Saturday, February 16, 2008

Davidson 86 Furman 51

Davidson looks to win its 15th consecutive game and 27th consecutive conference match today when they take on the Paladins of Furman in Belk Arena. The 3 p.m. tip will be televised on SportSouth, marking the 12th time that Davidson has played a televised game this season. Davidson's winning streaks rank third and second respectively among all NCAA schools.

The Wildcats are led by Stephen Curry, the nation's fourth highest scorer with 25.6 points per game. He bolstered that average with a career-high 41 points against UNC-Greensboro to lead Davidson back from a 20+ point deficit for a five-point win. Stephen Curry leads all current NCAA sophomores for most career points with 1,345, nearly 300 more than second place Ryan Anderson out of California. Curry is only one three-pointer away from tying Matt McKillop's career mark of 223.

Curry's lowest point output of the season came when Davidson played Furman last in January. The sophomore only had 14 points, which is one of six instances that he has not scored at least 20 points.
7 minutes to tip

Sitting here next to John "Killer" Kilgo of the Davidson Radio Network. On my left are the guys from CSTV's "Going Mad" road trip blog. You can check out their video blog on this site sometime tomorrow. They were at Elon for the Appalachian State upset earlier this week.

Turnout is absolutely atrocious for today's game. Atrocious.

Sander in the starting lineup.
18:29 D 2 F 0
Furman opens in a zone and Curry misses his first shot but hits on the next possession.

The Paladins took the ball at Sander immediately and knocked him on his back without a call.
16:51 D 7 F 0
Curry hits a three and ties Matt McKillop for the second most threes in a Davidson uniform (223). Lovedale with a nice turnaround and MPG forces an offensive foul. All Davidson so far in Belk Arena.
15:44 D 7 F 0
Furman stays in zone and Richards misses a three badly. If Furman keeps this defense up, Davidson will be jacking threes all night. I don't particularly mind that. Davidson's defense has been outstanding so far...forcing a shot clock violation, offensive foul and nearly forced a five second violation.

Lots of stoppages of play so far.
13:52 D 12 F 0
Archer for three. He had a quiet game against UNCG but a very productive one none the less. He then comes and hits a nice runner. Good to see him playing productively and confidently.

I'm beginning to wonder how long it will take before Furman scores. They haven't put up many good shots so far. They are like a B-league team from Davidson intramurals.
12:30 D 17 F 0
Curry for three. Sander for two. Offensive foul on Furman...and the students are chanting, Nananana nananana hey hey goodbye. Archambault continues to look very confident as he rips the ball through the defender and sets up Sander with a crisp pass.

And now the whole arena is doing the wave. I have never seen that in Belk Arena! Lovedale with a huge block! Wow, this is fun.
11:42 D 19 F 2
Furman finally on the board and the students go nuts. It only took them eight minutes to do it. Curry with 10 points so far. This is absolute domination. I was talking with Kevin Cary beforehand and he thought that this would be a pretty nondescript 15 point win. So far, Davidson is very focused and intent on burying the Paladins...alive.
9:40 D 25 F 8
Holy cow Stephen Curry. Elevates 10 feet in the air to get a steal, tracks it down along the sideline and then does a reverse layup around a Furman guy to put it home. It is really hard not to smile on press row (be objective...dang we are really good).
8:14 D 25 F 13
"We are all human...except Logan." Gotta love it Kilgo. Furman has hit a few nice runners to keep this thing somewhat respectable. Davidson can't let up at all. Greensboro was up by more than this...but then Furman isn't Davidson.
7:00 D 28 F 13
Furman's zone has forced one or two errant entry passes but Stephen Curry's three-point shooting largely nullifies its effectiveness. You can't stop him if you don't try to guard him. You can't stop when you guard him either...but oh well. Curry leads Furman again (15-13). How often does he do that in first halves? Over/under on Curry outscoring them the rest of the half?
5:00 D 35 F 16
Furman hits a three and Curry counters by getting fouled on a three point attempt. Curry also fed a wide open Archambault for a dunk with a Steve Nash-esque pass. Kilgo is still talking about it. Curry 18 Furman 16. Curry's free throw streak continues.
3:57 D 38 F 16
Can't say enough about Will Archambault lately. He has been playing some incredible basketball. He's got 10 points already today on two threes. His energy is way up and he's really creating the mismatches that we expected back in November. I'd rather get it now than never. Good for Will.
Halftime D 46 F 22
Curry misses a three on the play that he scored on to end the half against Greensboro. But Furman doubled the screen and saw it coming. Curry finishes with 18 while Archambault has 16 on 4-7 3 pt shooting. Huge game for him. Lovedale has eight points as well. Davidson as a team had a 3:1 assist/turnover ratio (12/4). All Davidson all the time here in the first twenty minutes.
And the Hall of Fame inductees take the court. Rod Knowles is really really tall. He was a very special component to all of those Lefty teams that has gone under the radar a little bit. It's great to see him get the recognition he deserves here today.

Alex Deegan, Davidson's goalie during the Final Four season, is also here today. He took part in some of the most memorable Davidson sports moments ever. His save in the quarterfinals will go down in Davidson history because of his elevation (unlike Knowles, he is not very tall) to tip the ball over the top of the net in OT shootout.
17:20 D 46 F 22
Sander is playing today but you can tell that he's still feeling it. He missed a transition layup that forced him to turn quickly. Then he comes back down to take a charge. McKillop rewards him with some rest time on the bench. He is so beat up.

It's been a defensive struggle here early. Davidson's shots have come from the paint and have rimmed out. While Furman is just throwing up bricks.
15:54 D 51 F 22
Curry breaks the sloppy shooting with a big three and he's got 21. Big Cat is starting to pad his rebounding numbers (4, 3 in the second half). Wow, Furman cannot shoot at all. They are now 26% from the field overall.

Kilgo says that the "yard dog" might come out. We'll have to see.
14:30 D 53 F 22
Davidson's offense is very slow right now, but thankfully their defense still has a lot of energy. Furman didn't score for eight minutes at the beginning of their first half, and now they haven't scored for four and a half minutes to start the second half. Archambault back in the game to jumpstart some offense.

And Kilgo is timing Curry's free throws.
13:10 D 56 F 24
Archambault now with 19 as he gets an AND1 after hitting a runner in the lane. He is a man possessed today. Furman still under 28% shooting.
11:39 D 61 F 26
The CSTV guy just leaned in and asked me whether Curry has ever outscored a team for the whole game. Curry trails Furman by three. I suggest that Will Archambault might do it today, he has 24 points with five threes.
9:00 D 69 F 34
Archambault gets a standing ovation as he takes a break with 26 points on the game. Lovedale also having a nice game with some steals and 12 points, the latest coming on a dunk assisted by Richards (9 assts). Then he gets his fifth rebound and is fouled. 13 points...14 points...
7:37 D 72 F 39
Davidson's perimeter defense needs a little shot in the arm. Curry back in to do it. The Paladins have had some wide open three point looks. This one is all about image and Davidson can't afford to let the last ten minutes become a snooze fest like they have in the past. Curry for three...
4:30 D 78 F 47
McKillop into the game at point and there's lots of dribbling around the perimeter. Davidson really doesn't have a full squad of reserves, so there will be a lot of experience in the game until the end. Curry is still stuck at 26...but it's ok because Rossiter and Meno are scoring inside. Davidson's defense continues to be solid.

Nelms in the ballgame along with Barr.
3:00 D 80 F 47
Archambault with 28 points and he beats Curry today. Huge game for him. Lots of aggressiveness...precision shooting...quick defense...hustle plays...excellent, excellent. Davidson hasn't played the best second half as a team, but I would argue that it's better than it's been in other blowouts (CofC, WCU, Wofford...)

And apparently the yard dog's name is Chambers?
1:00 D 84 F 51
I'm not liking Davidson's perimeter defense in the second half. Furman has had some wide open three-pointers and they've hit a few.

Overall, though, this game shows how dominant Davidson really is in this conference. UNCG is beating App...Furman has played others close...this conference has a lot of parity. We aren't a part of the conference.

And Nelms gets a point after Civi fed him with a solid pass. He missed the contested layup and the first free throw.
Final D 86 F 51
Can Civi gets the exclamation point on this victory after an impressive drive and scoop shot around two Furman defenders. The crowd on their feet...huge win from everyone in red and white. And it's on to UNC-Greensboro. Post-game thoughts and quotes coming from the press room soon...

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