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Davidson wins, moves atop SoCon standings

By Bill Kiser
Correspondent

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DAVIDSON Two days after having its best game of the season, Davidson had one of its worst opening halves Saturday against Furman.

Still, the Wildcats came away with another win, beating the Paladins 65-50 at Belk Arena – and found themselves in sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference standings.

Tyler Kalinoski scored 14 points and three other players finished in double figures for Davidson (14-11, 10-1), which has now won seven straight games and 10 of its last 11.

And thanks to Samford’s 92-85 overtime win over Chattanooga on Saturday, the Wildcats now sit atop the SoCon standings, one game ahead of the Mocs (15-11, 9-2) with five conference games remaining.

“Let's be clear on this – we were not picked to win the conference,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “And from what my people tell me, even as late as last week we were not projected to be (in) the NCAA (tournament).

“The experts don't think we're that good, so I'm pleased with where we are at this point.”

Brian Sullivan added 13 points, Tom Droney 11 and Chris Czerapowicz 10 for the Wildcats, who had to overcome their own shooting problems and a bad night by leading scorer De’Mon Brooks.

Brooks, who's averaging 19.0 points per game this season, played only 18 minutes and finished with eight points – a combination of Furman's defensive pressure and foul problems.

Davidson, which made a school-record 16 of 22 3-pointers in Thursday's 109-88 win over the Bulldogs, shot just 35.5 percent (11 of 31) from the field in the first half and made just 6 of 18 3-pointers.

“We weren’t making shots nearly the way we were (against Samford),” said Sullivan, who hit three 3-pointers. “That affected our energy a little bit, but we learned from that in the second half.”

The Wildcats shot 58.8 percent (10 of 17) from the field in the second half – including 5 of 11 on 3-pointers – to extend their lead 32-23 halftime lead to as many as 18 points in the final two minutes.

“We had a lot of good shots in the first half,” said Kalinoski, who hit four 3-pointers. “But we didn't shoot very well. That led to some bad defense.

“But in the second half, once we started hitting shots, our defense started picking up and we got stops.”

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