MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College men's basketball team stood their ground against the co-leaders of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), the Gordon College Fighting Scots on Tuesday night at home in the Katz gymnasium. The Colonels stayed close to their guests well into the second half but faded late in ceding the victory. The loss knocks Curry's overall record to 1-21 while their first conference win remains evasive as they sit at 0-13 in the CCC. Gordon sneaks away with a 20-2 record on the year and a 12-1 conference mark to retain a share of the top spot.
Gordon got out to a hot start and seemed to outmatch the Colonels from the get-go, thanks to a 6-0 run which held the hosts scoreless well into the third minute of action. Curry got on the board on a layup from junior Jared Thorpe-Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.), but they were not yet out of the water as another Gordon run, capped by an inside bucket from Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) put Curry into a quick nine point hole. The offense soon found its spark, however, as sophomore RJ Hadfield (Warwick, R.I.) was set loose on the perimeter, knocking down three consecutive three pointers on his first three attempts of the contest, while Gordon could only muster a single basket of their own during the run. Now down by just a pair, the hosts settled for trading points, bringing the deficit back down to two after a jumper from junior Kieran Carroll (Greenwich, Conn.). On the ensuing possession, with 12:18 remaining in the first half, Parker Omslaer (Jackson, N.J.) drew a foul on Carroll to head to the line. After a pair of missed free throws though, Hadfield retained the hot hand from distance and gave the Colonels their first lead of the day at 18-17 with his fourth triple of the half. The action would stay tight over the next five minutes, but Gordon remained at least one step ahead at all turns, using a 16-6 run to go up by nine for the second time of the evening. A three from senior Alex Stein (Mount Olive, N.J.) broke the Scots' run, but Curry's offense went silent soon after. A six point Gordon lead soon grew to eight and ten, as the Colonels' scoreless streak stretched to nearly three and a half minutes, allowing the visitors to take a 44-27 advantage. With just over two minutes remaining in the half, junior center Dan Quinn (Holbrook, N.Y.) drove to the hole for a pair to get Curry back on the board, but they would add to it just once more, on a free throw, before the intermission. Despite a close first frame, the Fighting Scots headed to the break with a 46-30 edge, as they boasted advantages in points in the paint (22-12), points off turnovers (11-8) and 2nd chance points (13-5). However, the contest was far from over.
Down 16 coming out of halftime, Curry deployed a three headed offensive monster, getting points from Thorpe-Johnson, Hadfield, and Stein. Thorpe-Johnson started the frame with a pair of baskets, split by a Gordon layup from Avelino Damoura (Ladera Ranch, Calif.). Hadfield proved he wasn't cooled a bit by the break, as he put in yet another triple, with a helper from Thorpe-Johnson, before putting in the next pair of Colonel points on an unassisted layup. Curry coach Joe Busacca arranged a tough defense which limited the Scots' open looks and kept the Colonel offense rolling, benefitting from a basket each from Thorpe-Johnson and Stein, before an Omslaer layup brought the Gordon lead back to 11. Curry would keep chipping away, as a triple from Thorpe-Johnson with 15:33 left to play brought the score to 54-46 and capped off a 12-4 scoring run by the Colonels. Despite their hot start, the hosts were unable to keep Gordon down for long, as the junior guard Eric Demers drained a three of his own to reinstate a 14 point Scots lead. Curry remained resilient on offense however, as Hadfield saw yet another shot fall from distance, while Quinn found the basket again despite continually going up against Omslaer and his four inch height advantage. As the clock wound past the half way point of the second period, Thorpe-Johnson once again drove home a bucket, this time to pull his crew within eight at 66-58. After a pair of Demers free throws, Spencer Feng (Keene, N.H.) found his stroke despite some earlier misses and cut the lead to seven. The Scots would turn up the heat though, as they rattled off an 11-2 run to extend their edge to 16 while knocking three minutes off the clock. The opponents traded points once more as the scoreboard ran to under three minutes. Stein would swish a pair from distance over the final few minutes, but the hosts ran short on time and scrapped to within 12 just once more, as the Fighting Scots trudged away with a hard fought 88-75 victory at the final buzzer.
Curry fought hard to stay close in the contest and earned every point. A team which has struggled at times with defending the paint managed to outscore their opponents down low 24-20 in the second half, which included 11 bench points from Carroll and Quinn, while the offense as a whole shot 50% from the floor at outscored Gordon 45-42 in the final frame. The Colonels offense on the night was paced by the sharp-shooting Hadfield, who posted 20 points on 6-11 shooting from beyond the arc, playing all 40 minutes. Stein (13), Thorpe-Johnson (13), and Carroll (10) also broke the double-digit barrier, while Quinn poured in a career high nine points. Stein registered four steals while Thorpe-Johnson collected seven rebounds and four assists, but it was sophomore Julius Hemingway who topped all players in helpers with seven of his own.
Gordon received double-double efforts from Duvivier, who posted 24 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out, as well as Omslaer, who recorded 17 points to go along with a game high 14 rebounds, including five of the team's 14 offensive boards. Senior Noah Szilagyi (Barkhamsted, Conn.) dished out five assists, but it was Demers who shined the brightest, compiling 31 points on 10-18 (55%) shooting from the floor while going a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line.
Curry returns to the floor Saturday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. as they travel to face the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards. The Colonels fell to Wentworth on January 16 by a score of 59-40 despite surrendering the fewest points of any game this year. Gordon returns home to face the Seahawks of Salve Regina University, also at 3:00 on Saturday, as thy rehash another January 16 match up which saw the Scots pick up a 79-70 victory.