DAVIDSON Davidsons roll is up to a dozen.
The Wildcats ran their win streak to 12 games with a 93-87 overtime thriller against Montana in a nationally televised non-conference game at Belk Arena on Saturday. Davidson, which improved to 21-7, overcame poor shooting in the second half to seize control in overtime, knocking down 4 of 5 field-goal attempts and all eight free-throw tries to put away the visiting Grizzlies (19-6) before a near-capacity house of 4,897.
A terrific basketball game, an electric crowd, Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. Its a great experience for us at this point in the season where we get ready for the end of our conference with two very difficult games ahead of us.
Davidson mustered additional resolve in the extra session, which Montana forced on a pair of Kareem Jamar (28 points) free throws with 18.4 seconds left in regulation. The Wildcats, playing a small lineup to compensate for foul trouble, took the lead for keeps at 81-78 on reserve guard Tyler Kalinoskis 3-pointer at 4 minutes, 15 seconds to go, then leaned on timely baskets and free throws to hold off Montana.
Its definitely different with no bigs out there, said Kalinoski, who scored half of his 10 points in overtime. It makes us talk a lot more because we have to do a lot of switching and it shows a lot about our team, how we fight and when we have adversity we can still fight through it.
Montana gave Davidson much to fight over with Jamar scoring 16 points in the second half to lead the Grizzlies comeback from a 10-point, first-half deficit. Andy Martin pushed Montana ahead for the first time on a 3-point play at 13:30, but Montana never led by more than three. Jordan Gregory added 12 points for Montana and Will Cherry pitched in 11.
We started to stagnate, then we found that energy again, said Davidson forward Jake Cohen, who scored 25 of his team-best 28 points in the first half. Im really proud of my teammates for that.
Cohen had a monster first half, hitting 9-of-12 field-goal attempts to stake the Wildcats to a 47-38 advantage. Both teams were efficient on offense, with Montana connecting on 66.7 percent (14-of-21) of its shots compared to Davidsons 54.8 (17-of-31). But the Wildcats feasted in the paint, outscoring the Grizzlies 28-14. Davidson also did a much better job of taking advantage of Montanas mistakes, converting seven turnovers into 12 points while committing but a single turnover.
My teammates did a good job of finding me, Cohen said. We had some matchups and sets we thought would work and they did. I wish I couldve kept it going in the second half but playing with foul trouble is tough.
In addition to Cohen and Kalinoski, three other Wildcats hit double figures as Davidson spread the offensive wealth. Despite an injury to his right leg, Hopewell High graduate DeMon Brooks scored 12 of his 18 points after halftime to go with a team-high eight rebounds while J.P. Kuhlman and Chris Czerapowicz added 11 each.
I was thrilled with my guys, McKillop said. We faced a lot of challenges today with the foul trouble, the injury to DeMon in the first half. I was delighted we showed the toughness to fight for the whole 45 minutes.