Sunday, March 09, 2008

Davidson 82 Greensboro 52

Here at the North Charleston Coliseum and the Big Red Machine is ready to go again. The team looks loose during shootaround, especially Can Civi. He's looking to follow up yesterday's big performance with a breakout night in the SoCon semis.

I've been spending the whole day warding off bad karma. As most people remember, Davidson's last perfect season was spoiled by the Greensboro Spartans in the semifinals of the 2005 Southern Conference Tournament. Several members of that team, including Matt McKillop, Eric Blancett, Logan Kosmalski and, of course, J/T/Bo are in the house tonight. When asked about the pressure in yesterday's press conference, Coach McKillop did not shy away from that memory, but rather invoked that game as the reason that Davidson would be fully prepared for today's matchup.

Davidson's crowd doesn't seem to be substantially bigger today than yesterday, but a few more Wildcat fans might trickle in at tipoff.
18:30 D 3 G 0
Steph gives Boris his hug and we are ready to go here in Charleston. Greensboro has unveiled a new yellow look. App State tried those for the Niagara and Davidson games and we all saw how well that worked for them.

Wildcats slip the screen and Lovedale gets the basket and the foul. Great strength from Andrew to fight through the hack and hit the layup. Wildcats playing great perimeter defense and Hines hasn't seen the ball yet.
16:22 D 10 G 6
Hines finally gets it, gets doubled, and finds Koivisto for a three. Then he blocks Thomas in the paint. This one's going to be a fight. Max continues to make plays on every loose ball...Curry for three and Oleksiak answers. He and Koivisto want to shoot all game, and Greensboro is showing a ton more offensive efficiency than they did against ASU yesterday.
15:58 D 13 G 7
Stephen Curry pulls a Maryland and unleashes in a split second right in front of UNCG's bench off of transition. He is 2-3 from three, while Gosselin already has three rebounds. Hines getting doubled on every touch, but he has handled it well...better than any other forward we have played this season including Hansbrough, Stepheson, Thompson, Zoubek...(maybe not Love).
13:40 D 15 G 13
MPG playing really strong right now with several loose balls and a J in the paint. Meno and Archambault in for their normal time. Greensboro is either hitting shots or turning it over, not too many misses. Archer tries a shot at the same spot as Max's hit and shorts it off the front rim.

This game is a lot like the one in Greensboro except that Steph has hit his threes. Greensboro is playing much of the same, though, by reversing the ball and hitting open three-pointers.
11:37 D 19 G 13
Forgot to mention that Valentine is reffing this game. Curry got murdered on a transition that he somehow made. This place was mad, but would have been worse if he missed the layup. TV Teddy is giving us the UNC-Duke leash that he gave the rivals last night...."you can hit someone as hard as you want, but I won't call it for either team." Curry now with 10 points.

Greensboro has cooled off on the shooting, now just 4-12 from the field (Hines 0-2).
9:44 D 26 G 15
Curry is getting stretched on the sideline and the TV is eating it up. He's not hurt. Meno with his first points of the game. Meno again with a nice spin move. He is stepping it up in this building I tell ya. Hines and Curry were briefly sitting next to each other at the scorer's table...that's a photo Op waiting to happen. And Curry drains it right in Oleksiak's face. Nothing Kevin could do about that one. Stephen Curry just wanted it and took it.
7:40 D 30 G 21
Andrew Lovedale retrieves an offensive rebound and is wide open for a layup. But he waits for the defense to get to him and then does his turnaround. I don't think he knows any other way to shoot. Then Lovedale with a huge pack on Hines. Get that out of here.

Thomas Sander on a steal, gets away with a slight travel and dunks it home.

Koivisto and Toney doing their best to keep Greensboro in this one. They are a combined 5-7 from three. With this deficit, Greensboro is going away from Hines and just chucking it up. If Davidson can keep scoring, I don't think Greensboro can play three-point shootout for forty minutes. Twenty? Well we've seen them do that. Forty? No way.
4:35 D 34 G 23
Rossiter playing really strong D on Hines. Nothing wrong with him today. Wow! Richards in for a layup that rims out and Meno kills the rebound into the net, literally. Wildcats playing really hard and being really effective.
3:36 D 34 G 26
Greensboro playing out-of-their-minds tough right now. This performance from them would completely bury any SoCon team, yet they are down eight to Davidson. G fans might have one or two beefs with some charging calls, but the officials are trying to let the teams be physical and not put the stars in foul trouble. Because of that, it seems like every foul is random. Davidson only has 5 team fouls and G only has four. Greensboro shooting 7-12 from three, but Hines only has 1 point.
1:35 D 36 G 26
Hines picks up a really stupid place to pick up his second foul, reaching in on Curry in transition. Sander follows up his scoreless game yesterday by going 3-4 from the field here in the first half.
Half D 40 G 26
Wildcats finish the half strong on a Meno putback as Richards once again draws two defenders on his drive and Meno is wide open to put back the trash.

Curry is Davidson's leading scorer with 13 points, while Rossiter is the team's leading rebounder with four boards. The Wildcats have shot only 3-10 from three, but have gone 15-24 on two-point attempts. Greensboro has shot 50% from three and 40% altogether but they have turned the ball over 11 times which effectively counts as a missed shot.

And Davidson senior Blake Poole takes the court at halftime and hits three three-pointers to win a $1200 gift certificate to Sherwin-Williams. It was an impressive accomplishment, but really, what is he going to do with all that paint?

So you gotta love SportSouth's their Star Watch you've got Hines with his 1 point, 0/3 shooting and three rebounds...and then Curry, 13 points, 3 rebounds, 5/10 shooting. Hines better go nuts here or these will be the last twenty minutes of his college career.
17:55 D 44 G 30
Lovedale really developing quite a repertoire of moves. His shot is unblockable, his rebounding is both strong and very high, and his on-ball defense is extended so that he can pressure the ball on a small forward 25 feet from the basket and there is more of a chance of him getting a steal than the offensive guy taking him to the hole.
17:30 D 46 G 30
Davidson is now 18-27 on two pointers. Their ability to take mid-range jumpers and put them at the bottom of the net is what sets this team apart. People want to peg these Wildcats as three-point shooters...and at one point, they might have been right...but you would look silly trying to claim that now. Wildcats hitting singles and knocking in runs.
12:40 D 54 G 37
The refs have both teams upset right now...thinking that things are happening that aren't getting called. It's quite comical when everyone in here feels screwed over. But Davidson continues to hit singles and score near the basket.
12:17 D 54 G 39
Hines finally coming alive on the offensive end, and Greensboro too close to write off and yet not close enough to feel too worried about. Rossiter the only one with three fouls.
11:28 D 57 G 41
Curry for three and he now has 1500 points in his career (18 today). Once again, Davidson leads a game despite a gross discrepancy in free throw attempts. The Wildcats have been to the line once and Greensboro 10 times.
9:43 D 61 G 41
Greensboro fans starting to feel desperate...their complaining on the calls has gotten more feverish after every Wildcat basket. Davidson still going for twos: dribble penetration, back-door cuts, back-to-basket postups...Davidson is getting it done inside the three-point line.
7:58 D 66 G 42
Bryant Barr throwing daggers...that one hurt for Greensboro. And Greensboro missing on the offensive end. Wildcats are shooting 59% tonight. This performance would beat a lot of Tournament teams. Especially when LOVEDALE PACKS HINES AND MPG SLAMS IT HOME! No fear here. Wildcats have done their due diligence, shown up to play, and they deserve the tournament championship now. They will have to keep it up for 48 more minutes though.
5:57 D 67 G 46
Hines is still fighting, but Steve "Heart of a Lion" Ross-it-er is fighting harder. He knocks a loose ball away and then knocks down a Greensboro guard on a half-court pick. Wildcat fans coasting now and getting ready for some College of Charleston action here at 8:30.
2:52 D 73 G 49
And Brendan McKillop into the lineup. Great to see Coach giving these guys so much time at such a big stage. He is so steady with the ball. Stephen Curry getting killed inside, but he still finds a way to fade away, get knocked to the floor and bank it off the glass.

Curry knocked to the deck on the next possession and he needs to come out now.
2:15 D 77 G 49
Someone said that this might be the championship game right here with the two best teams in the conference. It certainly has that feel with the crowd intensity, Sunday night tip and chants of NCAA Tournament. One more game, guys. One more game.

Civi Time!
1:00 D 80 G 52
Civi throws a pass across the court and Will converts a three. It looked like he was a throwing a base ball from left field into home. Nelms would have had a big dunk but Hines blocked him badly.
Final D 82 G 52
Yet another big statement from these Wildcats. Statement from every man on that team as well. Jason Richards with a long embrace and a few words and a smile for Kyle Hines at center court. On to the press room where Scott Fowler and Pat Forde join us to ask Coach McKillop how good we really are.

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