Saturday, January 12, 2008

Without Drama

By: Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball at Wofford


Back by popular demand – well, my mom and (most of) the guys in the office liked my mindless commentary at least - I decided to make a second straight road trip.
Will’s World was kind enough to air my thoughts again, but in keepin up with the trends we are launching our very own blog here at davidsonwildcats.com. (Add a bookmark. Come back and read all about the inside world of Davidson athletics directly from staff, coaches and student-athletes.)

This time we traveled just over the border into the Palmetto State and onto the lovely campus of Wofford College. It really is lovely, and it’s certainly less hot than I remember from my Panthers training camp trip, and much quieter and all around tamer than my last visit to the home of the “Beware of Dog” sign last season. (I love that sign).

In ’07, I drew the short(er) end of the stick with a seat next to the Davidson bench on the official scorers table. From what I remembered of my trip last year, I expected a much louder atmosphere, though that expectation may have been distorted by that row of students shouting over my shoulder the entire time, mistakenly calling
Bryant Barr “J” so much that I finally turned around and clarified for them. A momentary lapse in judgment to be sure, but they did help me get connected to the wireless Internet and, well, you need friends everywhere you go.

I digress, and I just spent most of this opening writing about last year’s game, and that’s because, well this wasn’t last year’s game. Nor really, a game at all. The atmosphere wasn’t electric, the game wasn’t close, and unlike some in Davidson red, I wasn’t annoyed by the Wofford students.

The antithesis to last week’s Elon game, where nothing needed was falling for the ‘Cats, Davidson couldn’t miss out of the gates tonight, going nearly six minutes before finally missing a shot. It was the kind of game that when Wofford scored on an inbounds play to make the margin 21-7, I found myself cheering just a little. Cheering, after all isn’t allowed on press row.

It wasn’t that Wofford was slacking off or even playing that poorly, it was just one of those games that was decided right from the
Andrew Lovedale tip. At the point when Davidson finally missed a shot, Stephen (not pronounced Steven, except sometimes for fun) Curry was outscoring the Terriers 12-7 all by his lonesome.

Even the Wofford students couldn’t get up for this one, and can you blame them? At their own arena the P.A. announcer directed a security guard to take away their bullhorn, in so many words, over the loudspeaker to cheers from the Davidson contingent. Though, you can’t blame the guy, since the bullhorn was literally within an earshot. And don’t even get me started on the unnecessarily lengthy horn for timeouts. Was that guy serious? Or just as bored as the rest of us? Or afraid that Wofford wouldn’t actually come back out?

Lacking in drama from the start, expect for if the ‘Cats would get to 100 (no), the crowd pretty much kicked back for a show. For Davidson though, the memories of a close win at Elon combined with a near-miss at Wofford last season, combined for a big win on Saturday night.

“It felt really good,” said
Jason Richards, demoted, also to his amusement, to my press conference this night. “Coming down here, it’s always a battle against Wofford. We came out fired up. We learned a lot from the game against Elon. We knew we needed to get out of the starting gates early, and we got out to a big lead. It was a good win for us.”

And if it was a lackluster game, as indicated by the final score of 85-50, it certainly wasn’t for effort. Steph finished with 26 on 11-of-13 shooting with three each in rebounds and assists. Jason finished with 12 (four treys) points and was credited with six assists, though it probably should have been more.
Will, who had such a big game in this arena last season, posted another good total with 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting, while Stephen (actually pronounced Steven) Rossiter was close to a double-double with eight points and rebounds off the bench, back after an off-night at Elon.

“Obviously that builds confidence for us,” Jason said of back-to-back SoCon road wins. “Winning on the road in the conference is huge; every game in conference is hard. Furman will be really important for us; they are gonna bring it. Anytime you go on the road in the conference, we just need to come out like we did tonight against Wofford.”

Here’s hoping for a very similar result.

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