Harrison Turner ‘22
This basketball season has been quite the roller coaster for the ‘Cats, both for the men’s and women’s teams. This week, the men looked to keep their convincing two-game winning streak, in which they beat Fordham and St. Bonaventure by a combined 59 points, going on the road at St. Joe’s in Philadelphia. The team had an extremely hot start, starting the game on a 21-2 run and even leading by the same—19 point—margin at halftime. The second half was a completely different story as the ‘Cats offense slowed down and the Hawks got hot behind the arc, making some tough shots down the stretch. In the end, after a big lay-up from sophomore Luka Brajkovic ‘22, St. Joe’s hit a clutch three to take the lead and subsequently win the game after a tough bounce on a loose ball ended up in the wrong hands.
This Saturday, in a sold-out Belk arena, the ‘Cats looked to bounce back in their game against Rhode Island, one of the hottest teams in the A-10. The team felt the home crowd’s energy early as Kellan Grady ‘21 and Jon Axel Gudmunsson ‘20 led the team to an eight point halftime lead.
The ‘Cats weathered the storm in the second half after Rhode Island battled back. With five seconds left, Fatts Russell ‘21, the Ram’s leading scorer, hit an unbelievable three to force overtime. However, in OT, the ‘Cats stayed strong and closed out the game on a 7-2 run with some clutch free throws and solid defensive stops to grab the big win at home.
Bates Jones ‘21 and Brajkovic were great defensively down the stretch to seal the victory, also grabbing some important rebounds. Hopefully, the guys can keep this momentum going as they take on La Salle at home on Tuesday before closing out the season with three tough games the coming week including on the road against the number four team in the country, the Dayton Flyers.
For the lady ‘Cats, the tide has been turning in the wrong direction lately, as the team has now lost six out of their last seven games after two losses this week. The girls took down Duquesne at home last Sunday in a narrow contest, closing it out with a three point victory.
Katie Turner ‘21 had a game high of 21 points and 7 rebounds to lead the ‘Cats to the win. Turner has continued to be a bright spot for the team all season.
On Wednesday at home, the ‘Cats couldn’t manage to stack wins, losing to St. Joe’s by nine. However, an exciting milestone was reached during the game as Turner hit 1,000 career points as a member of the Davidson women’s basketball team. Congratulations to Turner on this important milestone and all of her hard work for the program as she still has one more season on the team as a senior next year.
This weekend, the team travelled to UMass to close out the week and take on the Minutewomen. Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t quite there for the ‘Cats, only scoring 48 points in the contest and losing by a score of 61-48. The team will finish the regular season at La Salle and at home against VCU this week before heading into the A-10 tournament afterwards. Hopefully the ‘Cats can gain some momentum in those two games before tournament play begins.
One area of concern that may explain the team’s late season struggles is the reliance on underclassmen to provide a bulk of the scoring. Three of the top five scorers on the team are underclassmen. Suzi-Rose Deegan ‘23, Chole Welch ‘22, and Adelaide Fuller ‘23 rank 1st, 3rd, and 5th in scoring respectively. The good news: all three should be back next year and conditioned to the long season slate of games.
Early on in the A-10 slate, the team won six of their first seven games in the same A-10 conference they have struggled in of late. The team is obviously capable of competing in the conference and the A-10 tournament is the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.