|Men Win SoCon Championship; Earn NCAA Bid
March 03, 2007
Contact: Joey Beeler
|Head Coach Bob McKillop holds up the net for the crowd following the victory in the title game.|
Recap | Box Score
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Freshman Stephen Curry dropped 29 points on College of Charleston in the 2007 Southern Conference Tournament championship game to lead top-seeded Davidson to a 72-65 victory over the Cougars Saturday evening at the North Charleston Coliseum. With the triumph, the Wildcats (29-4) have won 13 straight, 25 of their last 26, and get the league's automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars conclude the campaign 22-11.
Curry, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, started slowly, but drained eight of his final 14 attempts to finish 10-of-24 including four treys. The 6-1 shooting guard and SoCon Freshman of the Year ended his first conference tournament with 79 points (26.3 average) in three contests. To go along with his 18th affair scoring at least 20 points, Curry pulled down eight rebounds in 40 minutes of action.
|Freshman Stephen Curry was named the tournament MVP, scoring 79 points in the three games.|
Joining Curry in double figures was junior forward Boris Meno, who recorded his 10th career double-double with 14 points, 12 of which came after halftime, and 10 rebounds.
Davidson started the second half on a 10-4 streak with five points each from Meno and Curry as the Wildcats stretched the lead to eight, 47-39. As quick as Davidson extended the margin to the largest of the evening, Charleston answered with a 17-4 flurry to push the game back in its favor, 56-51, with under 10 minutes to play.
The Wildcats responded with five unanswered points to knot things at 56 before David Lawrence and Curry traded threes to tie (59-59) the game one final time. Meno continued to shine down on the blocks as the 6-8 native of Paris, France, broke the deadlock with a three-point play to put the Wildcats up for good.
|Junior Boris Meno put the stamp on the win with a two-hand jam in the waning seconds.|
College of Charleston closed to within 64-62 with 1:45 left, but Jason Richards' backdoor layup started a mini Wildcat spurt that was capped by a Meno jam to make it 70-63 and put the game out of reach.
Like Davidson, the Cougars placed just two in double digits with Lawrence and Jermaine Johnson contributing 13 points each. After a career-high 38 against Appalachian State in last night's second semifinal, Charleston's Dontaye Draper was held to just eight points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Despite shooting just 39 percent to College of Charleston's 56 percent in the opening 20 minutes of action, Davidson forced the Cougars into 12 first-half turnovers to lead at the break, 37-35. After starting the contest just 2-of-10 from the floor, Curry connected on four of his next five to lead all-scorers at intermission with 15 points.
Neither team led by more than five in the period as it featured four ties and four lead changes.
|Sophomore Max Paulhus Gosselin blocked this shot attempt by Charleston's Dontaye Draper.|
Following Tony White, Jr.'s third long range jumper of the period that gave Charleston a 31-26 advantage, Curry began to find his groove as he sparked an 11-4 Wildcat run with nine consecutive points.
Behind 16 offensive rebounds, the Wildcats edged College of Charleston on the glass, 37-35.
Shooting below 40 percent from the floor (37.3 percent) and three-point range (36.4 percent), Davidson forced 21 Cougar miscues and made the most of its trips to the charity stripe hitting 14-of-17 tries. Charleston finished an impressive 51.0 percent overall, but struggled at the line going 6-for-12.
Joining Curry on the all-tournament first team was Richards, who averaged 14.6 points including a pair of 20-point performances in the Wildcats' three victories.
This is the ninth SoCon Tournament title for Davidson, and the fourth under Coach Bob McKillop in his 18 years at the helm. The Wildcats will now await Selection Sunday next week to find out their seed and destination for the NCAA Tournament.
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|The Wildcats stormed the court to celebrate their victory.|