After closely playing national powers North Carolina and Kansas during the past two games, Davidson men’s basketball coach Bob McKillop knew expectations could “become a demon” entering Wednesday’s game against Jacksonville.
That demon haunted the Wildcats at times against the Dolphins, but a strong second-half performance helped Davidson overcome both en route to a 75-60 win in its first game at John M. Belk Arena in almost a month.
After going 6-for-14 on 3-pointers and entering halftime tied at 32, Jacksonville (9-5) continued its brigade from behind the arc, as guard Darien Fernandez made his first two 3-point attempts to open the second half.
Davidson (6-4) needed a spark. The trio of Peyton Aldridge, Jack Gibbs and Jon Axel Gudmundsson helped provide it.
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Trailing 38-32, a layup by Aldridge ignited a 21-2 run, during which the Wildcats went 4-for-4 from behind the arc and started creating havoc on the defensive end.
The run helped provide enough cushion for Davidson, which rebounded from a poor shooting performance in the first half to shoot 57.7 percent in the second and secure the win.
Three who mattered
Aldridge: Davidson’s junior forward scored a game-best 29 points, with 11-for-15 shooting. He also added nine rebounds and five assists.
Gibbs: After going 2-for-7 on 3-pointers in the first half, Davidson’s senior guard made all four of his attempts from behind the arc in the second half. He finished with 22 points.
Gudmundsson: The freshman guard was crucial during the Wildcats’ second-half run, when he scored all 10 of his points.
▪ The Dolphins received a major boost from their reserves throughout the night, as they outscored the Wildcats’ reserves 30-8.
▪ Both teams finished with 10 offensive rebounds, but Davidson held a 14-0 edge on second-chance points.
▪ Jacksonville shot 44.4 percent from the field during the first half. Although the Dolphins shot 46.2 percent on 3-pointers during the second, they shot 29 percent from the field after making just three shots inside the arc.
▪ Aldridge’s 3-pointer with 14 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first half gave him 1,001 career points. He’s the 49th player in Davidson history to surpass the 1,000-point threshold.
▪ The Davidson women’s basketball team fell to Charlotte 93-79 Wednesday night at Halton Arena. Ciara Gregory, the 49ers’ senior guard, tied the single-game Halton Arena scoring record with a career-best 35 points.
They said it
“We found we could never pull away from them in the first half, and then all of a sudden we played not to lose rather than play to win.” – McKillop, on the difference between his team in the first and the second.
“At halftime, (McKillop) talked to me and told me to be more aggressive. I just came out determined to be more aggressive and help my teammates, and that’s what I did.” – Gudmundsson, on his second-half play.