College Hoops: DCCC earns split in Storm Classic
Davidson County Community College finished the Storm Classic over the weekend with a 1-1 record. That second digit will surely haunt DCCC over Christmas break.
After polishing off Northern Virginia 92-80 Saturday, the 10th-ranked Storm put together a strong first half against NJCAA Division I Clinton Junior College, only to play one of its worst halves of the season in a lethargic 86-73 loss Sunday — their second this season at Brinkley Gym. Davidson was outscored 48-33 in a second half effort that will linger with them until January.
“We just got pushed around and backed down to Clinton,” said frustrated Storm coach Matt Ridge. “They came in here and were much more mentally ready to play than us and deserved to win. Our guys have got to wake up and realize they can be beat by anybody any night. We were not tough mentally or physically tonight.”
The Storm were torching the nets first half as Daniel Lawson poured in 16 of his game-high 25 points. He sizzled from deep, making four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes. His final trey of the opening half came after two deep bombs from Robert Story, giving Davidson a 28-20 lead over the guests from Rock Hill, SC.
Clinton chipped away to the halftime horn, closing the gap down to a deuce on Calvin Blackwell’s layup.
The Golden Bears scored the first five points of the second half, but the Storm used consecutive 3s from Brandon Clyburn and Story to regain control, 48-47.
Hitting the offensive glass and taking advantage of poor defense by DCCC, the Golden Bears used a 13-2 run to go ahead by 10. A mini spurt by Davidson closed that deficit to four, but they would lose contact again as Blackwell (21 points), Cashad McFadden (13 points) and Raheem Chisholm (13 points) guided Clinton on a game-clinching run to lead 75-60.
“The main problem was how we guarded the ball,” said Ridge. “Off the ball we were awful and on the ball we were terrible. We certainly did not block out physically and keep them off the boards. We gave up 22 offensive rebounds and they scored on most of those.”
DCCC made a desperation attempt with full-court pressure that helped them climb back within 10, but there was too much too make up for.
Davidson will not see live action again until Jan. 5 at Southside Virginia. Four days later, they will open Tarheel Conference play against a very good Caldwell team that dominated Clinton on Saturday.
“We went 12-2 in the first half of the season and none of that means anything,” Ridge said. “We have got to learn from this, get better and come back in January for some tough games in our league. We will have some days where we practice before we play in January, and we hope our fans will see a much tougher team come Jan. 9 against Caldwell. I can promise you I am going to do everything in my power to make that happen.”
Saturday, it was Story with the hot hand from deep hitting five first half 3-pointers as the Storm took a 45-37 lead into intermission.
That eight-point lead was completely wiped out at the 12:10 mark with NOVA finishing off a 6-0 run to even the score. Six points from Clyburn helped to steady the Storm once more. Darius Rogers made a pair of free throws with 8:25 to go that pushed the lead to double digits. NOVA would not get it under 10 again.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.