Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Davidson 78 Wofford 65

The Wildcats host the Wofford Terriers in the second of their two-game conference season series. The Wildcats won the first meeting 80-55. Wofford might not have the services of Shane Nichols tonight. He was listed as doubtful this morning and has not been put into the projected starting lineup.

More updates as tip-off approaches.
It looks like Nichols won't be seeing any time tonight as he in street clothes on the Wofford bench. However, that might not bode well for Davidson as most might think. Nichols tends to overplay in tough situations and often takes his teams out of games by shooting too much. The Terriers did make their run on College of Charleston with Nichols hurt on the bench. The Terriers have a perfect record when a player other than Nichols or Gibson lead them in scoring.

Davidson, on the other hand, has not lost since Andrew Lovedale entered the starting lineup oh so long ago against Georgia Southern. Here's to going January-0 tonight.
The Wildcats have been blitzing their SoCon opponents out of the gate, the latest romp being an 18-4 run to start last Saturday's road win at College of Charleston. The Wildcats did that to Wofford in their last meeting in Spartanburg. There's no reason they can't repeat the feat tonight.

However, there are vestages of a trap game lingering in the air right before tipoff. Even without Nichols, Wofford is a very hot team. Davidson have too much in terms of a crowd tonight and they might be a little flat after being on the road for so long.
15:45 D 4 W 6
Like he has done so many times before, Thomas Sander opens Davidson's scoring with a layup inside. Lovedale looking good on the defensive post. He has three rebounds already. Sander launches a three from the wing which was not what Coach wanted from him. The Wildcats are a little cold to start and Salters gives Wofford a quick lead.
14:00 D 8 W 13
There are a bunch of blue-clad kids in the upper reaches of Belk Arena tonight. They just started making noise when the Wildcat went up there. I don't think many of them are actually watching the game. they are chanting defense.

Lovedale continues to dominate inside. He pulled down an offensive rebound in traffic and put it back.

But here we go, Wofford is putting in easy shots and Davidson is missing outside ones...they are good looks, but are rimming out. Wofford didn't come here to lose tonight.
11:54 D 15 W 15
Sander with another three from the wing and he hits this one. I happen to think that he shouldn't have had his license revoked along with Boris. He has always been able to shoot with touch if he's open.

Meno with some great production in his first minutes as he gets four points and will have a free throw after the timeout. Davidson doesn't look bad right now...but Curry is on the bench and Wofford is hitting shots (7-12 FG).
10:40 D 20 W 18
Kevin Cary is still not in the building. Word is that there was some traffic congestion and we all know that Mr. Cary is a pretty busy guy. Maybe I can write for the Observer tonight. Radio last night. Regional newspaper tonight.

Curry back in the game and gets a steal away from the basket. But the Terrier threes keep falling.
9:04 D 24 W 21
Curry has had about enough of that. He hits two nice mid-range step-backs in front of the student crowd to get his first four points of the game.

But in the first 11 minutes, Lovedale already has eight points and five rebounds. He is just dominating the Southern Conference.
3:49 D 29 W 31
Blogger goes down for a bit. Not sure how long it will be out. The Terriers are outplaying Davidson on both ends of the court right now. Which is what you have to do to lead Davidson by 2 on their home court. But Davidson isn’t using the paint the same way they did at Spartanburg, and Wofford is hitting their outside shots. Curry has warmed up a little and now has 12 points.
Halftime D 34 W 35
Not a very good half for the Wildcats. Curry (14 pts) and Lovedale (8 pts, 5 reb) played reasonably well on the offensive end but the defensive effort was not there during several bad stretches. Wofford got way too many easy shots…and with Nichols out, they don’t have one guy ending possessions prematurely. Davidson will get quite a talking to...they have 10 turnovers to Wofford's 7. Davidson is not shooting particularly bad (51%), but they aren't defending the basket (Wofford FG=52%) nor getting any points in transition.

So it seems that Bill Polian, President of the Indianapolis Colts, is sitting right down from me talking to John Kilgo on the radio. I hope everyone in the digital world is enjoying their fill of Tony Dungy during halftime.

Back here in Belk Arena...things are weird. There's no sense of urgency as the Davidson elementary school kids did a routine on the court. The students, although reasonably large in number, have not been too loud and might not have looked at the scoreboard lately. Like they did against The Citadel back in November, Davidson will have to generate their own intensity and it has to come from their defense. Wofford cannot be allowed to shoot 52% again.
19:00 D 35 W 37
Curry seems really frustrated right now. He misses his first two shots and he's running up the court after each one. On the last one, Max Paulhus Gosselin got the offensive rebound and Curry didn't know we had the ball until he was already over halfcourt. He needs to get it together.
18:07 D 42 W 37
The defensive intensity comes at the top with the leader. Richards jumps a pass for a transition two and then Curry hits a transition three 20 seconds later. Wofford calls time and the Davidson crowd appreciates the effort. That was a mirror image of the first two minutes against The Citadel in the December game that I referenced.
14:57 D 46 W 43
Another steal...this time Sander picks a pocket, makes a nifty head fake and finds MPG for a big dunk. But Wofford is better than The Citadel and they respond with a high-percentage shot on the other end.
14:00 D 48 W 43
I'm a little disappointed that Davidson hasn't given the ball to Lovedale on the block. Richards is way off his shot tonight, going 2-6 from the field. But Lovedale is fighting for position and Davidson is not giving him entry passes. He is not the same Lovedale fellas. He can score! "Feed the elephant!"
12:43 D 52 W 43
Meno causes a very audible gasp from the crowd as he almost launches a three from the top of the key. He wisely held up. And Wofford is quickly picking up some fouls. That's five now in the half, four in the last 2 minutes.
9:00 D 62 W 50
The Wildcats are heating up from outside and Meno is taking advantage of size finally. He has nine points while Richards has 7. But Wofford continues to pick up baskets here and there and haven't given up like they did in Spartanburg. This next few minutes might do the trick though.
7:54 D 64 W 53
Sander now in double figures after a great feed from Curry. Once again, great distribution of points...Lovedale 9 Meno 9 Sander 11 Richards 7 Curry 24. I'll take that, especially after a mediocre first half.

For the first time ever, Davidson was at the line coming out of the "Sweet Caroline" media...and the students had to shush themselves on the reprise of the chorus. Good teamwork.
4:21 D 70 W 58
Richards starting to unravel a little bit again. He just lost a routine outlet pass out of bounds after missing a couple of shots on the offensive end. McKillop calls a timeout to talk to him and settle him down. This game is probably over...but the way that the Wildcats end it will be very important.

Not much from Will Archambault tonight. Max and Bryant have done a great job on the rebounds and 50/50 balls, but not much Archer. Andrew hasn't seen the ball on offense since the first five minutes of the game.
3:00 D 73 W 60
I hope that Stephen Curry doesn't have anything against John Kilgo. He just threw a bullet pass that barely got deflected and went flying at Kilgo's head. Thankfully no one got hurt...except maybe some pride on Kilgo's part for not catching it. The first-row season ticket holders on this side certainly enjoyed it.

Curry now with 29 point and five threes. He has 204 trifectas on his career and is quickly approaching Matt McKillop for second place all-time.
Final D 78 W 65
You don't often see Jason Richards and Stephen Curry in the lineup in the final minute when Davidson plays in the Southern Conference, but Wofford applied just enough pressure to make that happen. It gave Curry the opportunity to put in 34 points. Jason Richards finished with nine points and eight assists, while Meno and Sander finished with 11 points apiece.

This game did not fulfill McKillop's challenge to put forth a full effort for 40 minutes. But once again, it was another win in the Southern Conference as Davidson marches closer to that elusive 20-0.

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