DAVIDSON Saturdays regular season finale at Belk Arena was much like the rest of Davidsons home conference games a convincing and dominating Wildcats victory.
Davidson avenged its lone Southern Conference loss Saturday, topping Georgia Southern 83-48 to finish the regular season with a 14-game win streak and enter next weeks conference tournament with the No. 1 seed.
I would say that we were the aggressor from the start, and until we took control of the game, we were not on our heels, Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. They had us on our heels down there. We played backpedaling, we played on the ropes. We were in the center of the ring the entire game today.
There wasnt much drama from the start. It took the visitors more than six minutes to score, and Davidson went into halftime with a 45-19 lead tying its second-largest halftime margin of the season.
Weve grown up and matured since the lesson they taught us, McKillop said of the 70-57 loss on Jan. 14. Weve gotten better, and were playing with abandon. Were playing to win rather than playing not to lose. Thats a big transition to happen but one that has paid great dividends for us.
How the Wildcats (23-7, 17-1) thoroughly handled the Eagles (13-18, 7-11) begged the question how did Davidson lose to Georgia Southern in the first place?
Georgia Southern snapped an 11-game losing streak when it handed Davidson that road loss. Davidson had shot just 36.4 percent from the field compared to the Eagles 53 percent and failed to get to the free-throw line with the frequency with which it was accustomed.
On Saturday, the Wildcats shot 56.4 percent and sank 16 of 22 free throws in the rout of the Eagles.
Per usual, Jake Cohen and DeMon Brooks paced the Wildcats. The senior forward Cohen posted 15 points in his final contest in Belk Arena, and Brooks, the teams second leading scorer behind Cohen, led all scorers with 20 points and seven rebounds.
With 12 minutes, 52 seconds left, Cohen caught an errant elbow to his upper lip from Eric Ferguson. Cohen hit the ground immediately, bleeding profusely and left the court with a trainer. Ferguson was called for a flagrant foul. Cohen returned to the bench with just more than six minutes left but did not re-enter.
Cohens injury came on the day when he was among four seniors honored for their time at Davidson. Cohen, Clint Mann, JP Kuhlman and Nik Cochran were all awarded plaques before the game for their tenure as Wildcats.
We talked to Coach a little bit beforehand, Kuhlman said. We knew it was going to be emotional, so you have to funnel that emotion into the defensive end, and I thought we did that well.
The Wildcats get a week-long break before returning to action against the winner of the No. 8-9 match in the second round of the SoCon tournament.