Sporting a brace around his left shoulder from a preseason injury and a facemask after breaking his nose this month, Davidson senior Jack Gibbs has been dealt his bumps and bruises.
But as he’s done all season, Gibbs persevered Tuesday night, overcoming the emotions of his final game at Belk Arena and scoring a game-best 29 points in a 68-63 victory against St. Bonaventure.
Despite leading by as many as 14 points in the first half, Davidson (15-13, 8-9 Atlantic 10) entered halftime up 29-26. The Bonnies (18-11, 10-7) didn’t go away in the second half, either.
So often this season, Davidson has seen second-half leads evaporate. Entering Tuesday, nine of their 13 losses, including seven in A-10 play, had come when the Wildcats held a second-half lead.
Gibbs wouldn’t let there be another.
Time after time in the second half, Gibbs helped the Wildcats stave off Saint Bonaventure’s comeback attempts. He ultimately scored 17 points in the half, and his two free throws with 11 seconds left gave the Wildcats enough of a cushion to secure the win.
Three who mattered
Gibbs, Davidson: He recorded his 17th game with at least 20 points this season.
Peyton Aldridge, Davidson: Despite scoring just 11 points, he made some crucial plays down the stretch.
Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure: He led the Bonnies with 16 points, but he also committed six turnovers.
▪ During a pregame ceremony, Davidson honored seniors Manu Giamoukis, Gibbs, Andrew McAuliffe, Connor Perkey and Michael Sterenberg (student manager). All four players started the game.
▪ St. Bonaventure went 14-for-24 (58.3 percent) at the free-throw line.
▪ Redshirt junior forward Will Magarity returned for Davidson after missing the past three games with a concussion. He fouled out with four minutes left, having recorded two points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
▪ Gibbs needs six rebounds to become the first player in school history with 1,500 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
They said it
“It feels great. We’ve played a lot of games here. It went faster than you’d expect. It’s always nice to get a conference win, especially when it’s your last home game ever. It’s a pretty special way to go out.” – Gibbs.