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Davidson makes emphatic statement in pasting of Chattanooga

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Will Wade’s Chattanooga Mocs entered Thursday night’s matchup at Davidson on a 10-game win streak, with forward Z Mason (18.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg) leading the way for a team with four double-digit scorers and nine players averaging at least 11.5 minutes per game. It’s been quite the start for the first-year head coach, who’s still working to install the style of play he wants his Chattanooga program to be known for.

Chattanooga wasn’t expected to be a contender in the Southern Conference right away but there they were, walking into Belk Arena with an unblemished league mark with a chance to make a statement against the program that has set the standard in the SoCon for much of the Bob McKillop era.

Unfortunately for the Mocs, it would be Davidson that made the statement.

De’Mon Brooks got the job done on both ends of the floor, scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while also being the primary defender assigned to Mason in the Wildcats’ 94-51 victory. Mason accounted for just seven points on 2-for-9 shooting, and as a team the Mocs were limited to 32.7% shooting from the field and failed to make any of their 13 three-point attempts.

Add in Davidson’s shooting nearly 60% from the field with four players scoring in double figures (Jordan Barham scored 16 off the bench), and the end result was the Wildcats using their best showing of the season to move into a tie for first place in the loss column (Chattanooga’s 8-1, Davidson’s 7-1).

“Without doubt, our best performance of the year,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “Our consistency, from opening tap to the end of the game, both offensively and defensively, were very evident. It’s very gratifying to have this kind of success tonight.”

The Wildcats got off to a slow start in non-conference play, with a knee injury that sidelined Brooks for six games doing Davidson no favors. But after closing non-conference play on a five-game losing streak, Davidson’s won seven of its first eight games in SoCon play. And with four players scoring in double figures the Wildcats have the look of a team that has solidified its rotation after losing three starters from last season’s NCAA tournament team.

Davidson’s win over Chattanooga is big for another reason: due to imbalanced scheduling Thursday’s meeting was the lone regular season contest between the two teams, meaning that the outcome could impact seeding in the conference tournament. However with that event being more than a month away, it’s more important for Davidson that they’re executing well on both ends of the floor.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has scary fall while carrying girl

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Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.

Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.

As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.

Here’s another angle of the fall:

It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.