The Davidson Wildcats opened the game on a preposterous 3-point tear -- then kept it going in an 110-62 victory Friday against Charleston Southern in Belk Arena, the season opener for both teams.
Led by guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson and freshman guard Kellan Grady, the Wildcats opened up a 24-0 lead on the Buccaneers and scored their first nine baskets from behind the 3-point arc. The Wildcats finished with a school-record 26 3-pointers and also broke a record for 3s in a half (16). The Wildcats flirted with the NCAA single-game 3-point record of 28, set by Troy in 1994 against George Mason. The Wildcats weren’t chucking them up wildly, either, making 49.1 percent from long range.
Gudmundsson, a sophomore from Iceland, was all over the floor for the Wildcats, scoring 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting (5-of-8 3-pointers), grabbing nine rebounds, handing out eight assists and making two steals. Grady, in his first college game, scored 23 points, making 7-of-10 3 pointers. Other Wildcats joining the 3-point party included forward Oskar Michelsen (6-of-9, 18 points), forward Peyton Aldridge (4-of-9, 18 points) and guard Jordan Watkins (3-of-6, nine points).
Davidson’s first two-point basket came on a layup by Aldridge with 8 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first half, giving the Wildcats a 40-16 lead.
Davidson’s previous record of 20 3-pointers was set in 2015 at Duquesne, when the Wildcats beat the Dukes to clinch the Atlantic 10 division regular-season title in their first season in the league.
Another impressive, if not spectacular, statistic: Davidson had an assist-turnover ratio of 29-1.
Three who mattered
Gudmundsson: One of Davidson’s three point guards in the starting lineup, Gudmundsson had a near-perfect game. In addition to his scoring, his nine rebounds (all of them defensive) kick-started several Davidson breaks.
Grady: Davidson’s freshman guard got his career off to a spectacular start, scoring 23 points in 18 minutes on 7-of-10 3-point shooting. Grady made four straight 3s during one first-half stretch, three of those coming on consecutive Wildcats possessions. Grady came close to the school’s single-game record of nine 3-pointers, set by Stephen Curry twice.
Travis McConico: The lone bright spot offensively for the Buccaneers, scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds.
▪ Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh coached Queens in 2002, leading the Royals to a 21-8 record.
▪ The basket looked huge for everybody associated with Davidson. A fan made a shot from halfcourt during a timeout in the first half and won $1,000.
▪ Several anonymous donors have made a gift of $5.6 million that will endow four scholarships for the Davidson baseball team. That more than doubles the number of scholarships for the baseball program to seven, comparable to other Atlantic 10 programs. The Wildcats won last season’s A-10 title and then became one of the NCAA tournament’s surprising stories by advancing to a super regional. Members of the baseball team were presented their conference championship rings at halftime of Friday’s basketball game.
▪ Davidson forwards Nathan Ekwu and Will Magarity continue to recover from knee injuries and didn’t play.
▪ Davidson’s next game is Tuesday against UNC Wilmington at Belk Arena. Charleston Southern is at N.C. State on Sunday.
“We understand that we’re not going to come out and make 26 3s every night.” -- Aldridge.
“We found flow and rhythm and that really paid dividends.” -- Wildcats coach Bob McKillop.
David Scott: @davidscott14