Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wildcats run to 16-1 in conference

When the Wildcats found themselves down 10-2 nearing the first media timeout, they knew that this wasn't going to be another easy home win against Furman. Last year in Belk Arena, the Wildcats held Furman in single digits for the first 10 minutes of the first half. Davidson found themselves trailing at halftime after the Paladins outmuscled and outshot the high-powered Wildcats. It was the second time in as many games that Davidson was beat out of the blocks by a lesser team.

Unfazed by Furman's clutch shooting, their physical exertion in the paint, and several questionable calls by the referees Davidson responded in the second half by pushing the floor and making some of the most spectacular plays in recent Davidson history. Possession after possession showcased another juke, jive and readjustment within the air as Davidson streaked out in front of the stunned Paladins.

Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, four assists and six rebounds as he extended his 23-ppg streak to 9 games. With his 3 three-pointers, he pulled closer to the NCAA record for threes by a freshman in one season. He is now only nine threes away.

The Wildcats were able to pound the ball into the paint, oftentimes through the drive, as they scored 46 paint points and had 10 second chance points. With the 75-57 victory, Davidson is now 25-4 on the season and 16-1 in the conference, as they clinched yet another conference championship. With only one more game before the Southern Conference tournament, this team looks to be putting on the final touches for a long run into March. Even if they lose in the conference tourney, they are guaranteed a spot in the NIT per the new rule of automatic qualification.

"When you respond like we did against Furman, it's an important statement of courage when you are looking into the Southern Conference tournament," Coach McKillop said afterwards. "We are playing courageous basketball right now."

Other highlights of the game included increased playing time for Lamar Hull and John Falconi. Both walkon seniors started the game and saw some time near the end of the contest. Neither player scored in their final game in Belk Arena, although Hull had one layup attempt that barely rimmed out. Can Civi, however, scored the first field goal in his Davidson career.

Davidson will next head to The Citadel for their fourth game in the last week. The Citadel has played the Wildcats tough in McAlister Field House over the last few seasons and Davidson will need to be prepared for another physical team that will try to push Davidson out of its system. The Wildcats will have to overcome their fatigue and put away a scrappy Bulldog team that played the College of Charleston very tough tonight.

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