Davidson has learned a few things since playing its first Atlantic 10 game against Richmond two weeks ago.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Spiders learned a few things as well.
Richmond hammered Davidson early in taking an 89-63 victory Saturday night at the Robins Center, the Wildcats’ worst conference loss in Bob McKillop’s 26 seasons as coach.
Tyler Kalinoski had 20 points and Brian Sullivan added 10 for Davidson (12-4, 3-2), which struggled from start to finish against the Spiders (10-8, 3-2) in avenging a 14-point loss to the Wildcats in their A-10 opener.
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However, leading scorer Jack Gibbs – who had a career-high 32 points against Richmond two weeks ago – was held to seven points.
“We didn’t do our jobs,” Kalinoski said. “We lacked toughness throughout the whole game, physically and mentally. We just weren’t there tonight.
“We just didn’t have the intensity tonight, especially on defense. We prepared the last two days for this team, and we were prepared going into it. But we just didn’t do the things we practiced.”
The problems emerged early for Davidson, which trailed Richmond by double digits within the first five minutes, fell behind by as many as 18 points later in the first half and went down by as many as 31 points in the second half.
Richmond shot 57.4 percent from the field (31 of 54), including a season-best 14 of 31 on 3-pointers, with three players scoring 20 or more points.
By comparison, in the Spiders’ Jan. 3 loss, they shot 46.4 percent, but made only 5 of 16 3-pointers, while Davidson shot 52.9 percent and hit 9 of 25 3-pointers.
Kendall Anthony scored a game-high 25 points, hitting 8 of 13 from the field (including 7 of 11 3-pointers). T.J. Cline added 23 points on 8 of 12 shooting (including 3 of 7 3s), and Terry Allen had 21 points on 9 of 11 shooting.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats shot 40 percent (20 of 50) from the field, and actually held a 30-26 rebounding advantage against Richmond.
But Davidson also made just 6 of 22 on 3-pointers – the fewest 3s for the Wildcats this season – and committed 12 turnovers, leading to a 17-5 scoring advantage for the Spiders.
“They got us down,” McKillop said. “That invited us into making some bad decisions. We made some decisions that fed into the way their built their lead. We took some premature shots and made some careless passes, and that was in response to their defense.”
Before Saturday’s loss, the worst conference defeat Davidson had suffered under McKillop was a 22-point loss to former Southern Conference rival Wofford during the closing weeks of the 2009-2010 season.
“We prepared so well, but that’s not the way to come out of the locker room,” Kalinoski said. “In the A-10, we’re going to have tough games. We know that it’s a tough league, and we want that. So you’ve got to bring your A-game, and just didn’t have that tonight.”