Falcons Squeak by Gordon 78-74

Falcons Squeak by Gordon 78-74

WENHAM, Mass.—Fisher College spoiled the opener of the Gordon College Classic, besting Gordon Women's Basketball in its season debut at the Bennett Center, 78-74. The Falcons put six players in double figures and bounced back after a tough shooting night on Wednesday to edge the Scots by a slim margin. The game came down to the final seconds, as the Falcon were able to capitalize on a few Gordon miscues to put four points on the board over the final eight ticks on the clock. 

Gordon dips its record to 1-1 on the season, while Fisher also improves to the same mark with the win. The Falcons will play New England College at 1 p.m. tomorrow, before Gordon closes things out with a home contest against Eastern Connecticut State. ECSU beat NEC by a couple of points in the first game of the day on Friday. 

The Fighting Scots looked to have the upper hand early, racing out to a 10-2 lead over the first seven minutes of regulation. Freshman Meghan Foley (Malden, Mass.) was a catalyst once again with five points in the early going. 

However, Fisher got scorching hot from the field over the final two and a half minutes of the first quarter, going on a 12-1 run during that time frame, capped off by a pair of Alyiyanah McIntosh (Brooklyn, N.Y.) buckets. 

Fisher was able to keep Gordon just far enough away in the second quarter, matching them on both ends of the floor. The Fighting Scots trailed 32-28 with just over 30 seconds to go in the first half when they made a power move. Brooke Dyson (Houston, Texas) made a nice layup off an assist from Olivia Stark before Stark stole the ball to give the Scots another chance at a score. She dumped the ball off to Foley, who found Stark wide open again in the corner and the sophomore beat the buzzer to put the Scots up 33-32. 

The first-half fireworks did not seem to translate into momentum for the Scots, as Fisher came out of the locker room as the more aggressive team on the offensive end. The Falcons were able to retake the advantage and grow it to as many as 11 before the end of the period.
Much like the second quarter, Fisher was able to match the Fighting Scots blow for blow for a majority of the period. Every time the Scots chipped away, the Falcons were able to respond with a big play of their own to keep it at a two-possession game. 

Gordon responded in crunch time thanks to five consecutive points from first-year Alisha Henderson (Oregon City, Ore.) and Jamie Tafoya (Fort Collins, Colo.) was able to tie the game with just a minute to go. 

McIntosh was the go-to player down the stretch for the Falcons, scoring the team's final six points. She knifed through the Gordon defense to make it a 74-72 game, but Tafoya answered right back to set up some theatrics at the end. 

The Falcons missed a pair of shots, but Gordon was unable to corral either of the loose balls. Coming out of a timeout, McIntosh made the Scots pay with an uncontested layup on a nicely drawn play. 

Gordon had one final chance to tie or go for the win, but a turnover sealed their fate in the waning moments. 

McIntosh led all scorers with 19 points and was the only player in the game to register a double-double with 11 rebounds. She also finished with five steals and four assists. Twin guards Madison and Murphy Carroll (Methuen, Mass.) combined to put up 33 points, eight assists and three of the Falcons' five made threes. Freshman Skylar Robinson (Atlanta, Ga.) had a workmanlike 13 points and eight caroms, while Jameela Olivo (Hyde Park, Mass.) had 11 points off the bench. 

The Falcons outrebounded the Scots 48-35 and 30-13 in the second half. Another deciding factor came in the stark differences between the two squads' free-throw percentages. Fisher shot at a clip just under 80-percent, while Gordon only made 17 of 33 opportunities, points that loomed large at the final buzzer. 

Henderson was a solid addition to the starting lineup for the second straight game, putting up 14 points and a 50-percent mark from behind the line. Tafoya led the Scots with 16 points off the bench and kept them in the game in the final few minutes. Sophie Linnell (Richmond, Va.) put up 11 points and eight rebounds in limited opportunities, while Dyson was in double-figures for the second straight game with 10. 

Despite struggles at the charity stripe, Gordon still shot well from the floor at 26 for 65. For the second game to start the year, the Fighting Scots scored more than they did in any game during the 2015-16 season.