College Basketball

Davidson advances after beating LaSalle in A-10 tournament

Davidson forward Peyton Aldridge (23) looks to pass around La Salle forward Tony Washington (5) during Thursday’s Atlantic 10 men's tournament game at the Barclays Center in New York.
Davidson forward Peyton Aldridge (23) looks to pass around La Salle forward Tony Washington (5) during Thursday’s Atlantic 10 men's tournament game at the Barclays Center in New York. AP

Peyton Aldridge received a pat from Davidson men’s basketball coach Bob McKillop before extending his right arm and slapping hands with his teammates as he made his way down the bench.

Just over three minutes were remaining, but Aldridge’s night was done. Only then did he finally cool off after his hot-shooting night.

Aldridge scored 27 points and Brian Sullivan added 15 to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats past 14th-seeded LaSalle 78-63 in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Barclays Center Thursday night.

Davidson (19-11) will take on third-seeded St. Bonaventure (22-7) in the quarterfinals at 9 p.m. Friday.

Three who mattered

▪ Peyton Aldridge: The versatile forward ignited the Wildcats offensively in the first half after their sluggish start, taking a breather for only one minute. He nailed 6 of 8 attempts from the floor, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to finish the half with 17 points.

▪ Brian Sullivan: Although his shot was a bit off in the second half, he hit 3 of 6 attempts from three-point range in first half that aided in propelling Davidson to a 12-point lead at the break.

▪ Nathan Ekwu: He was effective inside, recording a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Observations

▪ Jack Gibbs, the conference’s scoring leader who is averaging 24.8 points per game, never got it going and couldn’t find a consistent rhythm on offense. He went 3 for 11 from the field and 1 of 6 beyond the arc, finishing with nine points and seven assists..

▪ Rebounding has been one Bob McKillop’s biggest concerns, given the Wildcats’ lack of height. But they held their own against LaSalle, out rebounding the Explorers 41-37

▪ Davidson led for a total of 33:55, seizing control with a 14-4 run to end the first half. The Wildcats did it despite little success with their uptempo style, mustering zero fast break points.

Worth mentioning

▪ Brian Sullivan connected on a long rainbow three-pointer with 15:28 left in the first half, marking the 47th straight game he’s made a shot beyond the arc. It’s the second-longest streak in the nation behind Troy’s Wesley Person Jr.’s 59.

▪ Jordan Price scored 23 points and passed former LaSalle standout Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant, the father of Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, on the school’s all-time scoring list. Price now stands at 1,128 compared to Bryant’s 1,118.

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