GREENVILLE, S.C . Chris Czerapowicz hasn't played his best through the first half of Davidson's 2013-2014 season, and he admits that it affected his confidence.
But Czerapowicz's confidence – not to mention his stats – got a big boost Thursday, as he scored a season-high 21 points in leading the Wildcats to a 73-56 victory over Furman.
De'Mon Brooks added 18 points for Davidson (6-10, 2-0), which has now opened its Southern Conference schedule with back-to-back league wins for the third straight season.
With home games coming up against Appalachian State on Saturday and Elon next Thursday, the Wildcats are in good position to have their first 4-0 start in league play since the 2011-2012 season.
“Conference play is never going to be easy,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “But we had some big shots made by different players at different times, but Chris was sensational.”
It was just the third double-digit game of the season for the 6-foot-7 senior, who was shooting just 35.5 percent from the field (35.5 percent) and was 11 of 55 on 3-pointers (20 percent) through the Wildcats' first 15 games.
“I've just been struggling with my shots,” said Czerapowicz, who was a 43.1 percent shooter last season. “It's a little confidence thing. I've been practicing some things, but I haven't been able to find that rhythm. Tonight, they were going in.”
Against the Paladins (6-10, 0-3), however, Czerapowicz hit 6 of 9 field goal attempts, including a season-best 5 of 7 3-pointers – many coming at key moments for Davidson, who fought off two comeback attempts to lead 41-28 at the half.
The Wildcats needed Czerapowicz's shooting Thursday, as Furman – behind 21 points from Stephen Croone, the SoCon's No. 2 scorer – cut a 16-point Davidson lead in the second half down to 54-48 with 7:57 remaining.
But Czerapowicz kicked off a 19-4 run with a pair of free throws, and added a 3-pointer and a jumper as the Wildcats upped their lead to 73-53 – their biggest of the game – with 1:29 left.
“Just from looking at tonight's performance, Chris is back to his old self,” McKillop said. “He stopped worrying about missing shots, and not beating himself up.
“He's (shot well) in practice the last two days, so we've seen him turning the corner a little bit.”
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