TOWSON, Md. — Goucher's five starters managed to score only 15 points in the first half of tonight's season-opening contest against Gordon in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center. Not surprisingly, the Gophers found themselves down by 10 points after 20 minutes.
But Julian Livingston (Bowie, Md./Fairmont Heights) nearly matched the starters' offensive production in the opening period all by himself in the second half as he tallied 14 points and Jesse Mondry (Medford, Ore./South Medford), who was held scoreless in the opening period, knocked down 10 points following intermission as head coach Leonard Trevino's squad rallied to claim an 80-67 victory over the team favored to win the Commonwealth Coast Conference title in 2013-14.
"That was the best half we've played in quite a while and the biggest win for our program in many years," Trevino said after watching his team defeat Gordin in the first game of the Goucher Classic and open a season with a win for the first time since 2007-08.
The Gophers were just 9-for-36 from the field (.250) in the first half as they headed for the locker room after 20 minutes down 39-29. Jason Dempsey was only three rebounds shy of a double-double at that point as he supplied the Fighting Scots (0-1) with 10 points and seven rebounds during his 12 minutes on the court.
Goucher wasn't able to make up much ground on Gordon during the first seven minutes of the second period until a pair of free throws by Mondry ignited a run of 13 consecutive points that ended with another free throw by freshmen forward, which provided the Gophers (1-0) with a 55-51 lead. Alex Carnes sank a free throw that snapped the streak and allowed the Fighting Scots, who won 21 games in 2012-13, to close to within 55-52, but then the home team responded by scoring nine straight points, opening up a 64-52 advantage on two free throws by Manney Wood (Washington, D.C./C. H. Flowers) with just over six minutes left to play.
In beating an opponent they had never faced before, the Gophers broke the single-game school record for fewest turnovers in a game as they committed only five. In addition, they out-rebounded the Fighting Scots, 47-45.
Dempsey did wind up with a double-double as he finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Gordon's leading scorer was Hans Miersma, who was 7-for-8 from the field and wound up with 14 points.