College Basketball

Davidson Wildcats look to keep momentum going against North Carolina Tar Heels

Davidson head coach Bob McKillop confers during the second half with junior point guard Jack Gibbs (12) during Tuesday’s game against the Charlotte 49ers at Halton Arena. Gibbs finished with a game- and career-high 41 points as Davidson won 109-74.
Davidson head coach Bob McKillop confers during the second half with junior point guard Jack Gibbs (12) during Tuesday’s game against the Charlotte 49ers at Halton Arena. Gibbs finished with a game- and career-high 41 points as Davidson won 109-74. Tim Cowie

After starting the season with four humdrum victories, Davidson finally put together a complete game in a blow-out victory against the Charlotte 49ers on Tuesday.

The Wildcats (5-0) will need to continue trending in that direction when they face No. 9 North Carolina (6-1) at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Smith Center.

“Even if we weren’t playing North Carolina, it’s been a one step at a time, individual game kind of thing for us,” said Wildcats guard Jack Gibbs, who scored a career-high 41 points in the 109-74 victory against the 49ers. “We made a step in the right direction (against Charlotte). Hopefully that goes into Sunday and we can play like (that). We just need to let it go and have fun.”

The Wildcats, off to their best start since the 1968 season, were less than impressive in season-opening victories against Central Florida, College of Charleston, Mercer and Division III Denison (Ohio).

A team that relies extensively on a free-flowing offense and sharp outside shooting, the Wildcats were making just 31.7 percent of their 3-point shots entering the 49ers game.

Davidson solved that problem against Charlotte, going 15 of 29 from beyond the arc.

“Last year, we did a great job playing free with no expectations,” senior guard Brian Sullivan said of the Wildcats’ first season in the Atlantic 10, when they won the league’s regular-season championship and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. “This year we let that get to us and we were (beating) teams by a certain amount. (Tuesday) was the first time it felt like fun.”

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