Gordon earns 200th career win Wednesday
Becomes fastest in Bears’ Men’s Head Basketball coaching history to reach 200-win plateau
Phoenix College is proud to announce that Bears’ Men’s Head Basketball Coach Matt Gordon earned his 200th career victory at the school. Gordon accomplished the feat Wednesday night at “The Bears’ Den” on the PC campus as his Bears held off the South Mountain Cougars, 90-83, in an ACCAC Men’s Basketball clash. The win gave Gordon an overall coaching mark of 200 wins against just 122 losses. The victory also makes Gordon the fastest coach in PC Men’s Basketball history to reach the 200-win plateau, earning the win in the 21st game of his 10th season at the helm, passing the pace of Leon Blevins, who earned his 200th victory early in his 11th season back in 1974. The 200 wins puts Gordon 3rd on the all-time wins list in Bears’ Men’s Basketball history, behind Blevins (264-147 in 15 years as head coach) and the legendary George ‘Dutch’ Hoy, who won 362 games over his 26-year coaching career at PC.
A smiling Gordon quietly accepted kudos from his coaches and players after the game for the honor, but in typical Gordon style, didn’t dwell on the accolade as much as he soaked in what was an important win for the Bears’ chances of clinching the top seed in the Region I Division II Tournament late next month. “It wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way to win,” said Gordon about the victory. “I thought our guys stepped up defensively to start the second half, and I was proud of our guys for sticking together and getting the win against a very tough South Mountain team.” Gordon led the Bears to the victory over their archrivals in uncharacteristic fashion, slowing down the pace of the game to begin the 2nd half and focus on defending the perimeter scorers for the Cougars. The tactic worked very well as the Bears put together a string of 18 unanswered points over a five-minute stretch early in the 2nd half to build a 69-53 lead, and the Cougars were never closer than 5 points the rest of the way.
When given a chance to reflect on the 200 wins, Gordon was appreciative of everyone who was a part of the feat. “I’ve had a great run at Phoenix College. It’s a credit to my coaching staffs and players over the years to be able to accomplish this kind of achievement. It’s pretty cool to be at one place long enough to win 200 games.” Gordon’s athletic director - who knows a thing or two about basketball wins - quickly pointed out that his long tenure at the school is no accident. “Phoenix College is fortunate to have Coach Gordon at the helm of our Bears' men's basketball team for the last 10 years,” said PC Athletic Director (and former Bears’ Women’s Head Basketball Coach) Samantha Ezell. “He has built a program that competes at the highest level - year in and year out. He adds leadership to our department, and we are grateful to have a man of his caliber on board.”
The Bears had four different players in double figures in scoring in Wednesday night’s win, led by 22 points (and 11 assists) from reigning ACCAC Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Brandon Brown. Brendon Pineda-Morales added 20 points, while Derreck Brooks and Jake Cipolletti each chipped in 14. The win keeps the Bears two games ahead of Tohono O’odham Community College in 1st place on the Division II side of the conference, and in 3rd place overall with a 15-6 overall record and a 9-4 mark in ACCAC play.
The Bears now get ready to embark on their longest road trip of the season, beginning the six-game road swing in Mesa Saturday afternoon against the 20th-ranked Thunderbirds. Tipoff for the men’s game is scheduled for 4PM, and will be the second game of the ACCAC Men’s-Women’s Basketball doubleheader as the Bears’ Women’s Basketball team will go for the season sweep of defending Region I Division II Champion Mesa at 2PM. Fans who can’t make the trip to Theo Heap Gymnasium in Mesa (1833 West Southern Avenue) can catch all of the action on the internet on GoBears SportsNet (http://www.ihigh.com/phoenixcollege) beginning at 1:55PM.