Cat fight in Charleston as SoCon Tourney title up for grabs
Charleston, SC (Sports Network) – An NCAA Tournament bid is on the line today
as the top-seeded Davidson Wildcats take on the third-seeded College of
Charleston Cougars in the championship game of the Southern Conference
Charleston recorded an 11-point decision over sixth-seeded Georgia Southern in
Thursday’s quarterfinal round before knocking off second-seeded Appalachian
State in overtime last night by an 89-87 final. The Cougars won their only
SoCon title back in 1999, and the fact that they are playing in their home town
this evening suggests that there will be plenty of supporters in the stands.
Davidson beat eighth-seeded Chattanooga by 10 points on Thursday before rolling
to a 91-68 decision over fifth-seeded Furman in the semifinal round. The
Wildcats have eight SoCon titles to their credit, the second-highest total of
all active league members, and they captured the crow a year ago by crushing
Chattanooga by 25 points in the championship game.
Davidson won both of its meetings with Charleston during the regular season,
and the Wildcats own a 43-9 advantage in the all-time series between the teams.
In last night’s overtime victory over Appalachian State, Dontaye Draper had the
type of night that most players only dream of, as the College of Charleston
standout racked up a career-high 38 points on 8-of-13 shooting from three-point
range. Jermaine Johnson contributed 11 points for the Cougars, who got 10
points from Tony White Jr. Charleston connected on 50 percent of its field goal
attempts, including 11-of-21 from three-point range, and those outstanding
shooting numbers helped the squad overcome 17 turnovers. Through 32 games this
season, Draper is netting 16.4 ppg to go along with 169 assists and 56 steals.
David Lawrence checks in with 12.0 ppg, and Johnson adds 10.1 ppg.
There is no shortage of talent on the Davidson roster, and the most feared
player for the Wildcats is Stephen Curry. He is averaging 21.0 ppg this season
on the strength of his 41.2 percent accuracy from three-point range, and he is
an 85.5 percent shooter from the foul line as well. Jason Richards is fun to
watch, as he has dished out 236 assists to go along with 13.9 ppg. Adding
further balance to the lineup are Thomas Sander (13.7 ppg) and Boris Meno (10.9
ppg). The Wildcats are scoring 82.0 ppg while holding opponents to 68.4 ppg. In
the semifinal romp over Furman, Curry exploded for 30 points on the strength of
6-of-10 shooting from three-point range. Richards pitched in 20 points and
seven assists for Davidson, which turned the ball over only eight times.