Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From the Charlotte Observer

Wildcats dominate in easy victory
Davidson shoots 63 percent against Terriers


SPARTANBURG --Davidson unwrapped its old dominance in an 85-50 win at Wofford Saturday night.

The Wildcats (8-6, 6-0 Southern) have won 30 of their past 31 Southern Conference games , but they struggled in a 59-57 win Wednesday against Elon.

But once shooting guard Stephen Curry removed the wrap on his wrist Saturday, the Wildcats unveiled an offensive burst.

"He looked pretty good out there -- 10 for 13 good," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said about Curry's shooting.

Curry scored 26 points in 24 minutes, but the rest of the Wildcats sizzled too. Davidson hit 63 percent of its shots, scored the first 10 points of the game, and led by as many as 43 points in the second half.

That gap came because the Wildcats ran an efficient offense that started with interior passes and often ended with daggers from the outside. Davidson made its first nine shots, and never let Wofford (8-7, 1-4) into the game.

"You could tell a difference in the first three minutes," Curry said. "We hit some shots and got defensive stops. It really gave us momentum."

Curry attacked the basket and showed an improved ability to penetrate to the basket.

"I haven't had pain in (my wrist) for more than a month, and I practiced without (the wrap) for the last few days," Curry said. "It took a little time to get the feel back, but it feels really good to have it off now."

Curry had help from reserve Will Archambault, who scored 15 points, primarily on drives to the basket. Davidson pounded the ball inside against the smaller Terriers, making 26 of 37 two-point shots (70 percent).

The Wildcats also hit 10 3-pointers against Wofford, which played Davidson close the last three meetings. Davidson faces another road game Wednesday at Furman, which has only two wins this season. After that, Davidson hosts Chattanooga, which is also undefeated in conference play.

McKillop talked about making improvements after Saturday's game, because the Wildcats got sloppy in the second half. But there was little else to quibble about after Davidson's overpowering win.

"That's what we are always trying to do," forward Andrew Lovedale said. "We try to make the other team surrender. We did a good job of that tonight."
• Davidson point guard Jason Richards leads the nation in assists, but that success isn't just because of his ability to pass the ball on the fast break. Richards has a deft ability to lob entry passes to post players inside, which set up easy layups.
• Davidson guard Stephen Curry struggled from the field on Wednesday, but he got going after getting unwrapped Saturday. Curry had been wearing a wrap on his left wrist all season, but he took it off before the game. He scored 12 points during the first 11 minutes to help Davidson jump to a 28-8 lead.
• Davidson hasn't lost since Andrew Lovedale entered the starting lineup after the new year. That's not because Lovedale has put up big offensive numbers, but because the Wildcats have looked for more inside shots with him in the lineup. That showed Saturday -- Davidson hit its first nine shots but only two were 3-pointers.
• Saturday's halftime featured the Wofford tennis team hitting volleys across a makeshift net. Not exactly a high-flying spectacle to get the crowd going.

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