Tag Archives: Roger Williams

Gordon Routs Eastern Nazarene for the Second Time

Stephen Herod, Scott Nelson, Adam Herod, Luke Perkins, and David Hammer picked up plenty of minutes against surprisingly weak ENC.

(Quincy) If your team is having trouble scoring, you hope that your defense is holding its own.  If neither is working well into the second half, you do what Eastern Nazarene coach Jim Aller did with 12 ½ minutes to go – you stand in front of your bench and select the last five players from the seldom-used end of the bench and send them in for extended garbage time.

Gordon (10-3/3-0) stymied ENC (3-12/1-2) in every way possible (for the second time this season) enroute to an 81-58 rout on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast League play.

On December 1st, it was Gordon 81-59 at the Bennett Center.  Since then ENC had beaten Endicott and nearly beaten Wentworth.  Foolish me, I thought the Lions would give the Scots a highly competitive game.  They had added a couple of tall players and surely they would make some defensive adjustments.  At least, so I thought.

Aaron Trigg - 23 points in short minutes

Greg Walker - 20 points around the basket

In today’s game, ENC struggled to guard Aaron Trigg (23 points) and Greg Walker (20 points).  Aaron getting open looks on the perimeter is one thing but also allowing Greg to get the ball down low was nothing short of defensive suicide. 

So facing unwise defense, the Scots, with Aaron and Greg combining for all the points, jumped ahead 10-0 in the first four minutes. 

Later, with 8 ½ to go in the half (G 24-E 15), Gordon put together another 10-point run getting six more from Aaron/Greg as well as a fastbreak layup from Austin Bentsen and a Ben Gaskill layup on a feed from Brady Bajema.  This offensive display boosted the lead to 34-15 with 5 ½ left and at halftime Gordon was in front 44-26.

Sometimes things change in the second half but not in this one.  With 16 ½ minutes left Gordon’s lead is 49-34.  If ENC could make some shots, maybe ratchet up the defense……….didn’t happen.  The Scots put together twelve unanswered points over the next four minutes.  By now, you guessed the twosome doing the scoring damage – Greg had eight/ Aaron two/ and Ben Gaskill chipped in with a layup. 

Despite a Keith Branch (17 points) layup to stop the bleeding, Gordon led 61-36 with 12 ½ left and ENC Coach Jim Aller had seen more than enough of the players who had been so productive in recent games and so he inserted five previously unused players. 

Coach Aller did work some starters back in later on and that explains a 12-point run the Lions had late in the game against Gordon bench players. 

Gordon is now exactly where they were last year record wise. Next opponent is Roger Williams on Wednesday night in Bristol (RI) at 8PM.  I’m not sure Gordon has ever won down there.  The Scots took RWU out in the playoffs last season, 50-48, after losing to them during the regular season, 50-37, at the Bennett Center.  Most of the open shots in Wednesday night’s game will be in warm-ups!

Max Barbosa - ENC's leading scorer held to two points by Brady Bajema

Brady had no points but ten rebounds and held ENC’s top scorer (Max Barbosa – 12.6 ppg) to just two points.

Sophomore Garrett Harden had a career-high seven points including a three from the top of the key.

The hardest job at a basketball game is keeping statistics.  Don’t think so, try it some time!  The ENC crew had trouble getting halftime stats together so I opted not to wait afterwards for final game stats.  Good thing, because it took hours for them to be ready.

Box Score

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

Game #26 – Aaron’s Last-Second Shot Advances Gordon Past Roger Williams in CCC Tournament

(Wenham) Remember the long prayer Aaron let fly up from the corner at Endicott to win that game in December? 

Aaron Trigg - Scored game-high 17 points including game winner in the last second vs Roger Williams.

Aaron Trigg - Scored game-high 17 points including game winner in the last second vs Roger Williams.

He was at it again tonight at the lively Bennett Center against Roger Williams with a shorter prayer but, like the Endicott shot, it was a game-winner. 

This time the stakes were higher as the 50-48 victory that resulted advanced the Scots to the semifinals of the CCC tournament at Colby-Sawyer (defeated Wentworth 83-71) on Thursday night at 7PM. 

You could never relax no matter which side you were rooting for in this game.  No lead provided comfort because the defense was so intense that scoring droughts were out there just waiting to happen.

Fortunately, for Gordon it was the visitors who ran into a game-deciding, 2 ½ minute scoring drought at the end of this one that opened the door for a GC rally. 

Corey Fava’s two free throws had given RW a 48-44 advantage with those 2 ½ minutes to go. 

Greg Walker (12 points/6 rebounds) followed with a jumper.  Pat Flanagan had a shot rim out down the other end.

Aaron missed a layup in traffic but Ben Gaskill (14 points/7 rebounds) collected one of those rebounds and tied the score at 48-48 with 1:19 left.

Aaron fouled Taylor Petruccelli but the 6-4 sophomore came up empty on the front end of a one-and-one.  You’d like to think that the nearby Pit might have had something to do with it.  But Hawk Ryan McGinn turned up with the rebound with inside a minute left.

The Hawks went into a very deliberate style as they passed and dribbled on the perimeter letting the clock wind down.  Finally, Corey Fava, with JT Himmelstein covering, went up with a jumper that rimmed out.  JT got the rebound with 31 seconds left.

Now it was Gordon’s turn to use the clock.  The ball was in Aaron’s hands most of the time with Taylor Petruccelli tight on him.  With eight seconds left, Aaron gave up the ball to Brady who headed for the basket only to see multiple defenders ahead.  He passed back to Greg who quickly found Aaron on the right baseline.  Aaron ended up spinning right for a fall away in and over traffic.  Swish with .2 seconds left.

After a timeout, and an itchy trigger finger on the score clock, Ryan McGinn tried a fullcourt pass over 6-9 Jon Himottu that Aaron deflected away.  Whew!

The win gives Gordon a 20-6 overall record.  It ends a four-game win streak the Hawks had going against the Scots. Maybe it even avenges RW’s ouster of Gordon in the CCC tournament semifinals last season.

Whatever, the Scots move on to face Colby-Sawyer.  A mere two weeks ago, the visiting Chargers abused Gordon from beginning to end in a 90-64 blowout.  Since then the Scots have won five straight.  This may be the time they win their first CCC tournament semifinal game.

This was the day in which the top 15 players in the CCC were announced as well as the MVP.  I suggested last article that Aaron was the MVP but no, they wouldn’t listen.

One thing I didn’t understand in this game was the limited playing time of the Hawk’s third-team, all-league freshman Pat Flanagan.  He was averaging nearly 12 PPG but had time for only one point this time. The 6-9 inside threat played only 13 minutes and in my opinion that kept our 6-9 Ben Gaskill out of the foul trouble he got into in the January loss to RW. 

Ben Gaskill (6-9 junior) Plays above the rim on his way to 14 points vs Roger Williams - photo courtesy Ron Harden

Ben Gaskill (6-9 junior) Plays above the rim on his way to 14 points vs Roger Williams - photo courtesy Ron Harden

Ben, maybe motivated by his omission from the all-league team, had his second best point game of the season and the rebound he converted into points in the last two minutes was huge. 

Ben and Aaron had 22 of Gordon’s 28 second half points. 

Box Score

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Filed under CCC Tournament, Gordon College Men's Basketball 2008-09, Roger Williams

Game #14 – Poor Shooting + Poor Defending = Poor Ending

(Wenham) Ugh-ah-lee!

Gordon played two regrettable halves and dropped a home game to Roger Williams, 50-37, on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center.

For one half your Scots couldn’t put the ball in the ocean (14 points) and for the second half they couldn’t defend (gave up 40 points and 60% shooting).  The visiting Hawks were equally horrible in the first half (10 points) but scored at will throughout most of the second half and won going away.

Not many teams have Gordon’s number but after beating the Scots four straight the Hawks (7-8 overall/ 3-1 in the CCC) are in that category as I see it.

In describing this one, I wrestle with whether it was great Hawk defense or inept Gordon offense.  I will admit that in seven years of coverage I have never seen them struggle to score points as they did in this one.  Granted there was tight defense, especially by Taylor Petruccelli on Aaron Trigg, but we saw many misses on makeable shots during most of the evening.

Aaron ended up with a game-high 16 points but it took him 18 shots to get there.  Cold from the outside, he tried going inside on occasion but on this night couldn’t finish very often. 

As far as shooting goes, Brady Bajema and Greg Walker will want to put this one behind them and move on.

Jon Himottu 6-9 freshman

Jon Himottu 6-9 freshman

Ben Gaskill played his fewest minutes of the season (17) because of foul problems and that led to trouble in the interior defense against Hawk newcomer 6-9 Pat Flanagan (11 points/9 rebounds).  I did think, though, that Jeff Derr and our newcomer Jon Himottu hung in there pretty well against him.  Ben needs to play close to 30 minutes or more for the Scots to do well, in my opinion.

The Scots (10-4 overall/ 2-2 in the conference) are back on the road for three games starting with Curry in Milton on Saturday afternoon.  We saw the team take a step backwards against Roger Williams.  A win at Curry would certainly be a step forward. 

Anyone at this game will be telling anyone who will listen about the first half.  14-10 was the halftime score!  Records must have been set for both schools.  You may not believe some of the following but trust me; it’s all true regarding the underwhelming first half.  Gordon made two points in the last 10:50 of the half.  That’s 15 possessions and one basket by Greg Walker.  Not to be outdone, the Hawks collected four points in the last 12:10 of the half in 17 possessions.  Neither team scored in the last 5:20.  It was comically ugly!

It seemed to me that the Scots were back early at halftime.  I am guessing that it was to attempt to retrieve their collective shooting touches.

It seemed to help as they started the second half with layups from Aaron and Greg to break out 18-10.  The teams then traded baskets for a while but Gordon still held the lead, 25-18, thanks to Aaron’s run of seven points with a little over 15 minutes left.  It wasn’t a comfortable lead but the Hawk shooters were even more ineffective than Gordon’s up to this point.

Unfortunately, for Gordon, they would score a mere 12 points over the last 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, the Hawks reeled off ten straight over the next four minutes and grabbed the lead for good, 28-25, with 11:22 to go.  Pat Flanagan did six points worth of damage in this stretch.

Aaron brought Gordon back to within one (31-30) with plenty of time left (8:20) but Roger Williams put together five free throws and a couple of layups to regain control, 40-32.  In the midst of this, Ben fouled out with over six minutes left.

Those of us waiting for some sort of offensive spark over the last 5 ½ minutes left disappointed.  Spoiled, that’s what we are!  The Scots came in averaging 72 points per game.  Seeing them struggle to get just over half that (37 points) was a shocker.

Seeing the Hawks shoot 60% in the second half was a shocker too. 

Pat Flanagan paced the Hawk scorers with eleven points.  Their top scorer (Billy Barrett – 13.7 PPG) had his own version of a forgettable game making only 1-for-10 and getting two points for his efforts. 

No question it was an average killer for many involved.  That’s why averages are so misleading.

Box Score

I did get a picture of the new Pit shirts as well as pictures of several of the witnesses.

More fans for #4

More fans for #4

Pattie MacDonnell and Joanne Derr waiting for the action to start.

Pattie MacDonnell and Joanne Derr waiting for the action to start.

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

Geoff Barranger Riddles Gordon Defense – Game #15

(Bristol RI) Senior Geoff Barranger tore through an assortment of Gordon defenses and defenders for 27 points and led Roger Williams past the Scots, 68-57, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Wednesday night.

No doubt RWU coach Mike Tully looked at the CCC preseason coaches poll (RWU picked 4th) and his own CCC schedule and realized that he would know early on how good his team was.  Well, four games in the Hawks are looking awfully good.  Why?  For one thing, they’re the only team left undefeated in the CCC and the other thing is that they have already beaten the three teams picked to finish ahead of them, including your Gordon College Fighting Scots.

This game was all about Gordon’s inability, especially in the second half, to defend Geoff Barranger.  The 6-10 senior has shot over 50% the last two seasons and has gotten even better this year clicking on 61% of his shots.  We’re not talking long range here just short jumpers and spins to the basket.  During the first half, Geoff was noticed but his impact was minimal (3 for 7 – 8 points).  The second half?  Nightmare City (8 for 12 – 19 points).

This game reminded me of the Scots loss to ENC on Saturday – in range at halftime but unable to find enough offense or defense in the second half to come away winners. 

“Any time you beat a good team like Gordon you know that you have to play well to do it,” said Hawk coach Mike Tully afterwards.  “I told Mike (Schauer) before the game that we hadn’t been defending real well but we sure did tonight.”

RWU’s tight man-to-man defense showed up on the stat sheet.  The Hawks collected 12 steals which was the 2nd best against Gordon.  They also defended the Scots into 20 turnovers which was a season-high for Gordon.

Therefore, you’ve got an inconsistent offense coupled with a defense that cannot stop the other team’s big guy inside.  Seems like the ingredients for a blowout but sheer tenacity on the part of the Scots had them within one good run of points from making this one interesting at the end.

The Hawks took the lead for good (7- 6 after 3 ½ minutes) on Geoff Barranger’s short jumper.  Later in the half RWU ran ten unanswered points featuring two 3’s by Michael Woolley and looked to be in complete control (27-14) with 6 ½ left.  However, a Gordon timeout and some high-volume instructions drove the Scots to a strong finish and they trailed only 32-30 at halftime.  Three’s from Aaron Trigg (sophomore-6′1″-Overland Park KS) (2), Jon Marstaller (senior-6′5″-Naples ME)  and Justin Kaufman (senior-5′11″-Redding CT) (1 each) paced the 16-5 turnaround.

All that encouraging work at the end of the half was soon undone in the second half.  The Scots started out with two missed shots and two turnovers while the Geoff Barranger Show began – first a jumper, then a layup, and then a converted rebound.  This one-man spurt gave the Hawks some breathing room (38-30) and revealed the fact that RWU had money in the bank in close when needed.

“We didn’t try to go deliberately to Geoff,” explained Coach Tully afterwards.  “We just got it to him at better times.” 

Assistant Coach Jeremy Martin told me afterwards that the team was trying to give help defending Geoff Barranger.  “We just didn’t get the help defending done.”

Gordon did get the lead down to five (44-39) when Aaron Trigg connected on his third three with less than nine minutes left but you-know-who answered with a layup and a foul shot and quickly the lead was eight again (47-39) with 8 ½ to go.  The fouler was Ben Gaskill (sophomore-6′9″-Columbus OH) and it was his 5th.  Ben’s early exit put the Scots in a real dilemma inside.  They even tried a zone.  Ultimately, undersized Jon Marstaller got the defensive assignment.    Geoff scored his last points on a layup with 2:45 left. 

A Justin Kaufman three narrowed the lead to, 61-55, with a little over a minute left but the Hawks converted enough free throws down the stretch to pull away, 68-57.

Gordon (11-4) must make a quick recovery.  Those eleven wins are nice but their “real” record is 3-2 in the CCC.  The wins at Schenectady and over defending champs Wentworth are a distant memory.  Somehow, a two-game conference losing streak must be ended at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon against Curry.  Fortunately the Blue Sea should be back in force.  Unfortunately, Curry has the inside presence of Johnathan Bowers (6-10 and athletic).  Can the Scots take better care of the ball?  Can the Scots defend better on the inside?  We’ll get the answers on Saturday afternoon and they better be, “Yes,” and “Yes,” if this is going to be the successful season many of us are hoping for.

The Scots were without Brady Bajema (sophomore-6′2″-Whitinsville MA).  He told me before the game that he had hurt his elbow but expected to be ready for the Curry game.

I couldn’t help but look at the play of Geoff Barranger and wonder if Gordon’s Ben Gaskill might reach that level in two years.  He’s already 6-9 and he has a shooting touch around the basket.  He must get stronger and more confident.  It would also help if he stayed out of foul trouble.  Against RWU he had five fouls in eleven minutes all while covering Geoff Barranger.  He did block one of Geoff’s shots. 

While we’re talking individuals, let me mention Tim MacDonnell (sophomore-6′2″-Jericho VT).  To opponents he’s the “guy with the goggles.”  To the rest of us he’s the guy who literally launches himself after loose balls.  Be on full alert on the perimeter if the basketball starts heading your way because Tim is more than likely to be on his way airborne.  Against RWU he had four assists and none of the 20 turnovers the Scots had and picked up his most minutes (22) of the season.  His energy level is a thing to behold.

Catching a view of the bigger picture: I read in Life Application regarding James 1:2 this morning, “Considering your troubles to be joy comes from seeing life with God’s perspective in mind.  We may not be able to understand the specific reasons for God’s allowing certain experiences to crush us or wear us down, but we can be confident that his plan is for our good.  What may look hopeless or impossible to us never looks that way to God!”

boxscore Roger Williams 1-23-08

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Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2007-08, Roger Williams

(Game #15 – Roger Williams) Scots Win 7th Straight and Remain Undefeated in CCC

By Peter McClelland

(Bristol,RI) – “Any road win is a good road win,” explained Gordon coach Mike Schauer after watching the Scots hang on for a, 51-48, Commonwealth Coast Conference victory on the road against unfortunate Roger Williams.

“Everyone will talk about their comeback but the bottom line is we won and now have Colby-Sawyer at home next Tuesday,” added coach Schauer.

The Scots are really on a roll.  They are now 13-2 overall as well as 6-0 in the CCC.  They are riding a seven-game winning streak and have won every road game (six) they’ve played. 

The Hawks (1-11, 1-5 CCC) never led in this one but only a rimmed-out, last-second three kept them from tying the game and sending it into overtime.  The biggest guy on the court (6’8” Brian Scharrenweber) launched that near-miss.  “Granted he was our 5th option on the play but he still has that kind of range,” said Roger Williams coach Mike Tully afterwards.

Coach Schauer told his team before the game that, “Roger Williams was probably the best 1-10 team in the history of college basketball.”

It was sure hard to believe that in the first half, though.  It took the Hawks 5 ½ minutes to score a point.  Meanwhile Gordon ran off 11 straight.  Five minutes later the Scots put together a 13-point run and put themselves comfortably ahead, 25-9.  Gordon led, 28-14, at halftime.

“We struggled in the first half,” explained coach Tully.  “A lot of that, however, can be attributed to their tight defense.  They denied the wings and wouldn’t let us run our man offense.”

When Scott Beebe opened the second half canning a jumper and Hayes Murray followed with a three, to make it, 33-14, early in the second half, you had the feeling that this one could become a laugher before too long.  Wrong.

The momentum swing happened shortly after the Hawks switched into a high zone defense.  The number of open 3’s decreased for Gordon and the Hawks started to make shots. 

A 13-2 Hawk spurt narrowed the lead to, 37-29, before Scott Beebe was fouled and made all three free throws with ten minutes left to quell the momentum for the moment.  Later, the Hawks put together a 9-point run, keyed by two 3’s from freshman Chris Cormier, to make things real interesting, 46-44, with three minutes to go.

But that was as close as Roger Williams would get.  Scott Beebe drained his biggest three of the game and when he missed his next one Josh Sylvester was on hand to put back the rebound and provide the winning points. 

“Gordon is tough to defend,” said coach Tully.  “They have plenty of shooters and three of those kids (Josh Sylvester, Joe Witherspoon, Scott Beebe) have played a lot of basketball together.”

“I was not unhappy with our defensive effort in this game at all,” explained coach Schauer.  “They only got 48 points.  We got tentative on offense in the second half, though, and that has happened before.  We need to take the open shots when they come up.”

Coach Schauer had high praise for Josh Sylvester.  “He was our best player this week.  He did get a technical today though and that forced me to have him on the bench for a lot of minutes in the second half.  We need him on the court.”

Both teams struggled from beyond the arc.  The Hawks missed all nine attempts in the first half while Gordon was a meager 3 for 13 in the second half.  However, with the game in the balance Scott Beebe did make one.

Scott paced Gordon scorers with 13 points while Josh Sylvester and Joe Witherspoon added 11 each.

Chris Cormier and Brian Scharrenweber led the Hawks with 13 each.

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Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, Roger Williams