Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wildcats Down Bulldogs From Outside

Playing college basketball in the conference season is all about preparation and execution. Teams come into games with loads of film on their opponent. Coaches face each other year in and year out, and teams maintain a competitive familiarity with each other.

The Citadel came into Davidson tonight with a gameplan and a mind toward execution. Far from being the conference doormats that they have largely been stereotyped as, these Bulldogs have already won three conference games and pushed pre-season favorite and cross-town rival College of Charleston to their limits. They came into Belk Arena without fear or trepidation despite their nine-game losing to these Wildcats including an all-time record of 1-9 at Belk Arena.

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start in the first half as they shot 50% from the field and only had one less rebound than the home team 'Cats during the first half. Davidson seemed stagnant coming out of the block as their oft-heralded defense allowed the Bulldogs open looks, and their offense turned the ball over seven times. The Citadel's zone defense kept the Wildcats out of the paint and the Bulldog team speed effectively slowed down Davidson's transition offense. With only a little over a minute remaining in the first half, Davidson held just a slight 5-point edge.

It was that last minute of the first half that made all the difference. Davidson took what The Citadel gave them, 3-point looks, and turned them into "bolts of lightning." Two made three-pointers before the half catapulted the Wildcats to a double digit lead and a second half sequence that opened with Bulldog bricks on one end and 3-point daggers on the other led Davidson to their eventual 79-54 victory.

On the game, Davidson hit a total of 12 three-point field goals, including four from freshmen Stephen Curry and Will Archambault. The Wildcats only averaged around 5 three-point field goals in their last four games. At 16-3 and 7-0 in the conference, Davidson boasts the nation's third longest winning streak at 12 games. As the Wildcats proved on Tuesday, they are ready for the challenge of the conference schedule where opponents know every tendency and work to explout every weakness. The Citadel made Davidson beat them from outside and the Wildcats did just that. Let the winning continue.

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