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Davidson 5-0 in Janaury after 83-73 takedown of St. Bonaventure
5-1 start in A-10 is best since joining league
Published Friday, January 19, 2018 10:00 pm
by Herbert L. White

DAVIDSON – Davidson’s Wildcats are unbeatable in January.

The Wildcats won their fifth straight game – all this month – and ran their Atlantic 10 record to 5-1 with an 83-73 win Friday against St. Bonaventure at Belk Arena, their best opening stretch since new joining the league in 2014. Their success has a starting point – a second-half rally in a 54-51 win against Saint Louis in which Davidson (10-7) grew emotionally.

“It started with the first half against Saint Louis with our backs against the wall,” Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. “This was a team that really almost knocked us out the first half and we were scratching, wondering. We came out the second half and it’s been tremendous progress amongst our guys emotionally ever since that second half in Saint Louis.”

Saint Bonaventure, Davidson’s latest conquest, is 2-4 in league play but 12-6 overall with wins at Syracuse and against Maryland on a neutral floor. Beating the Bonnies, as well as the four opponents before them, didn’t come cheap. The Wildcats shot 52.8 percent against St. Bonaventure while holding the Bonnies to 29.4 percent in the second half to lead by as many as 14 points.

“Going on the road to have two decisive wins like we did at Fordham and George Mason; getting a decisive win here against George Washington” were impressive, McKillop said, “[in addition to] a hard-fought win tonight against a team that was picked to be the second-place finisher in the A-10 with two all-conference guards, one who has a chance to be player of the year in the conference.”

With every win, the Wildcats are growing in confidence, especially on defense, where they are fourth in the league in scoring average at 67.7 points per game. Offensively, Davidson is fourth at 76.1 points an outing.

“Coach tells us to definitely have confidence, but also be humble,” said Peyton Aldridge, Davidson’s leading scorer. “He does a great job of keeping us level. He doesn’t let us get too high; he doesn’t let us get too low.”

The January results are evident, but it extends beyond games. The confidence feeds upon itself, starting with pregame preparation.

“It just grows from practice,” Aldridge said. “The guys are having fun. That’s what it comes down to. Having fun in practice translates to games and after every win it continues to build. We’re winning games in different ways, and I think that’s great.”


St. Louis?
Posted on January 20, 2018

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