GAME NOTES: The Davidson Wildcats will try to keep their perfect Southern Conference record in tact on Monday night, as they head to Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro to square off against the Georgia Southern Eagles.
Davidson challenged itself with a difficult non-conference schedule, and it paid the price with losses against nationally-ranked foes New Mexico (86-81), Gonzaga (81-67) and Duke (67-50). In SoCon action however, the Wildcats have won all four of their matchups, with the most recent coming at Furman on Saturday (81-73).
Georgia Southern has experienced the exact opposite fate in the SoCon, having lost all three of its league matchups. The Eagles traveled to Wofford on Saturday and were saddled with a disappointing 71-53 defeat, and in the process fell to 6-10 overall.
The Wildcats have won 11 straight games against the Eagles to improve to 28-6 in the all-time series.
Davidson was able to pull away from Furman late in the second half to capture the impressive seven-point road victory by logging solid percentages from the field (.483), 3-point range (.435) and the foul line (.833). Clint Mann came off the bench and tallied a career-game 20 points, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the stripe. Nik Cochran added 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Jake Cohen and Chris Czerapowicz netted 14 and 13 points, respectively. The Wildcats have been well-balanced all season long, ranking second in the SoCon in scoring at 72.1 ppg while allowing just 66.7 ppg for a league-best scoring margin of plus-5.4. De'Mon Brooks (14.0 ppg) and Cohen (13.7 ppg) have shared duties as the team's top scoring option, and the two have been strong in the frontcourt in combining for 11.0 rpg and 2.4 bpg. While no other Davidson player averages double figures, Cochran, Czerapowicz, Mann, Tyler Kalinoski and JP Kuhlman all net between 7.6 and 9.3 ppg. The Wildcats have relied heavily on the 3-pointer, making nearly eight treys per game at a 37.4 percent clip.
Georgia Southern fell behind Wofford by six points at the half in its latest game and it could never recover, eventually suffering the 18-point defeat. Although it shot a modest 44.7 percent from the field, it was only 2-of-12 from 3-point range and lost possessions by getting outrebounded (38-26) and committing 15 turnovers. Only Tre Bussey scored in double-digits with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. The low point total is nothing new for the Eagles, as they average just 64.4 ppg, the second-lowest effort in the conference, which all but spoils a solid defensive effort (64.4 ppg). Despite the team's struggles, Eric Ferguson has been one of the SoCon's best forwards, ranking eighth in scoring (14.6 ppg) and second in rebounding (7.9 rpg), while making his presence felt at the defensive end of the floor as well with 1.1 bpg and 1.4 spg. C.J. Reed (11.3 ppg), Bussey (11.2 ppg) and Cleon Roberts (8.1 ppg) are all capable of knocking down a trey, as the three have combined for 76 long-range buckets.
Georgia Southern may hold a slight advantage in hosting this matchup, but Davidson has been playing its best basketball of the season against fellow SoCon schools, and it won't have much of an issue dismissing the struggling Eagles.
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