Sunday, March 23, 2008


Instant Analysis: Curry leads Davidson upset ... again
By Heather Dinich

RALEIGH, N.C. -- With a little March magic and a little guard named Stephen Curry, Davidson knocked off Georgetown.

Curry did it again. After being shut down in the first half, he hit his hot streak in the second and his 30 points propelled 10th-seeded Davidson into the Sweet 16 with a 74-70 win over Georgetown. The Wildcats overcame foul trouble and a poor first-half shooting performance with gritty defense and another spectacular comeback by Curry. Thomas Sander, who fouled out, and Andrew Lovedale took turns guarding 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert. They also won the game by making free throws down the stretch.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Curry. He scored 25 points in 14 minutes -- all in the second half, of course. Oh, and he was playing with four fouls. Curry sank 5 of 6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the deal for the Wildcats. Don't forget his assists, either. He found Lovedale at the right times.

STAT OF THE GAME: 16 -- number of minutes Hibbert played. Three players -- including Roy Hibbert, Curry and Sander -- all played long stretches with four fouls.

STAT OF THE GAME II: 10 of 11 -- free throws made by Davidson in the final 7:13. Eight of those attempts were by Curry.

TURNING POINT: Hibbert picked up his fourth foul at the 11:37 mark in the second half after getting tangled up with Sander under the basket. The call elicited an angry roar from Hoya fans, and Hibbert returned to the bench. Meanwhile, Davidson was working on cutting a 17-point deficit, and the momentum in the arena shifted.

TURNING POINT II: After trailing by as many as 17 and getting flat-out outplayed for most of the game, Davidson finally turned it on. Trailing 50-39, the Cats scored nine unanswered points and the Carolina crowd roared. During that stretch, Curry made an impressive cross-court assist to Lovedale and then scored the next basket on his own -- a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to four.

WHAT IT MEANS: Davidson is making its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1969, when Lefty Driesell led the Wildcats to the East Regional finals before falling to North Carolina. This time, they'll face Wisconsin.

First-half analysis: G'town 38, Davidson 27

TURNING POINT: Austin Freeman's 3-pointer with 3:07 remaining capped a 7-0 Georgetown run that put the Hoyas ahead 37-23, then their largest lead of the game. Davidson made just one field goal in the final 6 minutes.

PLAYER OF THE HALF: If you're wondering what happened to Stephen Curry, ask Jeremiah Rivers. He's been hiding him. Rivers obviously wasn't the only defender covering Curry, but he was the best. Even when Curry was able to scurry around a screen or get away from Rivers for a fleeting moment, the Wildcat ran into another Hoya defender.

STAT OF THE HALF: 5: the number of minutes played by Georgetown center Roy Hibbert, who picked up two quick fouls.

STAT OF THE HALF II: 5: the number of points scored by Curry, who is averaging 25.5 points per game this season. Maybe he's a second-half kinda guy.

TIME IN: Georgetown coach John Thompson III's request for a timeout around the four-minute mark went ignored. No matter. Vernon Macklin's hook shot made up for it and gave the Hoyas a 34-23 lead -- and finally a timeout.

MACK MAN: Hoya fans knew to cheer for Macklin's free throws. After all, he came into the game having made just 8 of 40 this season. He made 4 of 6 in the first half.

FREQUENT FOULERS: Forward Andrew Lovedale picked up two quick fouls in the first 3:03 of the game -- not a good start for one of the few players on Davidson's roster that could help counter Georgetown's size. Speaking of size … Hibbert, the Hoyas' 7-foot-2 center was also charged with two early fouls and took a seat after his second with less than 13 minutes still to play. By the halftime break, a total of eight players already had two fouls -- Curry included.

CURRY COUNT: Curry, who scored 30 of his 40 points in the second half against Gonzaga on Friday, started the game 0 of 4 from the field and didn't get much more production beyond that. He shot 2-for-8 in the half, including just 1 of 5 from 3-point range.

DOWN IN FRONT: Early in the first half, the Georgetown bench got a verbal warning from one of the officials to get back in its collective box. "Guys sit," said official Paul Janssen. "Sit down down here, please!"

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