Kris Bennett (4) had twelve rebounds

Kris Bennett (4) had twelve rebounds

Coach Tod Murphy chats with Park Thomas

Coach Tod Murphy chats with Park Thomas

Luke Hamilton defends Mike Kaufman (10 points)

Luke Hamilton defends Mike Kaufman (10 points)

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