Sitting at the podium Wednesday night following his team’s 76-69 loss against George Mason, Davidson men’s basketball coach Bob McKillop characterized the Wildcats’ defense as on its heels for the whole game.
McKillop’s assessment not only proved true for Davidson’s defensive effort, but it also defined a night where the Wildcats (12-10, 5-6 Atlantic 10) clawed back time and time again before ultimately falling to the Patriots (16-8, 6-5) at Belk Arena.
George Mason opened the game with a 6-0 run and didn’t look back in the first half. Davidson seized a 20-19 lead at one point, but it held it for just 42 seconds before entering the locker room trailing 31-29 .
Then the Wildcats’ offense came alive. Peyton Aldridge jump-started the effort, and his personal 7-0 run midway through the second half tied the game at 51.
Aldridge handed Davidson its first lead of the second half with about 5 1/2 minutes left and helped extend it to four points. But it wasn’t enough, as the Patriots outscored the Wildcats 17-6 the rest of the way.
Three who mattered
Marquise Moore, George Mason: He showed why he’s one of the conference’s best players, scoring seven points and recording a steal in the final minute, 11 seconds.
Jalen Jenkins, George Mason: After scoring just four points in the first half, he tallied 19 in the second en route to a team-high 23.
Aldridge, Davidson: The junior forward gave the Wildcats some life in the second half, when he scored 18 of his game-high 24 points.
▪ Gibbs and Aldridge combined for just 10 points in the first half on 5-for-12 shooting. That total marked the duo’s lowest point total in any first half this season.
▪ Junior forward Will Magarity continues to develop into a consistent third option for Davidson. After scoring 15 points Wednesday, he is averaging 12.6 points over the past five games.
▪ Junior guard Jordan Watkins returned for the Wildcats after missing the past three games with a concussion. He failed to score, finishing 0-for-3 from behind the arc.
They said it
“I thought we did a good fairly good job in the second half. All of a sudden, there was an opening here and a crack there. … We just didn’t put the wall up like we needed to put the wall up.” – McKillop on Davidson’s second-half defense.