Sunday, March 23, 2008

Live Blog: Davidson 74 Georgetown 70

Welcome to the Davidson Live Blog...Part II. Press Row is a little less crowded today as the Zags, Hoosiers, UMBC and Mount Saint Mary's headed home. Dining in the media buffet and in some tailgates out in the parking lot, there was definitely a sense of pure enjoyment without all that nervousness we felt on Friday. Davidson certainly wants to win today and go to the Sweet 16, but let's face it, the Wildcats are playing with house money and the pressure is firmly on the Hoyas from Georgetown. We get to be the underdog again! I'm not sweating on my computer keyboard as much today.

The dark blue and grey of the Georgetown Hoyas fills in the sections behind their bench and the rest of the arena is filled with Wildcat red, black and sky blue. These Carolina fans had plenty of reason to cheer for Davidson against Gonzaga. Now they have plenty of reason to cheer against Georgetown as well after the Hoyas knocked them out of the tournament last year.

Thomas Sander is out on the court in shootaround with a big wrap on his right thumb. He will start as far as I know and we will see how effective he can be.

Lefty Driesell is here in the third row behind me and the rest of Friday's crew has returned to their seats for an encore. Michael Kruse is over here now with me and more lucky gum is being chewed in honor of Lauren Biggers who is stuck back in D-Town working the baseball game.

A few statistical notes before we get started:

-Jason Richards is now 10 assists behind Ali Ton for most all-time in a Davidson career. Ali is in attendance here today and probably wouldn't mind if Richards got 11 or 12 dishes.

-With his 8 three-pointers Friday, Stephen Curry moved into first all-time for most three-pointers in a Davidson career with 269, surpassing Brendan Winters. Curry is also 8th all-time in scoring, first all-time in free throw percentage, and seventh all-time in steals.

-The Wildcats are five-point underdogs today and if they pull off the victory, Sander, Richards and Meno will have 100 career victories over the course of the last four years.

And the Wildcats take the court to Welcome to the Jungle...no nerves today. Let's go Cats!
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Georgetown fans are really not loud at all in the intros. But then again, the UNC fans aren't helping out yet. I doubt they will expend too much energy unless Davidson can keep it close and keep it exciting. But then every game we have played against a "big" opponent this year, we have hoped to keep it close and we always have.

Lovedale wins the tip against Hibbert and knocks home the first shot of the game. Pressure is on Georgetown. Lovedale again! In Hibbert's face and the foul.

Davidson is not scared of Georgetown's interior guys as Lovedale and Richards attack the paint although unsuccessfully. The rimouts are an early statement, but the passing miscues don't look good so far.

It is really remarkable to watch Sander lean on Hibbert here just 10 feet in front of me.

Hmmm...Lovedale picks up his second foul and Boris will have to step up big on both sides of the floor. That's really bad news about Andrew.

Curry has been shut down pretty well so far as he only has one shot attempt. The perimeter defense on Sander has been pretty tough as well. Give Georgetown some credit that their defense is not overrated. But they are prone to playing too high sometimes...pump fakes leave them looking for big-time blocks and Davidson has gotten under the forwards on several occasions.

15:49 D 4 G 6

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Steve, Boris and Will in the game along with Jason and Steph. Any points from those three right now will be really great. Boris had a great chance but was blocked at the rim. That's a dunk in the SoCon.

Jason for three. Jason for two. And then he gets hit with a piss-poor blocking call.

Barr replaces Archambault after a Will airball and Davidson gets Sander back in. Richards playing out of his mind right now.

Thomas fighting and fighting and fighting with Hibbert and Hibbert gets called for the offensive foul. That's two on him and he's on the bench. A Curry three goes to the bottom of the net and finds a way back out. Wow.

Davidson is playing really hard and well right now. Sander with a tip in and takes a charge. JTIII is beside himself as the refs aren't letting the Georgetown bigs get away with too much.

Two rounds in and the Wildcats are right there. Curry hasn't scored a point yet.

11:32 D 13 G 14

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Georgetown cheerleaders on the court during the media timeout and they left a sign on the court. The refs gave it to Davidson's cheerleaders who are happy with their prize.

Patrick Ewing with a monster dunk on Curry and then he pushes Richards to the deck on the back end of a fast break. Refs having a word with him, but Georgetown is flexing their muscles as Davidson can't get a shot off.

Curry pumps a three and tries to get to the hole but no dice there either. And a couple more fouls piling up on Davidson's bigs off the ball. Thankfully, Gtown can't shoot free throws.

Curry with a real tough shot from the baseline and he's on the board. Steve takes a charge and the Hoyas didn't do their scouting report. Davidson doesn't block you...they take charges when you are out of control. Good work, John Thompson numero tres. Good work.

Ticky tack fouls on both ends as Meno gets tagged with an off the ball o-foul. But J-Rich penetrates and draws one of his own.

The arena has a piss-poor scoreboard and they only ever show points and fouls once every fifteen minutes and they usually aren't updated. Sorry about the lack of accuracy on both teams' foul situations.

Alright, here we go. Two fouls on Sander and Lovedale and two fouls on Hibbert, Summers and Ewing.

7:58 D 15 G 22

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Richards with nine points after two big free throws. Davidson has won that battle so far from the line.

Georgetown missing gimmes but Davidson can't elevate to get the defensive rebounds with Lovedale on the bench.

Archambault can't find it. Man I wish that he would, but he misses two straight threes right off the back iron. They looked pretty decent coming off of his hand, but every wasted offensive possession is very painful at this point as Georgetown as playing at the rim like they should on their side of the ball.

Sander back in and he gets a huge layup and free throw. With him and Lovedale in there, Davidson is a different team on offense and defense. The fouls piling up on both teams now which is advantage to Davidson and their better free throw shooting.

This game has a lot of the same story line as Friday. Davidson looks outmatched, trails most of the half and needs Richards to keep the offense up while Curry can't get it going (this time because of fouls).

Georgetown getting easy layups at this point while Davidson is rotating like mad and trying to draw more and more fouls on the Hoyas. Curry finally back in. He's got to do something offensively to keep the pressure on and keep the crowd from dozing off.

Buckets...buckets...buckets for Georgetown at the front of the rim. And McKillop calls a timeout.

3:45 D 23 G 34

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Curry off again after getting beat up on the perimeter. And Freeman hits a dagger three to make the deficit fourteen.

You have to wonder if all of those dagger three-pointers were exhausted on Friday because Davidson can't get anything to fall right now. As I watched Duke fall to West Virginia yesterday as every Nelson three-pointer rimmed out, I got that feeling that Davidson might look like that tomorrow. Too many threes start rimming out and you lose a lot of your gumption. If Davidson can keep this around 10 at the break, they might be able to use the Hoyas' foul trouble against them if it's close at the end.

Cats need a big defensive stop and they get it as the Hoyas travel with the shot clock winding down. 2 big minutes here...Wildcats need that mojo going into the locker room.

Don't get it there as Jason dribbles around the perimeter and throws up an air ball as the shot clock expires. You can't waste that capital that we built on Friday by flopping now.

Here we go. Curry with a simple screen three, offensive foul on Georgetown and Davidson gets the last shot of the half down 11. Will had the three, but lined drived it. Man...the Wildcats needed him so badly today and he doesn't deliver on three huge missed three-pointers.

Curry finished with five points in the half while Richards had 12 points (including 7-8 from the free throw line). Sapp and Macklin split up the scoring for Georgetown with eight apiece while Hibbert and Ewing both had two.

Wildcat fans can on the one hand consider themselves lucky to be down only 11 with Curry only scoring five, but then again the Hoyas had Hibbert on the bench and their defense was stupendous on Curry throughout the moments that he was in the game. Can't reiterate how key Archambault's three would have been there at the end. Such a tough break and season for him. I hope that he gets one more chance here in the second half and delivers.

Halftime D 27 G 38

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As I turn in my seat to look at all of those familiar faces in red, I see so many things. If I were but a better writer, I could describe all of those things exactly and fully in words. But all I can write is that there is no remorse now...and yet there is no submission to the fate that all of the Carolina fans have seen and recognized and since gone to the concession stand for a hot dog.

Georgetown scores and Curry's first three is short. Wallace's three is dead on and the lead is back to 16. Sobering seriousness.

But hope remains where hearts are large. Richards keeps taking it to the whole. Curry draws a charge. The Hoyas are hitting threes unemotionally and not caring about rebounds any more. They already have their Detroit hotels picked out. Davidson has more heart than that. But the shots won't fall.

Don't give up. Don't give up. Show the world your hearts, boys.

The Hoyas are playing sloppy, poor basketball. But Davidson can't get the shots to fall.

Richards is knocked to the deck with no foul at the end of the shot clock. It wasn't a bad call because they had all ball, but you want to cry foul. It seems wrong not to.

15:38 D 32 G 46

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There is something so musical about Steph's grandmother's pleas to her grandson. "Cmon baby, let's get it together."

Curry for three and he is fouled. Heart has to translate into points now. At the half, I said Steph needed to score 40 this half for Davidson to win. Derek Smith said he would need four point shots to do that. There's one.

A Gtown turnover leads the RBC Center cameras to pan on a silent Patrick Ewing in the stands. Wildcats down 11.

Two missed free throws and J-Rich gets a chance for a three. Lots of anticipation but it rims out. Davidson gets it back on a turnover and they need to get it under 10. Shots won't fall. Shots won't fall. But Davidson keeps getting the ball back.

There it is...Sander with a trash layup and the Carolina fans are into it.

But Gtown responds and Lovedale misses a jumper. So many chances...they were all over the place on that last possession. But now there's only 11:37 left and Davidson can't get the shots to fall. Get the dagger...get it.

As we go into the media timeout, JTIII almost gets a tech as he goes after the ref and the arena moans and screams with disapproval. A bench warning is all that is assessed.

11:37 D 39 G 50

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The threes aren't falling but Davidson is finding room inside. Richards with a layup then Lovedale. Pressure is on the Hoyas and the UNC fans are into it. Offensive foul and the Wildcats are translating it. Translate that heart into production. Davidson in the bonus now.

Curry can't make it fall. Too many misses. Davidson's defense has shut them down but the threes won't fall.

GOT IT!!!

Screw media decorum because I just pumped my fist on that one right in front of me. I want to go to Detroit. Four point game.

If only that would have come a few attempts ago, Davidson would have the lead. Either way, they have the crowd and the Hoyas feel really small right now.

9:18 D 46 G 50

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Hibbert can't pull down an offensive rebound and Steph finds Lovedale on the other end to cut it to two. Georgetown scores and Davidson needs a big shot going into the media timeout. J-Rich does it by drawing the foul.

Sweet Caroline and the band and students are ready. Georgetown fans sit on their hands and can do nothing but watch. Dell Curry and Lefty Driesell watch with half-smiles.

Richards with two huge free throws out of the break and it's a two-point game again. This place is loud.

Curry is fouled on a three-point pump fake and he throws it up anyway. It comes close to going in but they only give him two free throws. Two point game again.

Sander picks up foul number four on a loose ball and they keep him in there. Sapp hits a huge three for Georgetown. But CURRY ANSWERS! He's only got 17 points and the Cats are only down 2?!? Wow.

Timeout Georgetown.

6:22 D 55 G 57

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Huge defensive stop for Davidson and Max gets fouled off the ball. Davidson in the double bonus. And Mad Max ties the game at 57.

OOoohh...so close to a charge but they call a blocking foul on Stephen Curry. Game for the ages right here folks.

Missed the second free throw...and Curry on a backdoor cut, hits the layup and GETS FOULED! The entire blue ocean across from me rises in unison. That's a North Carolina boy right there. And this state is red and black right now. Davidson with a two point lead.

But Curry picks up his fourth foul reaching in. Can't take him out now, but Georgetown knows where to attack.

Curry all the way to the hole. THEY CAN'T STOP YOU!

Watch out Stephen! as he almost fouls a three-point attempt. Davidson ball...up two.

STEPHEN CURRY!!!!! For three!!!

Five point Davidson lead.

2:41 D 65 G 60

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Max forces a Gtown timeout out of the last timeout and I think that we still have a media timeout left. Hearts of Lions!

Georgetown finally gets it in but Thomas Sander picks up his fifth foul. "Give him one more game, Cats!" yells a fan behind me. What a career and what a game with an injured thumb. Gutsiest performance I have ever seen.

And now the Carolina fans boo the Georgetown cheerleaders. I wouldn't go that far. But OK...I'll take it.

Hibbert at the line and he misses the front end. Davidson ball. Those 2 and a half minutes seem like an eternity.

Curry gets his shot blocked but Lovedale picks it up and puts it in.

Georgetown hits a huge three and Davidson needs to score again. And they do as Richards' layup is goal-tended. One more stop.....

Can't get it. Need another basket. One minute.

Max misses a three and Georgetown gets the dunk.

25 sec D 69 G 67

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Georgetown has to foul and Curry is on the line. Have to hit your free throws bud. And have to get one defensive stop.

First one is up...and good. Second one is up...good. Sonya pumps her fists. Need a stop.

Curry gets the ball...gets fouled. And this place is electric.

First is good. Five point lead. Second one is good. 6 points.

But Georgetown hits a big three.

Curry back on the line and it is a little bit quieter. Three point lead with nine seconds.

"You can do it baby" yells the duo of grandmothers.

Oooohhhh...he misses the first. But he gets the second and Lovedale pulls down the rebound

Davidson is going to the SWEET SIXTEEN!!!!

How sweet it is.

Final D 74 G 70

2 comments:

Claire said...

OH MY GOD.

WB said...

I don't know what to say. I'm just in shock. I'm so happy I can't even process what just happened.