College Sports

Here’s what Davidson did differently against La Salle to snap its short losing streak

Davidson’s Kellan Grady (31) drives against La Salle's Miles Brookins (04) to score two of his game-high 26 points late in the second half of of Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 game at Belk Arena. The Wildcats won, 84-65.
Davidson’s Kellan Grady (31) drives against La Salle's Miles Brookins (04) to score two of his game-high 26 points late in the second half of of Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 game at Belk Arena. The Wildcats won, 84-65. DavidsonPhotos.com

Davidson didn’t let a short losing streak linger Wednesday, pounding La Salle 84-65 in an Atlantic 10 basketball game at Belk Arena.

The Wildcats (11-9, 6-3 A-10) had lost two in a row after stringing together five consecutive victories early in the conference season. Wednesday’s game against the Explorers (9-13, 3-6) was never in doubt, as the Wildcats made their first six shots and La Salle missed its first six.

The victory moved the Wildcats into a tie for second in the league with Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth. They all trail No. 22 Rhode Island, which is unbeaten in 10 conference games and 18-3 overall.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop invited guards Kellan Grady, Jon Axel Gudmundsson and forward Peyton Aldridge to his house Sunday night after the Wildcats had lost to Richmond earlier in the day. They watched film of the loss against the Spiders, but also got a message from McKillop, whose house is across the street from campus.

“They got my sense of urgency,” McKillop said. “One of our objectives at the beginning of the season was to have fun and they said they had none whatsoever against Richmond. So I told them, let’s make fun competing on every possession and trusting in each other. Mistakes will happen, but play to win.

“We were better (against La Salle) than we were before.”

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Davidson’s Jon Axel Gudmundsson (03) drives against La Salle's Tony Washington (05) late in the first half of Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 game at Belk Arena. The Wildcats won, 84-65. TIM COWIE DavidsonPhotos.com

3 who mattered

Kellan Grady: Wildcats freshman scored 26 points, making 4-of-9 from 3-point range. It was his sixth 20-plus point game. Also had a team-high six rebounds. Grady is recovering from a sprained left thumb and had it taped for the game.

Jon Axel Gudmundsson: Wildcats sophomore guard was his usual steady self, scoring 14 points, handing out nine assists, grabbing four rebounds to go along with three steals.

B.J. Johnson: La Salle’s senior forward, the A-10’s leading scorer, had 20 points and five rebounds.

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Davidson’s Peyton Aldridge (23) has the ball knocked away by La Salle’s Saul Phiri (13) early in second half of Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 basketball ga,e at Belk Arena. Aldridge finished with 16 points as Davidson won 84-65. TIM COWIE DavidsonPhotos.com

Observations

▪ La Salle coach John Giannini recently won the 500th game of his career. Heading into Wednesday’s game, Ginannini was 501-368 in 29 seasons, 14 of them at La Salle.

▪ The Wildcats play again Saturday at George Washington. The Explorers are home to Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.

▪ A moment of silence was observed pregame for former La Salle player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle, who were killed in an auto accident in California on Wednesday morning. Butler was a two-time all-Atlantic 10 player for the Explorers and was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2002.

▪ The game featured the A-10’s top two scorers. La Salle’s Johnson was averaging 21.3 points entering the game, while Davidson’s Aldridge averaged 20.2.

▪ The Wildcats took advantage of their own hot shooting and used a stingy zone defense in the first half, taking a 41-24 lead into intermission. Aldridge led Davidson with 12 points as the Wildcats hit 9-of-16 3-pointers. La Salle, in the meantime, made 8-of-25 shots, including just one 3-pointer in 11 attempts.

▪ The Bob McKillop Show can be seen on Continum cable channel 4 on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Quoting

“Every guy on the court is a quarterback for us. You need to slow down and stay in the pocket. You’d better understand you have three receivers and you might have to take a sack rather than throw an interception.” – McKillop, on Davidson decreasing its turnovers from 17 against Richmond to 11 against La Salle.

“We definitely wanted to come out starting fast.” – Aldridge, on Davidson’s 13-0 start in the game.

David Scott: @davidscott14

DAVIDSON 84, LA SALLE 65

LA SALLE (9-13): Washington 1-1 4-4 6, Deas 3-11 0-0 7, Stukes 1-3 1-2 3, Powell 1-5 0-0 2, Johnson 7-11 6-6 20, Sullivan 0-1 0-0 0, Brookins 1-1 0-0 2, Cooney 0-1 0-0 0, Phiri 0-3 0-0 0, Shuler 1-2 0-0 3, Moultrie 6-9 2-2 19, Kuhar 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 22-50 13-14 65.

DAVIDSON (11-9): Michelsen 2-4 0-0 6, Aldridge 5-13 4-4 16, Gudmundsson 6-10 3-3 17, Pritchett 1-2 2-2 5, Grady 11-18 0-0 26, Magarity 3-6 0-0 9, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Watkins 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Collins 1-3 0-0 2, Reigel 1-1 0-0 3, Freundlich 0-0 0-0 0, Wynter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 9-9 84.

Halftime—Davidson 41-24. 3-Point Goals—La Salle 8-25 (Moultrie 5-6, Kuhar 1-1, Shuler 1-2, Deas 1-4, Cooney 0-1, Sullivan 0-1, Powell 0-2, Phiri 0-3, Johnson 0-4), Davidson 15-32 (Grady 4-9, Magarity 3-3, Gudmundsson 2-4, Michelsen 2-4, Aldridge 2-6, Pritchett 1-1, Reigel 1-1, Watkins 0-1, Collins 0-1, Jones 0-1, Wynter 0-1). Fouled Out—Phiri. Rebounds—La Salle 22 (Johnson 5), Davidson 30 (Grady 6). Assists—La Salle 12 (Powell 6), Davidson 16 (Gudmundsson 9). Total Fouls—La Salle 16, Davidson 12. Technicals—La Salle coach John Giannini.

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