Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wins over Elon, Princeton

Sorry for the posting lapse. I decided to write here tonight because the Davidsonian denied me my basketball writing rights for the weekend. The new Editor-in-Chief, not sports editor believes that I have a conflict of interest by writing for the Wildcat Report and essentially being around the team a lot. Her claims are a load of bull for several reasons:
-There's no such thing as unbiased reporting for a school newspaper's sports section. I'm sorry but any Davidson student will be at least as biased to their team as I.
-I have plenty of experience of writing for different audiences and presenting information and stories that are appropriate for those audiences, far more than any one of their other writers.
-Essentially, no one can write the type of article that I can when they don't have access to the interviews, statistics and media releases that I am given. Working with Sports Information lets me know more than what this week's writer will have to use, a one-page press release and their game experience.
-Finally, the editor-in-chief is the only one making this decision and she's an outsider. She has no clue what I really do, despite a long expose that I sent her about my roles. My sports editor supports me, my fellow writers support me and my readers do too. Unfortunately, no one cares enough about Davidsonian politics for any of this to raise an eyebrow.

So, in light of all that, I will write anyway:

Coming off their second conference loss of the season at the hands of Chattanooga last Monday. The Wildcats needed a shot in the arm. They were struggling to hold onto their second place conference standing and were playing inconsistent, excuse me, uninspired basketball. Everyone said that losing a close game to Furman would take the pressure off and allow us to work harder, knowing that we're vincible. However, losing to Chattanooga proved that not only can we be beatable on any given night, we can be torched. With all of that baggage hanging over them, the Wildcats faced the #1 ranked Elon Phoenix who had won 8 straight games and 6 in the conference. For the first time all season, Davidson's foe tried to beat them at their own game. Davidson had nothing of it. Trying to play conservative, fundamental basketball with strong outside shooting and tough interior rebounding, Elon became one of the first legitimate conference opponents that didn't try to exploit Davidson's lack of quickness. In fact, the Wildcats proved to be quicker than Elon as they scored 22 points off turnovers including 8 in transition. The Phoenix couldn't stop Ian Johnson who once again found his home on the block and the lefty let it rain, scoring a game-high 18 points. Jason Morton also found his home outside the arc, hitting 4 killer three-pointers. The Wildcats rolled to a 79-60 victory securing their home-court dominance by extending their home conference winning streak to 21 games.
With the Phoenix disposed of, the Wildcats next turned to a potential trap game against Princeton. Having only one day off, and without the help of Southern Conference POY Brendan Winters who had a stomach flu. The Wildcats came out flat, holding only a 5 point lead with 3 minutes to go in the first half. But unfortunately for the Tigers, their outside shots would not fall and since their offensive philosophy does not allow them to score very quickly, they began to dig their own grave as they repeatedly took 35 seconds to force up one bad shot after another. With a 12 point halftime lead, all the Wildcats had to do was convert a few times on the offensive end and Princeton would fold. But somehow the Tigers hung around, thanks to some sloppy play by Davidson and several controversial calls that broke the Wildcat's tempo. The Tigers continued to frustrate Davidson by continually running the defense through 30 seconds worth of physical screens and pushing our post players when they got the ball on the block offensively. But Davidson was able to hold on for a 15 point victory. Boris Meno led the team in rebounds for the 12th time in the last 14 games. Thomas Sander has seemed to be a mystery as a starter as he's only scored 4 points in two games as a starter after averaging 7.0 ppg all season.
Davidson returns to action next Saturday against Western Carolina.

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