GAME NOTES: Davidson begins a stretch of four Southern Conference games in eight days on Saturday afternoon when the Wildcats visit a struggling Furman squad.
The Wildcats moved to 3-0 in conference play following an 85-53 win over UNC Greensboro a week ago. Jake Cohen scored 20 points to pace Davidson. De'Mon Brooks added 14 points, Nik Cochran chipped in 12, Tyler Kalinoski contributed 11 and J.P. Kuhlman finished with 10.
Cohen, the school's all-time leading shot blocker, has really stepped up his play of late. The senior forward is averaging 17.8 points and 5.6 rebounds over his last five contests, while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor. During that span, he's made 27-of-28 foul shots. He is second overall on the team in scoring at 13.6 ppg, just shy of Brooks (14.6 ppg), who leads the squad in rebounding at 6.6 per contest. Senior guard Nik Cochran (8.7 ppg), junior backcourt mate Chris Czerapowicz (7.9 ppg) and senior guard JP Kuhlman (7.6 ppg) are also in the starting lineup. Cochran, who leads the country in free throw percentage, having made 50-of-52 attempts (.962) this year, has connected on 66 of his last 69 from the charity stripe going back to last season. Davidson is shooting 80.6 percent from the free-throw line, which also ranks first in the nation.
Furman has lost its last five games, all on the road, and hasn't posted a victory since Dec. 9 against Presbyterian. Like the Wildcats, the Paladins last played a week ago, falling 60-56 on the road to the College of Charleston. It marked the first time in 13 games this season that a Paladin game had been decided by fewer than 12 points. Furman has now dropped 10 straight regular-season road contests dating back to February of last season. The Paladins were led in their last game by Colin Reddick with a career-high 25 points to go with nine rebounds. Stephen Croone chipped in with 11 points.
Reddick leads Furman in scoring (11.8 ppg), rebounding (6.4 rpg), blocked shots (13) and field goal percentage (.523). Croone (8.6 ppg) is next in scoring, while Charlie Reddick (8.3 ppg) ranks third, but he has missed the last two games due to injury. The big problem for the Paladins this season has been long-distance shooting. They are 11th in the conference at just 30 percent from 3-point range. Injuries have been a big part of the reason for Furman's downfall. Sophomore Dominic Early has been sidelined all season due to a knee injury that is likely going to keep him out until at least later this month. Sophomore guard Jordan Loyd has appeared in only one game because of a knee injury. David Brown is out with a hamstring injury.
Davidson swept three games from Furman last season and has won 30 of the last 32 meetings. Davidson, which has won eight SoCon regular-season division titles in the last 11 seasons, should thrive in this mismatch.
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