KELLAN GRADY SCORES 25 TO POWER DAVIDSON PAST FORDHAM 77-52
The Davidson Wildcats took an early lead against Fordham on Saturday afternoon and never let up.
“We have an expression we use that we don’t give anybody a lifeline,” coach Bob McKillop said after his team blitzed the Rams 77-52 in an Atlantic 10 game at Belk Arena. “Too often (we’ve let) teams get going. (Today) we didn’t allow that.”
The Wildcats (21-8, 12-4) outscored the Rams (11-18, 2-14) 17-2 to open the game. After taking a 34-24 lead into halftime, Davidson went on a 15-2 run to open the second half. Fordham, basically, was never in it.
Behind sophomore guard Kellan Grady’s 25 points, Davidson bounced back from a disheartening loss Wednesday at La Salle, one that knocked the Wildcats out of a firstplace tie in the league with Virginia Commonwealth. The Wildcats clinched a top-four spot in the conference tournament (and the double-bye that comes with it) after George Mason lost Saturday against Saint Louis.
“Coach said we don’t want to experience the misery we experienced after La Salle,” Grady said. “We played a com- plete game.”
A “bubble” team before the loss to La Salle, Davidson’s chances at earning a bid to the NCAA tournament likely hinge on the Wildcats winning the A-10 tournament. That’s the path Davidson took last season.
“It’s pretty tricky for us now,” Grady said.
In never trailing against Fordham, the Wildcats held the Rams to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor and 4-of-24 from 3-point range. The Wildcats outrebounded Fordham 39-31, including a 33-25 edge on the defensive boards.
THREE WHO MATTERED
Grady: Had what McKillop said was his best game of the season, making 10 of 19 shots (including 3-of-5 from 3point range) and also grabbing six rebounds. Was a force defensively, too. Grady went over the 1,000-point mark for his career during the game.
Luka Brajkovic, Davidson: Freshman forward made 7 of 8 shots for 15 points and has now hit 19 of his last 23 shots. Made a 3-pointer from the top of the key for good measure.
Nick Honor, Fordham: Freshman guard was the only player who was able to keep his team in the game for a while, scoring 17 points.
Wildcats guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson, who had a triple-double against Rhode Island on Feb. 22, flirted with another, with 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. As it was, it was his eighth doubledouble of the season.
Grady is the 50th Wildcats player to hit the 1,000-point plateau.
Wildcats senior forward Nathan Ekwu, who has been troubled by a knee injury for much of his career, missed his 17th game of the season. McKillop said he’s hopeful Ekwu can play a few minutes on Senior Night, Davidson’s regular-season home finale on Wednesday against St. Bonaventure.
Davidson went 31of-61 from the field (50.8 percent) and made 13 of 31 3-pointers (41.9).
THEY SAID IT
“We always talk about being our best in March and today we showed we are improving.” — Gudmundsson.
“We like to go to (Brajkovic), but sometimes we get mesmerized by that. Sometimes we forget the other parts of our game. We like an inside-outside attack, and Luka is certainly a catalyst for that.” — McKillop.
“I wish we could take back a few of those losses.” — Grady, on the team’s hopes of earning an NCAA tournament at-large bid.
Davidson's Kellan Grady drives to the basket Saturday against Fordham at Belk Arena. Behind Grady’s 25 points, Davidson bounced back from a loss Wednesday at La Salle.