DAVIDSON Through the first half of Thursdays contest against Samford, Davidson went without a 3-pointer in a half for the first time all season.
In the first three minutes of the second half, the Wildcats had already stroked three.
Davidson overcame a trying first 20 minutes against the Bulldogs with a big second half to pull off a 71-51 win at home, giving the Wildcats their fifth straight win of the season.
I thought they were great looks, they just werent falling, Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. And that happens. And the great thing was that our guys did not let that intrude upon their focus. They continued to play to win.
And when you dont shoot it very well as we did not in the first half, you sometimes get tempted to get unfocused. And we didnt. Thats a great sign.
After going into halftime with a one-point lead, the Wildcats (14-7, 9-1 SoCon) went on a 24-6 run to begin the second half. That included a 3-pointer from Nik Cochran in the first 10 seconds of the half, which was followed by two corner 3s by Chris Czerapowicz.
Davidson, which entered Thursdays contest shooting a respectable 37.5 percent from behind the arc, went 0-for-7 in the first 20 minutes.
Davidson leading scorer DeMon Brooks hit his stride at the start of the second half. The junior forward scored 17 points in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting to help Davidson widen the gap.
I just got into a zone, Brooks. When you get one or two consecutively then you get the ball rolling. The game just comes to you and the game just came to me for that stretch of time. And good timing.
Davidson led most of the first half but Samford took a 24-23 lead with a Tyler Hood jumper with 1:29 remaining. The Wildcats went into halftime with a narrow lead when JP Kulhman, who earlier in the day had been given Academic All-District honors, knocked down a 14-footer as time expired.
Allowing Davidson to stay in the game was their ability to get to the line and convert. The Wildcats, the nations top free-throw shooting team at 79.9 percent, went 9-for-10 from the line in the first half while the Bulldogs (7-14, 5-3) only got the line twice.
Samford leading scorer Tim Williams only saw four minutes of first-half action as he picked up two quick fouls and sat for the remainder of the frame. Williams averaged 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and looked to challenge Davidson forwards Brooks and Jake Cohen all night. In his place, Tyler Hood scored 10 points off the bench in the half.
Samford had a great game plan to slow the game down and make the possessions (longer), Brooks said. Coach said shots were going to fall because we missed a lot of open shots. But in the second half shots just started falling.
Brooks would finish with 22 points to lead the home team while Cohen held his own on the low block with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Davidson shot 51.7 percent in the second frame compared to the Bulldogs 40 percent. And the Wildcats went 5-for-11 from the 3-point arc in the half.
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