Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Great Day to Be a Wildcat

By Amanda Ottaway

February 27

Well, in case you haven’t heard, today was a great day to be a Wildcat.

It was an incredible weekend for Wildcat basketball, actually – the men clinched the regular-season title with their win at Georgia Southern on Saturday. Congratulations, boys – here’s carrying the momentum to the weekend in Asheville! Go ‘Cats!!

The women lost a tough one at Chattanooga Saturday, but we recuperated and drove to Birmingham Sunday morning to prepare for tonight’s game at Samford, who beat us in Belk Arena in January. It was a low-scoring first half tonight – the score was 19-19 at the break. I’m frankly surprised all the fans didn’t leave for the lack of offensive displays! But, Samford is an insanely well-disciplined team with solid sets and fundamental defensive skills. Fittingly, then, the game eventually came down to a grinding battle of the defenses, which is good because that’s what we’d been focusing on in practice and shoot-around. We hit some huge buckets and managed to keep them at 22% shooting in the second half.

Chattanooga and Appalachian State, the other two teams in the top four, played each other tonight. Because we were on Alabama Central Time, the Chatt-App game (Eastern Time) ended before ours did. We knew all of the following going in: that if we beat Samford tonight, AND Chatt beat App, we’d win the regular season title because we beat App twice. But if App won, they’d be regular-season champs, regardless of whether or not we beat Samford. And if we let Samford beat us, we definitely wouldn’t get the title. (Hopefully you could follow that.) So both matchups were crucial games. We didn’t know the score of Chatt-App while our game was going on. At least, us players didn’t know. But with about ten seconds to go in our game, we had things in hand and Coach Kira (Mowen) turned to the bench and said, “We won!” We knew right away what that meant, and just went absolutely nuts. Turned out Chatt had beaten App. St., which put us in first place! (Some say we’re co-champions with App. Just to be diplomatic, I’ll put that in here, but as far as we’re concerned, we beat them head-to-head.)

This is the first time in school history that the Davidson women’s basketball team has won a regular-season championship. So naturally, we are some happy campers right now. We’re gonna hang a banner!!!!! Now I’m writing from the bus (what else is new?). We’ve got a long drive home and should arrive back on campus somewhere in the area of 6 A.M. – any of you readers own a private jet, for future trips, by any chance? But boy, is this the sweetest bus ride we’ve ever taken! In true social-media-generation fashion, we promptly held a postgame Facebook battle. After launching confetti all over the locker room (and spending half an hour cleaning it up), we loaded up the bus and proceeded to update all our Facebook and Twitter statuses. (Is there such a thing as a Twitter status?) We were competing to see who could get the most “likes.” You’ll have to check out the winner for yourself. :)

Tomorrow is an off day. We’re leaving for Asheville for the Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday evening after practice. We have a bye during the Friday tournament games, but we’ll be there to watch (we play the winner of Wofford vs. College of Charleston), plus it’ll be good to get a quick practice in on the court. This regular-season championship is only our first. We have a tough road ahead this weekend, but we’re confident and so excited! For now, it’s bedtime – we’ve got class tomorrow. Yikes. Gotta get some sleep. I’m about to put my computer away and squeeze onto the floor with my pillow. But you know what, we can’t even complain. Life’s pretty good right now.

Peace, love, and championship #1,

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