Saturday, January 26, 2008

This Day in Davidson Athletics

By: Lauren Biggers
Swimming vs. UNC Wilmington, Campbell
Women's Basketball vs. Wofford
Men's Basketball at The Brickhouse


Instead of making the trip to Charleston, I spent Saturday afternoon taking in Davidson athletics locally.

After my (bi? tri?) weekly trip to Panera, I headed into the office. Down the hall at the pool, the swim team was getting ready for their final home meet of the season, preparing to host the
UNC Wilmington Seahawks and Campbell Camels. (There must be a camels and water joke in there somewhere…)

If you’ve never been to a swim meet, you should. Not necessarily spectator-friendly, there’s something to be said for a sport in which the athletes engage in back-and-forth coordinated cheers with the opposition. No, this is not your local Y.

Saturday was senior day at Cannon, and the team honored seniors
Kirsten Allen, Leslie Sherrill, Maddie Stough, Robb and Will Broughton, Fiete Stegger and Adam Topaz before the meet. The Four Coursemen sang the anthem, and the show was underway. I got to see the Wildcat men win the 200 medley relay (fun), but had to hit the court for the women’s basketball match up with Wofford before the Wildcat women’s dramatic win in the 400 free relay (too bad) to take the meet. (To see the swimmers for yourself, take in the first annual Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships at the Huntersville Aquatic Center on Feb. 21, 22 and 23.)

A couple days later, I don’t remember much about the women’s basketball game. I remember that they won,
70-58, over Wofford. That things were close for a while in the first half, not so much in the second. But I do remember Mercedes Robinson.

The junior from Mansfield, Texas, was outstanding on Saturday, netting 15 boards and 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, to go along with a pair of blocks and three steals in 38 minutes. For a while it seemed every time the ball was in the air, it ended up in Mercedes’ hands, prompting women’s basketball SID Gavin McFarlin to question aloud his own stat keeping abilities. Consistently good, on Saturday, Mercedes was great. (See for yourself on Tuesday, when the women hoopsters host SoCon rival Furman at 7 p.m.)

For the nightcap, I headed over to the Brickhouse to watch the men’s team battle the College of Charleston on the big screen. I’m sure the sold-out atmosphere at Kresse Arena was pretty good, but the Brickhouse was equally at capacity.

At the town’s local “Cheers,” it’s not hard to run into someone you know, and Saturday night was no exception. With nary a bar stool in sight, I was fortunate to happen upon women’s assistant soccer coach
Winnie Corrigan and her crew of Bill, of davidsoncats.com fame, and Mark, the former swimmer, who keeps score at swim meets in his head. (Thanks for the table guys!)

Everyone settled in, the crowd turned its attention to the game at hand, which was, unfortunately, not Davidson vs. CofC. In the meantime, some very dedicated fans kept us updated via Satellite radio from the car, as did text messages from courtside.

(As expected?) the ‘Cats went on for the
easy 70-58 win, despite just 16 points from Stephen (16 points is an off-night) Curry. (It’s just not a blog without SteF-in, right?) Didn’t matter becauseThomas Sander and Andrew LOVE-dale were eating the Cougars alive in the paint. Neither particularly flashy, the big boys put on a dazzling display, and the Bhouse crowd loved it.

From the start, LOVE-dale was our anointed crowd favorite, and the “Big Cat” lived up to his hype, finishing with 10 points and seven boards. “The Winnster” did everything in her power to get the crowd to buy into a “Big Cat” cheer, and she had lots of opportunities. (All together now… make hands into claws. Hold in air. Scream, the ‘Big Cat!’ Now you’ve got it. Use it.) Winnie also tried a round of “Sweet Caroline” at the eight-minute media timeout, but alas, we were the only interested parties, and as it turns out, we don’t know the words.

All in all, it was a good day in Davidson athletics from start to finish. And with another win in the bag, I closed my tab and went home. Eventually.

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