Harrison Turner ‘21 

Sports Writer

Left: Junior forward Sarah Donovan ‘21 gets past her defender and heads for the paint. Donovan has averaged 13 points per game this year. Right: Luke Brajkovic ‘22 leans into a Wake Forest defender at the Spectrum Center. Photos courtesy of Tim Cowie; Davidson Sports and Information.

The women’s basketball team has kicked off their 2019-2020 campaign with a succesful 6-3 start. The girls have been led by upperclassmen Sarah Donovan ‘21 and Katie Turner ‘21, but have also seen major contributions from freshmen Suzi-Rose Deegan ‘23 and Adelaide Fuller ‘23. Deegan has put up monster numbers as a freshman, averaging 13.7 points a game and shooting almost 45% from three. She has become a key piece of this team offensively and a sharpshooter from behind the arc. 

The ‘Cats started off the season with a big win over Georgetown at Belk Arena by a score of 66-52. After the ‘Cats suffered a tough road loss against Drexel a few days later, the team rolled off three straight wins beating UC Irvine, Missouri Kansas City, and Western Carolina. Turner and Deegan once again led the ‘Cats in all three of those wins in points, with Deegan dropping a whopping 31 points against UMKC. 

After that stretch of three straight wins, the girls had to travel to Virginia Tech and Duke back-to-back to face two of the top programs in the country. The team showed a lot of fight but fell in both contests. Donovan had a big game against the Hokies, dropping 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. The ‘Cats would go on to bounce back this past week and pull off back-to-back double digit wins against East Tennessee St. and in-state foe High Point. Once again, Donovan and Deegan dominated for the ‘Cats as Donovan filled the bucket for 20 against ETSU, and Deegan did the same against High Point. Donovan also managed to grab 20 rebounds in the win against High Point as well. 

After this hot 6-3 start, the girls will play Columbia and UNC Charlotte over the next few weeks before starting conference play in January. They will look to keep the momentum going and win some more big games this season. The sky’s the limit for a team who made the NIT tournament last year, and wants ever more post-season success going forward.

After a boatload of hype surrounding the preseason, the men’s basketball team have had an underwhelming start to the 2019-20 season. After a 3-5 start, the ‘Cats are looking to regroup and grab some wins before heading into conference play in January. The season began with bad news as KiShawn Pritchett ‘20, a centerpiece for Davidson’s teams over the past few years, underwent knee surgery and was ruled out indefinitely. 

The Wildcats traveled to Alabama to face the then-ranked #23 team in the country, the Auburn Tigers, to open up the season, with a tough non-conference schedule to follow. The ‘Cats hung in against Auburn early on and shot the ball well from deep, especially Mike Jones ‘22 who made some memorable baskets to start his Davidson career. Jones missed all of last season after suffering from a torn ACL. In the second half, the script flipped; Auburn pulled away in the final few minutes, winning by a score of 76-66. Later that week, the ‘Cats looked to rebound and take home the Hornet’s Nest Trophy for the seventh straight year, facing crosstown foes, the Charlotte 49ers. However, the 49ers came out hot at home and got out to a big lead. The ‘Cats tried hard to fight back in the second half, but the effort came short as they fell once again, this time 58-71.

After starting the season with two straight road contests, the team returned to Belk Arena for back-to-back home games; the ‘Cats took down UNC Wilmington and Nevada each by double digits. The team then looked to take this momentum into a Friday night contest at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte against Wake Forest on November 22nd. After a well-played battle, the ‘Cats fell short after suffering from more second half woes. Kellan Grady ‘21 and Jon Axel Gudmunsson ‘21 led the squad in points. Freshman Hyunjung Lee ‘23 who also hit some big shots from deep. 

To wrap up the first month of play, the ‘Cats participated in the Orlando Invitational over Thanksgiving Break, a tournament featuring some of the best teams in the country, including Maryland and Marquette, to name a few. 

The team opened the tournament against Marquette on Thanksgiving Day and once again competed throughout the entirety of the game but came up just short in the last few minutes. Markus Howard of Marquette, one of the best players in the nation, caught fire late to down the ‘Cats.  Grady continued his hot start to the year, dropping 28 on 18 shots, but it wasn’t enough to get the ‘Cats over the hump. Moving onto the loser’s bracket, the team bounced back against Fairfield. The squad finished up the week with a battle against Temple. After another good start and first half, the offense struggled to keep pace in the second, and the Owls went on to take down the ‘Cats by a score of 66-53. 

Overall, the tournament was a great opportunity for a team like Davidson to compete against some good teams. The team looks to bounce back these next few weeks as they wrap up non-conference play.