Wichita State ruins Davidson’s ‘electric’ atmosphere

The Davidson men’s basketball team had a sold-out home crowd and a national television audience. But the Wildcats couldn’t contain 19th-ranked Wichita State and lost 91-74 in a non-conference game at Belk Arena on Feb. 18.

The Shockers (24-4) shot 20-of-25 from the field in the second half, including 12 straight shots during an eight-minute stretch. Wichita State’s Joe Ragland had 30 points and seven rebounds.

Jake Cohen led Davidson (20-7) with 25 points, and Chris Czerapowicz finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Nik Cochran collected 16 points and six assists, and De’Mon Brooks scored 10.

Cohen scored more than 20 points for the eighth time this season and the 14th time in his career.

Wichita State shot 64 percent for the game, compared to the Wildcats’ 44 percent, and cashed in on 19 fast-break points.

Davidson returns to Southern Conference action Thursday, Feb. 23, against Elon in Belk Arena. It’s the final home game of the regular season, and Davidson will honor seniors A.J. Atkinson, Frank Ben-Eze and Will Reigel prior to tipoff.

Davidson has only lost twice in the past 20 home games.

“You’re forever in search of consistency, and we’re looking for that,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “Wednesday night (a win against Samford) I thought we were incredibly efficient and consistent. On Saturday (against Wichita State) we had moments where we were brilliant, but had some moments where maybe our decision-making wasn’t where it should have been. Credit Wichita State, they’re an outstanding team.”

The game was televised on ESPN2 as part of the network’s Bracket Busters package matching probable NCAA tournament teams.

“We had an electric atmosphere here,” McKillop said. “In my 23 years here, it was one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve seen at Davidson College.”

Davidson women closing in on historic title

Davidson’s Sophia Aleksandravicius, Laura Murray and Shneeka Center each scored 10 points, and Davidson held Wofford to 23 percent shooting in a 63-39 Southern Conference women’s basketball victory Feb. 20 at Belk Arena.

It was the 20th victory of the season for the Wildcats (20-7, 16-2 conference), which is the second-most in a season in school history. They extended their winning streak to nine, one away from the record of 10 set by the 2006-07 team.

Aleksandravicius also grabbed 10 rebounds for her 30th career double-double, and Center had six rebounds.

The Wildcats held Wofford to 12-of-53 from the field and 3-for-14 from 3-point range. Davidson also held a 49-33 rebounding edge, and turned a season-high 20 offensive boards into 20 second-chance points.

Davidson will finish the regular season with Southern Conference road games at Chattanooga on Saturday, Feb. 25, and at Samford on Feb 27.

On Feb. 18, Davidson beat Appalachian State, 61-54, which snapped Appalachian State’s 10-game winning streak.

Junior guard Katrina Chiemeka  scored a career-high 19 points, including 16 in the second half.

Davidson evens baseball record

A solo home run by James Cerbie with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and an RBI-bunt single by Andrew Barna in the eighth gave Davidson a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over La Salle in non-conference baseball Feb. 18 at Wilson Field.

Cerbie, a senior second baseman, led Davidson (1-1) offensively, going 2-for-3, including the game-tying solo shot to tie the game at 3-3. Barna, a junior third baseman, also went 2-for-3 and had two RBIs. Senior centerfielder Drew Gadaire went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs, including the game-winning run.

Freshman RHP Clark Beeker (1-0) earned the win in his first collegiate appearance after pitching the Wildcats out of a seventh inning jam and throwing a scoreless eighth inning. Junior shortstop Michael Zeblo took the mound in the ninth inning for his first official pitching appearance since high school and allowed just a walk while striking out two for his first-career save.

Davidson swimming

The Davidson men’s and women’s swim teams concluded their run at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships with the men finishing second, while the women were sixth at the CCSA Championships in Gabrielson Natatorium Saturday night.

The Davidson men finished 6.5 points behind first-place College of Charleston, and scored 884 team points during the championship weekend, while the Davidson women earned 340 points. Florida Gulf Coast won the  women’s championship, its fourth straight CCSA Championship.

The Davidson men were led by standout junior Drew Onken, who was named the CCSA Men’s Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year. He also was named the Men’s Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet. Onken three times was named CCSA Swimmer of the Week, while holding the season’s top spots in the 100-yard freestyle (46.24 seconds), 200-yard backstroke (1:50.96), 200-yard breaststroke (2:02.23), 200 individual medley (1:51.03) and 400 individual medley (3:53.35).

Onken won the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 breaststroke at the CCSA meet.

Davidson’s Dylan Ludwick was tabbed the Most Outstanding Freshman Performer. Ludwick won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:25.34 and the 1,650-yard freestyle in 15:40.50. Both times set new meet and conference records.

Women’s lacrosse drops opener

American University had three players score hat tricks, and Davidson was unable to recover from a 6-2 halftime deficit in losing 12-6 on the road in the women’s lacrosse season opener on Feb. 18.

Davidson had three players record two goals apiece. Freshman Emily Cooke netted her first two career collegiate goals, scoring Davidson’s first goal of the year at the 14:03 mark.

Returning leading scorer Ann Fucigna pushed her multi-goal streak to 11 straight with two goals and added an assist. Senior Erin Keitel also had two goals. Erin Doherty and Emily Rademacher each picked up an assist. Goalie Jessica Melby made 14 saves and picked up a groundball.

Davidson begins a six-game homestand with a 12 p.m. contest against Navy on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Davidson men’s tennis defeats Campbell

Davidson freshman Nicky Kunz netted a three-set win at No. 3 singles to clinch the Wildcats’ 4-3 men’s tennis victory against visiting Campbell on Feb. 18.

The Wildcats (3-3) finished up their four-match homestand 3-1 as they were playing the Fighting Camels (3-2) for the first time since 2000.

Down 3-2 in the match, Kunz and Robert Lightbourn finished the comeback off with three-set wins at No. 3 and 5 singles. Lightbourn came back from a 6-0 loss in the first set to win the second set, 7-6 and force the third set. He then won 6-1 over Josep Baro in the third set to knot the match up at 3-all.

After starting his collegiate career 0-2, Kunz has rattled off four straight singles wins to tie for the most wins on the team.

The nationally ranked doubles team of Joe Schafer and Calum Gee helped the Wildcats open the dual match with a 1-0 lead when they picked up their third straight doubles win together on the strength of a 9-7 win at No. 1 doubles.