Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Wildcats destroy UTC
From Charlotte Observer:
Davidson's defense rattles Chattanooga into 30 turnovers
DAVIDSON - The student section chanted "That's too easy!" midway through the second half of Davidson's 87-57 win against Chattanooga on Tuesday.
The chant came after a 3-pointer by Jason Richards gave the Wildcats a 30-point lead, and at first glance, the Wildcats' win appeared to be an effortless task.
Chattanooga had 30 turnovers -- 21 in the first half -- and never led after the first minute of the game. Simple, right?
Davidson sophomores Max Paulhus Gosselin and Andrew Lovedale knew better.
The foundation for Tuesday's win came from a defensive approach that never let Chattanooga get comfortable. The Mocs tried to slow the pace, but Paulhus Gosselin and Lovedale wouldn't allow it.
They double-teamed Chattanooga point guards as soon as they received inbounds passes, and scrapped to create turnovers. Paulhus Gosselin denied one inbounds pass to create a five-second call, and Lovedale dove to scoop up a loose ball.
"I know they don't expect me to score 30 points a game," said Paulhus Gosselin, who averages five. "I just always try to bring defensive energy. Those guys knew me and Andrew were always going to be waiting for them."
The duo combined for 13 points and four steals, and forced Chattanooga into a faster pace.
That played into Davidson's hand. Led by freshman guard Stephen Curry, the Wildcats (21-4, 12-1 Southern) had more firepower than the Mocs. He had 24 points in 23 minutes, including 11 during a 15-4 opening run.
"I knew when I came here that coach (Bob) McKillop would give me free license to shoot," said Curry, who broke the freshman season scoring record with 502 points. "That gave me a lot of confidence, and I have just gone from there."
Lovedale said he didn't get his shooting license until two weeks ago. He averages four points, but his quickness and athleticism create trouble for opposing offenses.
"You get one turnover, and then you think `I can do it again,' " Lovedale said. "And then you've got three or four."
That's what happened to Chattanooga (10-15, 3-10), which trailed by as many as 40. The Mocs averaged a turnover a minute for the first 27 minutes.
• You can understand why Davidson forward Boris Meno might want to practice dunking -- he's missed more than the rest of his teammates combined. But Meno was called for a technical foul before the opening tip after dunking in warm-ups.
• Stephen Curry is considered an NBA prospect by at least one Southern Conference coach, and maybe by the referees, too. A Davidson freshman, he was permitted two steps after a foul call to complete a layup in the first half, something usually allowed only in the NBA.
• Chattanooga tried to slow Davidson in the first half by going deep into the shot clock on every possession. But the move muzzled the Mocs, who took only two shots and had eight turnovers in the first seven minutes.
• Meno and sophomore forward Andrew Lovedale must hear coach Bob McKillop in their sleep. McKillop constantly encourages them while they play defense, loud enough to be heard across the arena.
Posted by WB at 9:49 AM