Tag Archives: UNE

Gordon Men’s Basketball Remains Undefeated in the CCC With Win over UNE

David Dempsey about to send Taylor Bajema in for a second half layup.

Alex Carnes - led all scorers with thirteen points

(Biddeford ME) The Scots ran their undefeated conference record to four with a 56-46 win over stubborn UNE on Tuesday night.

Gordon (5-6) struggled to separate from the winless Nor’easters (0-11) and had a shaky, 45-39, lead with four minutes left before collecting six straight points in little over a minute to get control, 51-39.

A Hans Miersma layup (pass from David Dempsey), two Alex Carnes free throws, and a layup by David Dempsey did the damage in the three productive possessions that turned this game for Gordon.

Aggressive defense was on display and both teams struggled for sustained offense.  6-9 Hans Miersma intimidated UNE shooters in close while the Nor’Easters relied on quickness to force turnovers around the basket.  Both teams kept clean looks from the perimeter to a minimum.

The Scots, however, got better looks late in the game as UNE began to tire from a long night of tight defense.

Alex Carnes led all scorers with a season-high thirteen points.

Those few of us in attendance will remember the lack of scoring in the first half.  UNE had only ONE point after 6 ½ minutes and only trailed, 6-1!  UNE didn’t reach double figures until there was 2:47 left in the first half and only trailed, 18-11.  The halftime score was, 22-18.

David Dempsey and Alex Alsadi wrestle for position

It was easy to be apprehensive about the outcome because UNE was quick to fire up 3’s and the Scot lead was slim.  If the Nor’Easters hit a couple in a row, and followed with full-court pressure, things could well head south for the visitors.

But credit the Gordon defense.  They did a excellent job defending the perimeter and limited UNE to twenty-five 3’s (they only made five) – they had thirty-five attempts last game with Roger Williams.

Even though the Scots had a frightening twenty-four turnovers the Nor’Easters only produced ten points from the miscues.  Most of the cough-ups were in close to the basket.

Gordon was ready to run on almost every occasion and capitalized on UNE turnovers for eighteen points.  Undersized UNE was quick to crash the glass on their missed shots and the Scots made them pay with some productive breakouts.

The Scots outrebounded UNE, 51-28.

Park Thomas had a career-high nine rebounds.

Hans Miersma lays in two

Gordon made only 1 of 14 three’s.

Luke Hamilton went from twenty-six points versus ENC to 0-for-6 versus UNE.  How does that happen??

This was David Dempsey’s first game with fewer than ten points.

Jarryd Rossignol (10 points) led UNE’s scorers.

Hans Miersma totaled ten rebounds and his presence in close discouraged a number of UNE drives toward the basket.

The Scots travel to Roger Williams (Bristol RI) on Thursday night.  I may take that one in from long range.  UNE faces Curry on the same day.

(The pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)

David Dempsey hits jumper in the lane

Jordan Kelly draws charge

Jordan Ferreira pulls by Jason Dempsey

Cooper Meyer - new look

Hans Miersma rejects

Alex Carnes defends JD Winn

Marcus Winn shoots over Luke Hamilton

Park Thomas caught in UNE traffic

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Filed under 2011-12 Gordon College men's basketball, UNE

Gordon Survives UNE’s Long-Range Attack to Win 20th

Brady is awarded commemorative basketball by Coach Tod Murphy for reaching 1000 career points.

(Wenham) Gordon (20-4/11-1) reached twenty wins for the second straight season defeating unorthodox UNE, 64-61, at the Bennett Center on Wednesday evening.

The visiting Nor’easters (11-12/7-5) relied heavily on long-range shooting (12-for-35) while keeping Gordon under wraps from the same distance.  It nearly worked.  The Scots suffered through a 1-for-11 evening from long distance.

UNE poured in three of those 3’s during a little over thirty seconds in the last minute of the game and a comfortable Gordon 61-50 advantage with 46 seconds left shrunk to 63-59 with ten seconds left.  An Austin Bentson free throw (11 points) was offset by a couple of Kadare Brown free throws but UNE never got into a position where they could tie or win on a possession late. 

This was a game of extreme highs and lows unlike any I’ve seen this season. 

At the start, Aaron Trigg scored on a layup after a nice feed from Brady Bajema.  These would be Aaron’s only points of the half.

The University of New England followed with fifteen straight points.  Their full-court pressure caused four turnovers and Gordon burned a couple of timeouts.  When was the last time the Scots trailed, 15-2, at home?

A three from Marcus Winn (10 points) gave UNE a solid 19-6 advantage seven minutes into the game.  However, the rest of the half was all Gordon as they came all the way back.  David Dempsey’s 3-point play assisted by Greg Walker gave Gordon a 25-22 lead with 1 ½ minutes left.  JD Winn’s layup ended the half at 25-24.

Kadare Brown - Scored 23 points including eight in the last minute.

The second half?  Off to the races went UNE at the start, getting the first eight points as 3’s by Kadare Brown and Ryan Knotek plus a layup by Kadare had the Scots on their heels (32-25) after 2 ½ minutes had gone by.

Not to worry, back came Gordon with ten straight to regain the lead (35-32).  The last two baskets were a layup and a breakaway, crowd-pleasing dunk by Ben Gaskill.

That lead would stretch to 46-36 after a put-back by David Dempsey.  You sensed that maybe Gordon would pull away and make the ending comfortable.  Not tonight.

4 ½ minutes later, the Scots returned to the hang-on-for-dear-life mode after Marcus Winn hit consecutive 3’s to tighten things (51-49) with three minutes left. 

However, just as suddenly, UNE fell apart.  The Scots paraded to the free throw line and made ten-of-eleven while UNE had one free throw to go along with a string of misses and a technical foul (Keith Beasley).  This segment got Gordon to a lead of 61-50 with 46 seconds left before UNE came back to life with 3’s and made things exciting at the end.

“High scorer,” and “Austin Bentson,” has never been in the same sentence before but his eleven points earned the honor on this night. 

UNE came in with the best defense in the CCC against the 3-point shot.  The Scots are believers now as they shot just 1-for-11 from long range.  Neither Brady nor Aaron could connect.

Freshman Kadare Brown (23 points) registered 18 of those points in the second half including eight in the last minute. 

Ben Gaskill - career high 16 rebounds and super defensive effort

Ben Gaskill was the key piece in the Gordon win.  He established a new career high in rebounds (16) getting eleven of them in the second half.  More important could well have been the defensive job he did on Quentin Thompson, arguably UNE’s best player.  Ben took away the inside from Quentin and the sophomore’s outside game (3-for-17) was missing. 

So Gordon gives up a 15-point run, gets no 3’s from Aaron and Brady, surrenders eleven points in the last minute, and yet still wins.  Is this where I’m supposed to say, “Good teams find a way to win?”  There, I’ve said it.

The Scots continue to surprise me with their handling of full-court pressure.  Only six of their fifteen turnovers happened in the second half. 

Brady was awarded a basketball commemorating his arrival into the 1000-point club.  Brady is currently at 1083, just behind Justin Kaufman (1088) for 15th place all-time. 

Aaron is at 1515 points and closing in on 4th all-time scorer Steve Heinz at 1545.

Ben, with 532 career rebounds, has Mike Herr (559) ahead of him as Gordon’s 3rd all-time rebounder.

Saturday at the Bennett Center is the game before which the seniors get recognition.  It is hard to imagine next year’s team minus; Jeff Derr, Aaron Trigg, Brady Bajema, Tim MacDonnell, and Ben Gaskill. 

The opponent on Saturday is Salve Regina.  This team won’t make the CCC tournament so they could have plenty of motivation to end their season with a win over the CCC’s best regular-season team on its home court.

box score

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Filed under Gordon College men's basketball 2009-10, Salve Regina, UNE

Game #24 – Down Goes Undefeated UNE

(Wenham) Winners of 19 in a row?  Wow! 

Hadn’t lost since November 25th?  Terrific! 

Undefeated in the Commonwealth Coast Conference? Impressive!

The University of New England Nor’easters (20-4 overall/ 11-1 in the CCC) can put all those lofty accomplishments behind them after your Gordon College Fighting Scots defeated them, 82-75, before a revved up Bennett Center on Wednesday night.

You can look at the boxscore of this one and read this writeup but it won’t capture the excitement that this game generated from beginning to end. 

Because UNE had been so successful for so long this season, the hope going in was that Gordon could ride the Bennett Center wave, hang in with the talented visitors for as long as possible, and maybe steal one at the end.

And that is what happened.  A layup by Marchale Robinson put UNE up 60-58 with 6 ½ left but the Scots were hanging close late into the game.

The next 3 ½ minutes UNE got away from what it does best – driving to the basket – and missed all three attempts from long range.  Throw in a turnover and a missed front end of a 1-and-1 by Jaykyri Simpson. and the visitors had nothing to show for five straight possessions.

Meanwhile, your Scots used the 3 ½ minutes to tally thirteen points and stun all of us by surging to a 71-60 advantage. 

The last three minutes of the game were painfully slow and tense. Down one end it was hope-for-the-best defensively while at the other end it was one pressure free throw after another. And while UNE did make three 3-pointers in the last two minutes, the Scots answered back with nine straight free throws to minimize the damage.

The place where the Scots looked to be in the most trouble was after a layup by Quentin Thompson had narrowed things to 76-72 with 36 seconds left.  Brady was stripped in the frontcourt but recovered to hound UNE’s Johnnie Jefferson into a turnover in front of the UNE bench and gave Gordon the ball back.  Consecutive free throws by Brady, Austin Bentson, and Aaron Trigg followed to seal the deal.

Maybe you heard the collective Bennett Center sigh of relief that followed the final buzzer?

Home crowd celebrates as 82-75 score shines in the distance after UNE upset

Home crowd celebrates as 82-75 score shines in the distance after UNE upset

Coach Mike Schauer went with a very short bench and it paid off.  The Scots faced constant pressure anywhere they had the ball and ended up with 21 turnovers for the game but, and this is a very important but, only two of the give aways came in the last 6 ½ minutes.  And it was during this period of strong ball management, with veterans on the floor, that the game was won.

Aaron Trigg - leading scorer with 27 points

Aaron Trigg - leading scorer with 27 points

Brady Bajema - 19 points and 7 assists

Brady Bajema - 19 points and 7 assists

There were some eye-catching stats;
 (1) Gordon held UNE to the lowest rebound total (18) for an opponent.  They had been averaging 34 rpg.
(2) Senior Jaykyri Simpson (10-for-11 with 23 points) is the most dangerous 1-on-1 player in the CCC.  He has the jets to get to the basket but that speed led him into a couple of offensive fouls in this game.
(3) Aaron Trigg led all scorers with 27 points, in a 40-minute performance against the best team in the CCC.  Toss in six rebounds and three assists.  He has my vote for MVP in the CCC.
(4) UNE had only six assists, which is ten assists under their CCC league-leading average.  Good defense or selfish offense?
(5) Brady did some damage to his league-leading 3-point shooting percentage (53.8%) with a 1-for-4 evening but his seven assists should boost him in that important category.  His 19 points were huge.

Gordon (18-6 overall/ 8-4 in the CCC) travels to Newport to face an excellent Salve Regina team (also 8-4 in the CCC) on Saturday afternoon.  A win there will assure your Scots 3rd place and a home game in the first round of the CCC playoffs next Tuesday night.  A loss?  They could fall as far as 6th and play on the road Tuesday night.

David Flight - honored before the game

David Flight - honored before the game

Gordon’s lone senior, David Flight, was honored before the game.  His appearance on court in the last few seconds drew some rousing applause.

UNE had a good group of fans travel south from Biddeford on a snowy evening.  It seemed to me that their support of the Nor’Easters just brought out the enthusiasm in the Gordon crowd.  Both support groups had plenty to cheer about.

Ben Gaskill leads the CCC in defensive rebounds.  He got eight more in this game as well as two blocks.  He took a turn at trying to deal with UNE’s driving guards.

Timmy MacDonnell drew a couple of offensive fouls and also tried shooting free throws without his googles on. 

6-7 Greg Walker continues to be the go-to guy down low.  At times he was covered by 5’9” Steve Belmonte.  Now that’s a mismatch!  Greg appeared to sprain an ankle in the first half.  He did play afterwards and totaled 13 points.

UNE hosts Nichols on Saturday.

One game left in the regular season.  Can you believe it?

Box Score

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

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

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

(Game #24 – UNE) Gordon Rides Strong First Half to 19th Win

By Peter McClelland

(Biddeford, Maine) – Gordon put together several scoring runs in the first half and built a comfortable cushion that carried them through a stumbling second half and on to a, 68-51, win over the University of New England Nor’Easters at Biddeford in Commonwealth Coast Conference action on Thursday night.

The victory pushes the Scots to a terrific 19-5 overall and 12-3 in the CCC.  UNE drops to 9-15 overall and 5-10 in the CCC.  Despite the losing record, however, the Nor’Easters have secured the 4th and final spot in the CCC North and will join the Scots in the playoffs starting next Tuesday.

“I’m not too frustrated because it was a win,” said Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards, “but we need to play better if we are to be serious contenders for the CCC title.”  Last time against UNE coach Schauer was able to clear his bench but not in this one.

This game might have been a whole lot closer if UNE’s top scorer Nyaten Gaye (22 points in the first game at Gordon) had played.  He was with the team but not in uniform.    “I don’t have a comment on why he wasn’t playing,” said UNE coach Dave Labbe after the game.

Needless to say, UNE struggled to score consistently and it got them in trouble in the first half.  The Nor’Easters had an early 8-5 lead before Gordon ran off nine straight to grab the lead for good, 14-8.  UNE answered with a 4-point play by Mark Regis but Gordon ran off 10 in a row and the score became 24-12.  A few minutes later the Scots clicked on 8 unanswered points and built up a 35-17 advantage with two minutes left in the half.  

“Gordon puts five good players on the court at all times and it’s tough to defend them,” said coach Labbe.  “They’re a veteran team and it shows.”

UNE paid special attention to Scott Beebe.  “I think they had a box-and-one going against Scott,” said coach Schauer.  “He handled it beautifully.  A lot of times great players in that situation will try and force things but he never did.  He just let our other players win the game.  He’s a star player who was willing to take a subservient role for the sake of the team.”

Leading the way for Gordon were the usual suspects – Josh Sylvester (18 points), Joe Witherspoon (16 points/10 rebounds) and Hayes Murray (12 points).   An aggressive man-to-man defense forced 15 turnovers in that decisive first half with a number of them resulting in fast break lay-ups. 

UNE made things entertaining in the second half with a scrambling style that gave the Scots fits at times.  However, the closest UNE got was 37-24 early in the second half.  “We’re not very deep so we can’t scramble around and press for 40 minutes,” said coach Labbe, “but I was as proud as heck at the way our guys competed tonight.  It sure was better than the last time (96-57 loss) we played.”

Coach Schauer wasn’t as thrilled with his team.  “We have practiced a bit dispassionately the last few days and that’s the way we played at times tonight.  However, it was a win and a road win at that.”

Next for Gordon is the regular season finale at home against struggling New England College on Saturday afternoon.  The Scots buried the Pilgrims in Henniker earlier.  Who’d have imagined that a Gordon mens’ basketball team could have a chance to win 20 games in a season?

After the CCC games on Saturday we will learn who our first round opponent will be on Tuesday.  It is almost certain the Scots will be on the road.

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Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, UNE

(Game #17 – UNE) Scott Beebe and Joe Witherspoon Reach Milestones as Gordon Routs UNE

 By Peter McClelland

(Wenham) – How often does a team have a 1000 point scorer?  How about more than one on a team?  Gordon took this a step further Saturday afternoon by having two players (Scott Beebe & Joe Witherspoon) reach that plateau in the same game.

“It’s a mark of production, consistency, and longevity,” explained Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards.  “I am fortunate to coach them.”

Scott and Joe’s special accomplishments were part of a surprisingly, easy, 96-57, win over the University of New England in Commonwealth Coast action at the Bennett Center. 

The Scots are now 14-3 overall and 7-1 in the CCC.  The Nor’easters drop to 7-10 overall and 3-5 in the CCC.

The way this game went defied logic.  In the previous game UNE had rattled off 57 first-half points against tough Anna Maria on the road in a blowout victory.  “That win at Anna Maria really worried me, “said coach Schauer.  “This was as nervous as I’ve been all year for a game.”

“The CCC is a good league,” added UNE coach Dave Labbe.  “If you don’t bring it every night you’re going to run into a game like this.  You can’t draw a lot from one game to another.”

The significant game stats were in shooting percentage (Gordon 37 for 67 for 55%/  UNE 13 for 52 for 25%) and rebounds (Gordon 48/  UNE 30). 

Early on it became apparent that Gordon would be able to do pretty much what it wanted to do on offense.  The Scots usually launch the first open shot but in this they showed a lot more patience and constantly went inside to Joe Witherspoon and Josh Sylvester.  “They like a fast tempo and we tried to be more deliberate, “said coach Schauer.  “This was also one of the few teams we face where we had some size advantages inside.”

Gordon broke open a 12-10 game with a 7-point run that included lay-ups by Joe Witherspoon and Scott Beebe and a three by Gordon’s best 3-point shooter Hayes Murray to pull ahead by nine.  A few minutes later the long-range accuracy kicked in as Joe, Scott, and Hayes drilled threes and now the lead was, 32-15.  Scott’s three in that mix was his 1000th point.  Gordon had a, 49-29, halftime advantage.

Things did not get any better for the visitors in the second half.  Teams have averaged 90 points a game against their man-to-man defense this season and the Scots had plenty of open shots to choose from.  “We played hard,” said coach Labbe, “but they’re a good basketball team with plenty of veteran leadership and it’s tough to cover them.”

Things were respectable at 66-44 with 13 minutes left but a 13-point run put this one in the laugher zone, 79-44, with still 9 ½ minutes to go.  Josh Sylvester was the key to that run with a 3 and two inside shots.  Each coach was able to clear his respective bench for most of the rest of the game.

All five of Gordon’s starters finished in double figures; Scott Beebe (22), Joe Witherspoon (18), Josh Sylvester (16), Hayes Murray (14), and Elliott Blackstone (10).  Josh added 12 rebounds and 7 assists.

Nyaten Gaye paced the Nor’easters with 22 points (he averages 20) including a very good 15-17 from the free throw line. 

On Tuesday Gordon travels to New Hampshire to play against struggling New England College while UNE hosts tough Endicott.

Coach Schauer recalled scoring 1000 points at Wheaton.  “They gave me the ball with the information on it.  I need to tell you, though, that I have no idea where that ball is now.  I remember my teammates and the victories a whole lot more than scoring 1000 points.  Scott and Joe will probably be the same way.”

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Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, UNE