DAVIDSON After a rough start to the 2013-2014 season, Davidson’s men’s basketball team is finally finding its rhythm and its shooting touch.
It has led to the Wildcats – a 78-66 winner over Appalachian State on Saturday – getting off to a 3-0 start in their final season in the Southern Conference.
De’Mon Brooks scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and two other players finished in double figures as Davidson (7-10) won its 16th straight conference game and 23rd out of 24 over the past two seasons.
Tyler Kalinoski added 16 points and Chris Czerapowicz 15 for the Wildcats, who shot 57.1 percent (28 of 49) and made 6 of 11 3-pointers in taking their fifth straight over the Mountaineers (4-12, 0-3).
It was Davidson's third consecutive game shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent on 3-pointers. The Wildcats had shot under 50 percent in 11 of their first 14 games, and only broke the 50-percent mark on 3-pointers once.
“The game’s slowing down, not just for me but for everybody,” Brooks said. “Everybody is playing their role really, really well. We just need to continue that going forward.”
Yet Appalachian State – which is now off to its worst start in SoCon play since the 2001-2002 season – didn't make things easy for Davidson, especially in the first half.
Behind Jay Canty (23 points), the Mountaineers hit their first five shots and 9 of 12 in the opening eight minutes, and raced out to a 21-11 lead on Tommy Spagnolo’s layup with 11:57 remaining.
“They got stops in the first half,” Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. “That's how they got that 10-point lead. They were able to get into transition.”
However, Davidson’s defense stiffened, with Appalachian State making just 3 of 13 from the field over the final 12 minutes. That allowed the Wildcats to rally for a 35-34 lead at the halftime break.
The Mountaineers would briefly take the lead at the beginning of the second half on Tevin Baskin’s layup, but Davidson would score 11 unanswered points. Kalinoski’s 3-pointer with 16:14 remaining gave the Wildcats their first double-digit lead, 46-36.
Davidson would go on to lead by as many as 15 points twice late in the half, the last at 78-61 on Tom Droney’s layup with 36.9 seconds left.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less