Friday, November 09, 2007

Wildcats open centennial season with 120 points over Emory

Boris Meno and Jason Richards recorded double-doubles while Stephen Curry scored a game-high 27 points to lead Davidson to a 120-56 victory over D-III Emory in the season's opener. The 120 points were the highest Davidson basketball output since the 2002-2003 season when the Wildcats dropped 125 on Washington & Jefferson.

The Wildcats overmatched Emory in most aspects of the game and they never let up. Davidson opened up a 20-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game behind seven quick points from Thomas Sander.

Emory struggled all night with the 'Cats two-man full court pressure and trapping defense. Trying to beat the Davidson press, the Eagles penetrated to the paint only to find the Wildcats in wait. Davidson finished with nine blocks and twelve steals on the contest.

Meno finished the game with 12 points and 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Richards also recorded a double-double, tallying 14 points and 10 assists in only 20 minutes of play. Richards finished last season second in the country with 7.32 assists per game.

Curry also had a big game as he scored 27 points on 10-15 shooting, including 5-8 from three-point land. The sensational sophomore had a game-high three blocks, including one on a three-point attempt that started a transition scoring opportunity.

Brendan McKillop scored his first points in a Wildcat uniform as the freshman converted three out of seven three-point attempts for a total of 11 points. Bryant Barr scored 17 points off the bench, hitting five three-pointers. It was Barr's second-highest career point output. He scored a game-high 21 points against The Citadel at the end of last season.

The biggest storyline of this game, however, was the homecoming of Jason Zimmerman and Matt McKillop. The first-year head and assistant coaches of Emory obviously have very strong ties to Davidson, and despite the enjoyment of getting to open their coaching careers in a familiar environment, the game seemed pretty mentally and emotionally challenging for all those in Eagles colors.

After the game, lingerers witnessed a touching scene at half-court. Coach Zimmerman's son, wearing an Emory basketball t-shirt, stood on the empty court with tears welling up. Coach McKillop came up behind him, put his arm around him and whispered something in his ear as father, Jason, and Matt McKillop looked on.

The Eagles will now go back and looked to challenge in the D-III UAA, while Davidson looks forward to their biggest game of the season against the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Wednesday.

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