Saturday, January 19, 2008

'Cats win big in front of alums, 85-58

***photo by Marty Price***

Davidson extended its conference winning streak to 18 games on Saturday afternoon by defeating North Division leader Chattanooga 85-58. The Wildcats have now started the conference season at 8-0. Davidson has only opened the conference season with eight straight in three different seasons: they finished undefeated each time.

Davidson was led by the incredible talent of Stephen Curry. Curry fed off the raucous crowd of 5,361 to lead Davidson from the opening tip. The crowd had an especially emotional feel as scores of Davidson basketball alumni, including Lefty Driesell, were in town for Davidson's 100th anniversary celebration.

Curry hit three-pointers from all parts of the court, scoring 27 points in the first half. That was one point short of Fred Hetzel's Davidson record of 28 set back in the 1964. Curry finished with 37 points, one short of a career high, with eight three-pointers. His last three came from well beyond the three-point arc with a hand in his face.

Curry was not alone in harnessing the fever pulse of the crowd. Boris Meno finished with 12 points off the bench, including several big thunder dunks that brought the crowd to its feet.

"It was good to get the crowd going and my team going," said Meno. "Steph was making shots like crazy, so I had to do something."

"The crowd was extraordinary," said Coach McKillop. "It was emotional for me to have all these people assembled that have allowed me to be here. They built the foundation of this program, and I wanted us to play well in front of them. I was incredibly proud of our guys because it was such a special day."

Andrew Lovedale and Thomas Sander joined Meno in dominating Chattanooga in the frontcourt. Lovedale made several fallaway jumpers to finish with 12 points in his sixth game as a starter. Sander set several impenetrable ball screens to set up Curry threes. He finished with six assists and six steals, leading Davidson's defense all night.

"Sander was flawless out there today," said McKillop.

McKillop and his players had the opportunity to interact with Davidson basketball alums at Friday's practice and Saturday's dinner.

"Those guys are proud to be a part of a program that has the excitement we have now. They are all part of that foundation," said McKillop.

On Saturday afternoon, that foundation seemed impenetrable.

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