Monday, January 21, 2008

Not According to the Script

By: Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball at Western Carolina


Writing a column is different than writing a game story. Sometimes you have a certain angle in mind; sometimes you have to wait and see. Tonight’s match up at Western Carolina was a little bit of both.

Coming into the game, I had a couple of ideas for tonight’s post. I thought about writing about how both
Andrew Lovedale and Boris Meno have been playing extremely well since the lineup change. Problem was, neither was playing extremely well.

What if I write about ‘X?,’ I asked Davidson SID Marc Gignac. Seconds later, it was apparent that wasn’t going to work either. Why don’t you not say anything more, he suggested.

Point is, sometimes things don’t go as scripted. And I’m just guessing, but the first 10 minutes of this one probably didn’t go as the Davidson bench would have scripted.

On one end of the court,
Stephen (“Do you need me for an interview?”) Curry was 2-of-8. But he wasn’t the only Wildcat whose shots weren’t falling; Davidson was 6-22 at the eight-minute media timeout.

On the other end, some serious defense was keeping the ‘Cats in the game. With six steals in the first half – four for Steph – and plenty of things that don’t show up on the box score or in the play-by-play, Davidson was playing with serious hustle. Leading the way once more is
Max, he of the three names, Paulhus Gosselin.

“I’ve had this role for a while now,” Max said of his anointing as Davidson’s go-to defensive stopper. “We have a great scorer in Steph, and a great point guard in Jason. Thomas cements the paint, so I just do what is needed for the team.”

Hustle is a necessary part of the game. Every team needs a selfless player on the court. and Max is nothing if not selfless. But you can’t measure hustle.

“Creating turnovers for runouts and winning games,” Max says after another in-your-face defensive effort that was nearly in mine at one point. “Seriously, winning games is my favorite part of playing defense.” Touché, Max. That’s a pretty good way to measure hustle.

And eventually the shots started falling. When you are shooting a combined 47% on the season, it’s bound to happen, and by the end of the half, this one was all but in the books. SteF-in had gotten hot, as he is fond of doing, and finished the half with 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Backcourt mate Jason Richards chipped in 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting, and Davidson was up 42-23.

From there, the most exciting thing – besides the final score, 82-67 - was the three-point T-shirts courtesy of Zaxby’s and the Catamount mascot that kept visiting the table (mascots, in general, freak me out).

Though, I heard that there was a kid for the halftime entertainment that won $10,000 after making all those crazy shots in 25 seconds, but I was on the hunt for a Diet Coke. Sometimes, you just can’t script it.

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