College Hoops: Davidson gets another scare from Region X opponent

Jan. 15, 2014 @ 12:26 PM

The sound man at Davidson County Community College may want to get Destiny Child's song “Survivor” cued up on the computer. It has been the theme the last two outings in Brinkley Gym for the Storm.
After last Wednesday's double overtime victory over Central Carolina, DCCC was again pushed hard by another Region X conference foe Wytheville Community College on Saturday. There was no extra session needed this time, however, as Davidson got three key baskets late to survive once more, 93-88, moving its Tarheel Conference record to 2-1.
“We struggled down the stretch getting stops, but at the end of the day we are making just enough plays to win games,” said head coach Matt Ridge.
Deadlocked at 44-44 after one half, Davidson began the second half on fire and seemed to have everything under control. Gerry Hairston scored on a driving layup, Robert Story knocked down a 3-pointer and C.J. Woodberry crashed the offensive glass and went back up for a layup.
A stoppage in play allowed the Wildcats to regain their focus and it was a dogfight to the end.
Wytheville rode the backs of Jay Allen and D.J. Dowling, as both did whatever they pleased around the rim. Allen penetrated the lane with ease at times, getting to the basket without much resistance. Dowling made a living on the offensive glass, using his height advantage to score in the lane. With the exception of a Andre Roberts 3-pointer, all of Wytheville's second half points came in the paint or at the free throw line. The Wildcats would come all the way back on the Storm man-to-man defense, leading 80-78 with four minutes left.
In hindsight, Ridge admitted afterward it might have served his team well to throw a zone at them at some point just to give a different look.
“I thought about switching to a zone several times but I am too stubborn to do it,” he said with a smile. “I probably should have to be honest with you. They drove it hard and were getting everything they wanted. Looking back we should have tried zone once.”
Wytheville kept a lead of one until Hairston delivered with a clutch 3 at the top of the arc. Following a rare stop on defense, Woodberry hit Daniel Lawson cutting backdoor for the layup. Allen netted two free throws to get the deficit back to two, but Story got open and drained his fifth 3-ball of the night with 24.2 left to bury the Wildcats.
“We were up two and got a layup on one of our backdoor plays, then the next time we ran the same play and set a double screen for Story to knock a 3 down,” Ridge said. “Those two offensive possessions we ran our set to perfection. I was proud of that.”
It will only get tougher for Davidson this week. On Wednesday they travel to first-place Sandhills in a fierce rivalry game.

Notes: Story paced six Storm players in double figures with 21 points … Woodberry had 19, Lawson and Ace Chalmers each had 14, while Hairston netted 13 and Trey Smith 11 … Allen and Dowling finished with 22 and 27, respectively … Wytheville held a 55-40 advantage on the glass.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.