Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Davidson 83 UNC Greensboro 78

18:30 D 0 G 5
G controls the tip and MPG guards the 5-9 Dwayne Johnson. Things start well for the Spartans with a Hines layup and a travel on Richards. Stywall hits a three and this place is the most intimidating place in the SoCon so far. G is ready to go. How did they lose to Furman? Hines blocked Lovedale on Davidson's only good look at the basket.
15:42 D 4 G 14
I am being told by a UNCG reporter that the Spartans jumped out to a big lead on Wofford here last week before losing at the end. Davidson won't fold mentally, but Hines is getting big looks and drawing contact. One less big is a problem with fouls. MPG is making things happen defensively as he guards Johnson. A steal and a huge Hines dunk gets this place going nuts. Yikes. McKillop waited for the media to calm his players down.

Curry seems a little short on his contested looks while Meno and Lovedale are a little hesitant offensively with Hines looming. Hines has 8 of G's 14 points so far.
12:16 D 13 G 19
At times, I have gotten that sort of nervous chills that I remember from last year's SoCon championship game when CofC went on runs and the Coliseum exploded. The sound cascades down onto press row. But at the same time, this game should have been expected. I'm glad that the SoCon isn't rolling over. Hines is a big man for 6'6". Davidson is taking its time in the halfcourt O. Not sure if that's good or bad right now. But they've pulled closer with a few Curry shots.
11:36 D 14 G 22
Greensboro has not gotten our frontcourt in too much foul trouble yet. Meno has 1. Oleksiak hit a difficult fallaway three that last time though. Lovedale just picked up one.

I'm underneath the basket in a pretty exposed area to any Kyle Hines swats. Lauren Biggers has promised to protect me if I'm typing but I'm not sure if I trust that.

Hines now with 11.
9:42 D 16 G 27
Oleksiak is quite a shooter.

Meno picks up foul number 2 on a sketchy loose ball near the UNCG bench. Dwayne Johnson did some acting and he gets 1 and 1 as Davidson is now in the bonus. Johnson missed the front end and Andrew Lovedale put Hines on his back.

Another tough call on the other end of the court as MPG was pressuring Hines after a rebound. McKillop is not happy with the refs right now. These fouls really hurt because they are so far away from the basket.
7:38 D 19 G 30
Hines isn't getting the ball much in the half court O...but it doesn't matter too much because of his rebounding and blocks...and his teammates' three-point shooting. Curry's outside looks are short and he looks tired standing in front of me. Davidson hasn't given up this many points in the first twelve minutes since entering SoCon play. Give the Spartans credit, they are running and gunning and Davidson's not hitting outside shots nor finishing around Hines.

Oleksiak has a great line right now: 8 points and 4 assists. Richards has 2 assists and a turnover.
5:19 D 25 G 39
Press row and the Davidson fan base erupts after a horrible call on Jason Richards after he made an incredible block on Ben Stywall. Davidson's outside shooting isn't there, and this is what it looks like when the shots aren't falling and the opponents have a dominating big. Greensboro is running roughshod over Davidson with everything falling.
3:52 D 27 G 44
Meno is left with the ball at the top of the key. Richards is on the bench and Boris has no option but to his foot. Davidson isn't playing its best but the refereeing is bordering on extremely incompetent. I try to stay off the refs as much as possible but media reps of UNCG are a bit appalled for their own team. This is insanely bad.

Davidson is really missing Sander who could provide a little physical punishment out there. He might get called with everyone else but at least he could make the Spartans back off a little.

Statline of the night so far...3 pt shooting Davidson 1-9 UNCG 8-10
2:40 D 32 UNCG 48
Davidson is forcing threes now and they don't look good. Way short.

You won't see this every day. Dan Nelms and Brendan McKillop in the game with 3 minutes left in the first. Perhaps a wakeup call to the starters. No matter the final result of this one, this will go down as one of those "memories" that coach always refers to. As long as no one gets hurt, it will be beneficial come SoCon tourney time.
Halftime D 37 G 52
Curry sends Davidson into the locker room with a little momentum as he hits his first three pointer of the game. He leads all Davidson scorers with 18. No one else has more than five. Meno, Lovedale and Rossiter have a combined 2 points. That is not encouraging.

For Greensboro, the story of the first half was three-point shooting. The Spartans have scorched the nets for 9/12 shooting while Davidson is putting a paltry 3/14. Five Wildcats have two fouls. Hines has 18 points and four boards, while Oleksiak has 17 points on 4/4 3 pt shooting.

This will be an interesting 20 minutes to come. The Spartans have blown leads before but Davidson has not really overcome a large deficit to win a game this season. The last big come-from-behind one that I remember was last year's win at Georgia Southern where Davidson went over 100 points.

It seems like it has been a long long time since Davidson wasn't in control of a game. Not just the score, but the mentality on the court. Davidson is not playing like a favorite.
18:36 D 41 G 56
Lovedale attacks the paint and gets to the line. That's a good sign because Davidson cannot abandon the paint altogether just because Hines is there.

But Stywall immediately comes down and draws number 3 on Lovedale...then Max shoots a three whose trajectory was under the rim the entire time. The G fans will chant air ball every time he touches it now. Oleksiak again.
16:33 D 43 G 60
Davidson is pressing to try to create a loose ball in the backcourt but G is breaking it and putting Lovedale/Meno in a tough position defending the paint by themselves. Kyle Hines now picks up his first foul of the had three at this point last year. Davidson isn't getting the run they need...this will be tough to come back from.
15:00 D 47 G 60
Wildcats showing a little courage with a Meno block and a Richards drive. That's what they need right now: courage. That takes them into the first media timeout with the ball after a G turnover. Foul trouble will be a problem later on but Davidson has to get tough as nails on defense to slow the Spartans down. They have already outscored their finals in the last two games they played. One key positive for Davidson on the stat sheet is o rebounds. They have 11. And the two sections of Davidson fans open the break with a big cheer. That was a good sign.
13:44 D 50 G 60
A little life after yet another D stop as Hines walks into a triple team. Curry gets the ball off a hand off screen and nails the three. The mental accomplishment of getting it to 10 is big. Now Davidson has to remain consistent while keeping the pressure on.
13:04 D 54 G 61
Stephen Curry! He cracked the first smile I had seen all day after he and Max doubled the ball and knocked it out of bounds. He stole the ensuing inbound and took it all the way to the hoop.

That was followed by misfortune as Hines drew foul number four on Lovedale.
11:20 D 60 G 65
Six point game after Meno converts a three-point play. The X-factor is foul trouble and depth right now. Stywall makes it eight on a nice step back. Curry for three!!!!
10:23 D 62 G 65
Richards all the way down the court and gets killed at the hoop with no call. He comes back down with blood gushing from his brow. Greensboro fans show their class by booing his efforts. Everyone in the building is standing and yelling at the top of their lungs. Great basketball environment.

Curry now has 30 points while Hines has only scored one point in the second half. The Wildcats can pull away if foul trouble and Richards' eyebrow don't stand in their way.
7:36 D 69 G 71
Curry with 35 and he is yelling at the Greensboro crowd on the way down the court. Richards is back in the game as G calls a timeout. On the way up here we were talking about Curry's new attitude this season. Confidence ranging on cockiness.

But Meno picks up his fourth foul as Hines ties the game. Fouls will be a problem late. Hines is returning the favor now. He won't let Curry upstage him. But then Curry on the other end with a crazy scoop shot. Things are back and forth now.
5:30 D 69 G 74
Greensboro has all but abandoned the three point shot in favor of giving the ball to "Karl, I mean Kyle" Hines. Curry is tired after that run. He can't score everything at the end like he tried to in Davidson's last loss in conference (ASU last Jan.). As I type Oleksiak hits a three, I guess the Will curse goes both ways.

McKillop calls a timeout to regain a little composure. It was almost as if Davidson spent all their energy catching G that now they can't play with them close. The frontcourt is back to their old ways of losing the handle in tight spots.
3:50 D 73 G 74
Interesting to see Steph handling the ball while Jason Richards is in the game. Boris gets knocked to the paint as he catches an entry then is called for the travel.
1:50 D 77 G 78
Two o rebounds and four points for Hines. Davidson has to box him out (I say that like it's simple). Dement takes a timeout with a one-point lead. Curry has finally got the career-high: 39 points. I hope to see him break 40...maybe it will be dramatic. Like with 5 seconds left. To win.
50 sec D 80 G 78
Huge defensive stop by Max and J-Rich gets fouled and hits the shot at the other end. Need one more stop.
26 sec D 80 G 78
Got the stop but J-Rich misses a huge front-end free throw. G will have another chance. That hurt a little inside.
Final 83 G 78
Dwayne Johnson misses the game tying three with five seconds remaining and Curry ices the game...41 points. And the Davidson fans go nuts and Kevin Cary flashes a huge smile. "Man! I didn't want this article to be about Curry!" More later on in the night.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Will, i look forward to your game observations. KAO'71

Anonymous said...

any idea what's wrong w/ Sander?

John said...

Thomas took a hard foul in the 2nd half of our last game against Charleston. He came out of that game and never returned. From my vantage point, it looked like a hip but that's not definitive.

Anonymous said...

Sander is out for tonight with a sprained muscle in his back. He'll be back! We need him!

Brinson said...

Helluva game. Your boy Curry is ridiculous. I had questions about who was really the best player in the SoCon and while I think Hines is totally legit and obviously more well rounded, Curry is straight up beasty.

Anonymous said...

"Hines is....obviously more well rounded"


Brinson said...

"Well rounded" meaning some sort of quasi-accurate definition that by nature excludes scoring-oriented guards. (It's cheating, but it works.)