Twice this past week, the Davidson men’s basketball team found itself in possession of a second-half lead over one of the Atlantic 10’s top teams.
But on both occasions, first against Richmond on Tuesday and then against Dayton Friday, the Wildcats couldn’t hold on for what would’ve been two momentum-swinging victories entering the final week of the regular season.
Instead, after blowing a 13-point lead against the Flyers (23-5, 14-2 A-10) and falling 89-82 in overtime at Belk Arena, Davidson sits at 14-13, 7-9 A-10.
Here are five takeaways from Friday’s loss:
With 45 first-half points, the Wildcats registered their highest scoring half since tallying 47 in the first against Saint Louis on Jan 8. A large factor in Friday’s first-half success was Davidson posted a 15:5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Wildcats, however, couldn’t sustain that ratio in the second half, when they committed 11 turnovers and had but two assists.
Through games played on Feb. 2, Davidson ranked 12th nationally with a 77.5 free-throw percentage. Since then, the Wildcats are shooting 65.3 percent at the line, where they went 11-for-19 against the Flyers.
Of Davidson’s eight misses from the free-throw line, three came on the front end of one-and-ones in the first half.
3-point shooting woes
The Wildcats shot a season-best 58.6 percent on 3-pointers against Fordham on Jan. 28. But after going 9-for-29 from behind the arc Friday, including 2-for-16 after halftime, Davidson’s 3-point shooting percentage sits at 30.8 over the past eight games.
For the third straight game, the Wildcats were without 6-foot-11, 240-pound junior forward Will Magarity, who suffered a concussion in the first half against George Washington on Feb. 15.
Before his concussion, Magarity had shown signs of developing into a consistent third option behind Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge, averaging 13.5 points and shooting 43.8 percent on 3-pointers in his previous four games.
Gibbs moves up the ranks
With 27 points Friday, Gibbs moved into fifth on Davidson’s career scoring list with 1,909, surpassing Brendan Winters (1,892). Derek Rucker ranks fourth with 1,952.
After recording three rebounds, Gibbs needs nine more to become the first player in school history with 1,500 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists. He needs to make 19 free throws to break Stephen Curry’s school record of 479.