Thursday, February 21, 2008

Davidson 60 Winthrop 47

The Wildcats will have yet another chance to shine on national television this Friday when they head to Rock Hill, S.C. to take on Winthrop in the BracketBusters game. You can check out previews for the game at Bracketography and ESPN.com.

This post will be updated throughout the game as I live blog all the Wildcat action. Be sure to send in questions via the comment feature about the game or things that you would like Kyle Whelliston to answer about the Wildcats.
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Most of Davidson's media/staff crew got here a little after five and made our way around the arena. Asst. SID Lauren Biggers used to work here so she gave a brief tour of the athletic facilities. Their baseball stadium is state of the art. The basketball gym is nice as well, but the dark maroon colors make it seem very dark as you get farther away from the court.

Kyle Whelliston is indeed here, although I didn't get to talk to him because of his marathon chat. He had his iPod on and was sitting at the far corner of the media room when I came in. Now he's hanging out with his ESPN cronies...for someone who preaches this whole "rage against big-timing, big schools" he certainly seems to act pretty big-time himself with his whole ESPN credential. We'll see how things develop...

The two student sections are literally right next to each other. Davidson's fans are in two sections behind their bench and going into the corner, while the Winthrop students are in the facing section behind the basket. They just got into a cheering match that was precipitated by the Cat in the Hat, Boxer, and Pirate/Ninja (?).

Finally, Winthrop ran out of staff/media food. They put the spread out at around 4 p.m. and all the ESPN people ate it up before Davidson people got here. I had to do a Chick-Fil-A run to fill some stomachs. Winthrop needs to get it together.
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TV Teddy is back in the building. Twice in one week. I hope we get the same type of reffing like Tuesday. That seemed to work out well for us.

Winthrop has a really nice video board over center court, but their lineup video wasn't working right. They REALLY need to get it together.
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18:20 D 6 W 0
Winthrop is known for their defense and they looked pretty much like Max on that first possession. Flailing arms, lots of intensity. Two problems though. They aren't 6'6". And um...Stephen Curry.
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17:00 D 8 W 5
Oooh...Curry cools off though with two turnovers and then gets called for a blocking foul as the guy leaped into him on the fast break. Very questionable...Steph got called for a charge for much less against Duke. And here we go...Davidson hasn't penetrated much so far...and then Lovedale gets a good look.
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15:50 D 8 W 8
Because of both student sections being in one corner, all of the noise feels very concentrated. Davidson will be shooting into it in the second half.

Winthrop's D is nothing to scoff about. They are playing physical and hustling more than Davidson right now. Three steals and a block...make that four. Five.
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14:20 D 12 W 8
Davidson has the reputation of being a very physical team around the SoCon. And right now, they are the ones looking to the refs for protection and they aren't getting it. The Wildcats need to man up a little and play to the refs as they are. Unfortunately, that led to a charge on the last possession by J-Rich. Woop, TV Teddy with an offensive foul on Winthrop at the beginning of their possession. And Sander gets to the free throw line at the other end.

The scoreboard sightlines in here are weird. Both scoreboards are in the upper corners behind fans while the main board over center court just has an Eagle logo.

Jason Richards with the outside touch tonight which is great. He has two threes.
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12:41 D 16 W 8
Wildcats are cutting well and throwing lasers into open cutters in the paint. While Winthrop is turning it over on their entry passes. Curry showing the Rock Hill crowd how effective he is at defensive rebounding and starting transition. Wildcats on a run now.
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11:08 D 20 W 8
Davidson on a 12-0 run after Stephen Curry does the impossible and comes out with the ball from two Winthrop guys who are trying to control it in the corner. Then he whips the ball to Lovedale in the paint. Davidson's crowd is pretty loud and rowdy. If we could get all of the random collections of dedicated fans that we have in these two sections and put them right on top of the court at Belk, we'd have our "energy" problem solved. Phi-delt and ninja cheering together peaceably...it's a beautiful thing.
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9:30 D 20 W 10
One Canadian causes five seconds while the other air balls a shot on the other end. Let's go Will. Winthrop fans a little chippy after another call doesn't go their way. Ooh...Lovedale now getting in on the air ball action. I wonder if there is a sight line problem on that baseline. Winthrop breaks the drought on a nice jumper. And Curry is on the bench with two fouls. This 10-point lead might evaporate quick.
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7:39 D 22 W 13
Davidson is in the bonus, however...J-Rich draws a block on an overzealous Eagle defender and gets two easy ones from the line. Archambault will need to help out with the offense, as well as Boris. The Wildcats scored over thirty in the paint against Greensboro. This team isn't much bigger...they need to look for close shots. Richards isn't a bad option either.

Thankfully, it seems that Winthrop doesn't really score in bunches. They look really athletic out there but they've only got 13 points.
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7:20 D 22 W 13
Paulhus Gosselin with a big kick of the ball right in front of me. He knocked over Martin McCann's water. And then Steve knocks the next one out of bounds. And then Max steals the third. I wouldn't want to inbound against us.
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4:40 D 25 W 17
Richards now with 3 threes. Always "interesting" to watch Davidson's offense when Curry is on the bench. Archambault misses another one. Where's that Furman effort? McCullough and Gaynor have six apiece for Winthrop.

Teddy Valentine with his patented "i'm gonna stop the game without calling anything" just to talk to you on TV. He gets away with everything.
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3:13 D 28 W 17
Richards with his fourth three and he has 14 points on the game. He gave a very fired up look to Davidson's crowd.

Will and Bryant are way off. Short on everything. That's so frustrating because we know they can shoot.

If you think that watching Max play D on TV is fun, you should try it from courtside. He always yells at himself when he can't come up with the steal and on his last steal in front of me...he uttered some sort of "Oooh (look there's a loose ball, I'm gonna get it)." It's incredible to watch someone with so much passion for defense.
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Halftime D 31 W 21
Barr finally connects. I have to say, though, that it doesn't feel as if Davidson has a 10-point lead. Without a scoreboard in here, it feels as if the game hinged on each possession. Gaynor is very quick...very quick. But there's still no reason for him to have this many steals. We have to be more careful with simple swing passes.

However, Winthrop should probably be pretty disappointed that Curry played so little time and they still trail by ten. Davidson's defense stayed strong throughout the half and their transition D did not allow too many easy points.
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18:00 D 31 W 24
So Stephen Curry isn't hurt. ESPN announcers can be boneheads sometimes. They implied that Curry saw limited time in the first half (9 min) because of an injury when it was just because of his second foul.

But, that aside, Winthrop has taken a page out of Davidson's book and come out very strong and emotional so far to start the half. The Wildcats' offense has looked anemic so far.
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15:32 D 37 W 27
Max draws yet another five-second call. He is a maniac on in-bounds plays. And then he hits a three. He seems to put a little more arc on the ball when he is confident and he is playing with a lot of it right now.

After a Winthrop three, Lovedale keeps a rebound alive and J-Rich knocks home his fifth three of the game for his 17th point. Curry is about to break out here. You can feel it.

And I try to keep things respectful on here, but Winthrop's cheerleaders/dance team is well...they are laughing out there. They know how ridiculous this thing looks. They do.
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12:05 D 40 W 31
Wow white ref. Wow. You are really bad. He just made a ridiculous out of bounds call saying that Sander lost it off his knee. And Curry continues to be cold. This place is really loud after an Eagle dunk. They realize that they have been able to do something very special. Hold Curry down. So far.

Boris Meno draws an elbow to the face which is called intentional and he hits 1 of 2. The ref who called it just took about 150 decibels from McKillop on consecutive possessions. Now the Eagles cry foul. Yet another foul away from the ball and this place is pissssssed off. I didn't see the recent foul or the intentional one too well so I can't comment on their viability, but these refs seem to be going back and forth and back and forth on questionable plays.
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9:20 D 44 W 31
Apparently the Winthrop Eagle is named Big Stuff. He isn't very big...in any way that you look at him.

This game is a real grind. Curry is so far off. I haven't seen anything like this in a long time. Maybe ever.

Davidson is having trouble tracking down rebounds and they send MPG back in. Sander picked up a pretty bogus foul as Buechert dropped the ball with Sander straight up and down.

And Curry finally hits. Finally! A little MPG and Rossiter get the rebounding going for Davidson and Winthrop is out of sorts on offense.
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6:09 D 51 W 36
Richards is having his way tonight. He gets points number 18 and 19 off that patented hesitate and roll on the baseline. Davidson's defense has made Winthrop look silly on offense. The Eagles are down 15 but their fans are still going nuts with every play. Meanwhile Davidson's fanbase is loving this. Working toward a non-conference win on the road. It feels good.
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2:49 D 51 D 42
Winthrop with a little run and this thing is a little too close for comfort. Davidson has not gotten off a good shot after several long possessions, while the basket has gotten really big on Winthrop's side of the court. And the Eagle fans are still here. The Eagles' scoring has been few and far between tonight, but 2:49 is still a good bit of time. Davidson can't just nurse this and hope Winthrop misses.

Coach might not know that Lovedale's got four fouls (he picked up three in the last few minutes). Meno has been riding the bench for a while. At this point, though, it might not matter.
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1:06 D 53 W 42
Lovedale with a huge dunk on a feed from Steph and the drought is broken. That might have been the dagger right there. Davidson has won the hustle battle tonight in the second half.
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34 sec D 57 W 44
And the students strike up an a capella Sweet Caroline tune. They did a great job tonight. And so did Jason Richards. More on him later. Davidson wins its 17th in a row. Depending on what happens tomorrow in Tennessee, that might become the longest winning streak in the country.
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Final D 60 W 47
Great statement for Davidson on the road on national television. Curry didn't have his best night but his good buddy Jason stepped up huge for 21 points. Curious to see what Whelliston will write about this one. Big Stuff and his cheerleaders sway on the court to the alma mater and we wrap things up here on press row.

2 comments:

WB said...

How can a ref just arbitrarily stop a game, not call a foul, and just give a player a "talking-to"???

What the heck was that all about?

JEFF SHAW said...

"THIS IS OUR HOUSE!!!"

"THIS IS OUR HOUSE!!!"

WOW! Great job Davidson fans at
Winthrop. I was there sitting directly across from your section wearing a #30 jersey wishing I was sitting in your section. Very impressive fan display. Thanks, from a Davidson Vail Commons staff member.