Davidson Outlasts WVU

  • December 09, 2008 10:14 PM
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By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
December 9, 2008

#22 Davidson 68, West Virginia 65
jimmy v classic
madison square garden
new york, n.y.
Davidson 36 32 68
West Virginia 29 36 65
Stat Comparison
FG Made-Att 26-61 22-66
FG Percentage 42.6% 33.3%
3P Made-Att 6-25 4-16
3P Percentage 25.0% 25.0%
FT Made-Att 10-17 17-29
FT Percentage 58.8% 58.6%
Rebounds 32 58
Turnovers 12 17
Top WVU Players
Top Scorer
Top Rebounder
Da'Sean Butler
24 Points
Devin Ebanks
17 Rebounds

Stephen Curry showed why he is the best guard in college basketball Tuesday night against West Virginia in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Curry overcame a poor shooting night by making shots when they counted most, scoring 27 points on 9 of 27 shooting to lead the No. 22-rated Wildcats to a 68-65 come-from-behind victory over West Virginia.

During a five-minute stretch Curry scored all 13 points for Davidson, including back-to-back 3s to turn a 62-58 West Virginia advantage into a 64-62 Wildcat lead. Curry added two more from the free throw line after Wellington Smith was called for his fourth foul with 18 seconds left.

“The kid makes two incredible shots to beat us,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “I don’t care who you are, those are hard shots. He didn’t shoot the ball that well. We guarded him and we bothered him. For him to step up and make those shots at the end of the game … he’s a great player.”

Smith’s fifth foul led to another Wildcat point at the free throw line by Stephen Rossiter.

John Flowers made a twisting 3 from the corner with 3.8 seconds left to pull West Virginia to within two, 67-65. Bryant Barr was fouled on the inbound pass and converted the first of two free throws; his missed second free throw try gave the Mountaineers a desperation attempt from half court to tie the game that Devin Ebanks missed off the top of the glass.

Davidson led West Virginia 36-29 at halftime.

“I was upset with them at halftime because it was every man for himself,” Huggins said. “We didn’t pass the ball, we didn’t reverse the ball; we turned the ball over because we constantly took it into the teeth of their defense. When we swung the ball we got good things.”

Davidson (7-1) was playing without starting point guard Max Paulhus Gosselin, serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from last Saturday’s N.C. State game for a flagrant foul, but it was West Virginia that was severely undermanned. Alex Ruoff was a late scratch with back spasms and Joe Mazzulla tried to go after missing the Cleveland State game with a shoulder injury sustained at Mississippi. But Mazzulla played just six minutes before giving way to Truck Bryant.

For most of the second half the Mountaineers played with three freshmen – Bryant, Ebanks and Kevin Jones - and eventually were able to overcome an 11-point Davidson lead when Da’Sean Butler made a pair of free throws to make it 52-51.

West Virginia relied solely on Butler in the second half for offense and the junior finished with a career high 24 points to go with 14 rebounds. Devin Ebanks came off the bench to score 13 points and grab 17 rebounds, while Cam Thoroughman pulled down eight rebounds to help the Mountaineers to a 58-32 advantage on the glass. Twenty five of those rebounds came on the offensive end.

“It was a monumental effort for our guys to rebound the basketball particularly when they’re standing in the lane because they’re not guarding half of our team,” Huggins said. “I’ve got no problem with our effort.”

West Virginia’s problems were on offense, especially with Ruoff and Mazzulla out of the lineup. Bryant added 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting but the Mountaineers shot 33.3 percent overall and committed 17 turnovers. West Virginia finished 17 of 29 from the free throw line after beginning the game 4 of 14.

“We hurt ourselves in the first half. We missed 10 free throws, we don’t get back on defense and we turn it over 13 times,” Huggins said. “The reality is we haven’t shot the ball well all year.”

Andrew Loevedale came off the bench to score 15 points for the Wildcats.

West Virginia (6-2) is in the midst of a brutal 14-day stretch that has seen the Mountaineers play six games in five different cities and three different time zones – Las Vegas, Mississippi and New York.

West Virginia has another difficult assignment on the road this Saturday traveling to Pittsburgh to face Duquesne in a non-conference road game at the A.J. Palumbo Center. The Dukes are 4-2 with a game coming up tomorrow night against Radford.

“I told our guys that we have to get by Saturday and then we have a week so maybe we can get these guys healed up,” Huggins said.

“Hopefully this makes us better and hopefully they’re not lying when they tell us to go play people,” Huggins said. “That’s what they tell you.”

There is no live television for the Duquesne game.