College Hoops: DCCC Storm unable to climb out of early hole
Davidson County Community College found themselves down in just about everything Wednesday night at Caldwell Community College.
Free throws, fouls, rebounding, and the biggest category of all, points. It was a long and frustrating night for the sixth-ranked Storm in a 106-94 loss to the Cobras, who completed the sweep of DCCC.
Up 6-4 five minutes in, the Storm endured a painful four minutes of scoreless basketball that pretty much did them in. By the time Justin Parham drained a 3-pointer to cap a 19-0 run, Caldwell was in command 23-6.
For a team that averages more than 100 points a night, getting the basketball in the hoop continued to be a problem. With less than five minutes to go before halftime, they faced their biggest deficit of the night down 38-17.
“You can't dig yourself a hole that big against Caldwell, especially in their gym,” said coach Matt Ridge. “I obviously did a poor job of having my guys mentally ready.”
The shots began to fall a bit more for the Storm after that. Robert Story hit a pair of much-needed 3s to help narrow the gap to a manageable 14 points at the half.
With 15 minutes to think it over, Davidson used the first few minutes of the second half to make it a game again. A trio of buckets by C.J. Woodberry including an alley-oop slam had the lead down to 48-40. Caldwell promptly extended the margin back to 14, though, leaving even more work to be done.
When the Cobras went up 17 around the 12-minute mark, it looked as if the Storm might be done.
Instead, they fought right back. A 16-9 run got it back down to 10, then a Woodberry dunk had it down to eight with 7:30 to play. After a defensive stop, Daniel Lawson lined up a 3 that could have made it a two possession game. His attempt hit front iron, as Caldwell went the other way and hit a 3. Before long the Cobras were up 17 again and safely out of the grasp of DCCC.
“We were down 21 and I said it was our goal to get it to 15 or under, which we did,” said Ridge. “I told them at halftime we wanted to get it under 10 with 15 minutes to play, which we did. We got it to eight on two occasions, but we had expended so much energy to get back in it and it is hard to get over the hump against a really good team. They are so athletic and have such a will to win this year. It does give me confidence knowing that we were able to come back and compete with them in their own gym after being down 21.”
Davidson was once again outrebounded by a 50-29 margin, but that was not the biggest stat of the night. A total of 59 fouls were called – 34 of them against the Storm. Caldwell went 39-of-49 at the free throw line compared to 9-of-18 for DCCC. That is a whopping 30-point difference.
“I cannot remember ever having a team in 18 years that the free throw differential was that bad for us,” said Ridge. “Usually our goal is to make more free throws than our opponent attempts. It was the other way around Wednesday night. We did a poor job of attacking and getting offensive rebounds.”
Davidson falls to 3-2 in Region X play. They got 21 points out of Story and 17 more from Woodberry.