DAVIDSON Coach Bob McKillop wanted his Davidson players to become battle-tested during the Wildcats’ tough nonconference schedule this season.
Yet after Wednesday’s 76-64 loss at Belk Arena to long-time foe College of Charleston, McKillop said a side effect is showing from the team’s lack of success.
“Our effort consistently has been very, very good, and it was very, very good today,” McKillop said. “But knowing how to win is our major handicap right now. When you struggle with knowing how to win, those foul shots, those layups that you make, aren’t made.
“Little things like that become infectious. Every time we had an opportunity to respond to one of their baskets, we’d miss a layup or miss a free throw.”
The Wildcats dominated the boards during the first half against the bigger Cougars (7-7), with the lead changing hands 10 times before Davidson took a 35-33 halftime lead. But College of Charleston broke away midway through the second half, leading by as many as 16 points against the Wildcats (4-10), whose fifth straight loss represents the team’s longing losing streak since the second half of the 1992-93 season.
Brian Sullivan had 13 points and Tom Droney 12 for Davidson, which will open Southern Conference play Saturday at Wofford. The former Southern Conference rival Cougars are now in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“Little stuff – missing foul shots, missing layups – stuff like that builds confidence,” Droney said. “When you convert simple things like that, it leads to playing more aggressive and more confident on defense.
“We just struggled on the defensive end; they got some easy looks and made them.”
Most of the damage was done by Charlotte Christian grad Willis Hall, who had career highs of 26 points and 21 rebounds – the team’s first 20-20 double-double since the Cougars moved to Division I in 1992.
Two-thirds of Hall’s rebounds came in the second half, as College of Charleston enjoyed a 26-11 advantage on the boards. That was a turnaround from the first half, when Davidson outrebounded the Cougars 16-13, including an 8-2 edge in offensive boards.
Still, the Wildcats kept it close, last leading at 44-43 with 13 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second half on two Droney free throws. But College of Charleston broke loose on a 19-4 run, with Adjehi Baru’s three-point play giving the Cougars a 62-48 lead with 6:06 remaining.
“When you play a challenging schedule like we have and we get knocked to the mat, sometimes you forget how to win. We’re certainly struggling with that right now.
“We have to win some games. It’s clear that we have to be successful. Being close like we were against North Carolina or Wichita State, or like we were here tonight, that’s not good enough.”
|C. OF CHAS.||Min||FG-A||FT-A||O-TR||A||PF||PT|
Percentages: FG .605, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (N. Johnson 3-5, W. Hall 1-2, Burroughs-Cook 0-1, Barry 0-1, Stitt 0-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 5 (Thomas 3, Baru, W. Hall). Turnovers: 13 (W. Hall 4, Wishon 3, Baru 2, Stitt 2, Barry, Thomas). Steals: 3 (Thomas 2, Stitt). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .390, FT .450. 3-Point Goals: 9-25, .360 (Sullivan 3-6, Belford 2-3, Kalinoski 2-4, Gibbs 1-3, Droney 1-3, McAuliffe 0-1, Czerapowicz 0-2, Brooks 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 9 (Droney 4, Brooks 2, Gibbs, Aase, Kalinoski). Steals: 4 (Czerapowicz 2, Sullivan, Droney). Technical Fouls: None.
|Coll. of Charleston||33||43||—||76|
A—3,816. Officials—Gary Maxwell, Ted Valentine, Brent Hampton.
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