The Wolfpack struggled on the defensive glass, allowing the Wildcat's to pile on the second-chance points as No. 22 Davidson handed the Pack its first loss of the season, 72-67 on Saturday afternoon at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The Wildcats had 21 offensive rebounds compared to just 12 for the Wolfpack, resulting in an extra 16 shots for Davidson over the course of the game.
Curry showed why he was a preseason All-American by carrying the Davidson offense for most of the game. The nation's leading scorer tallied 44 points on 15-of-32 shooting for the Wildcats as the Pack threw an array of defenders at the junior play-maker.
He also hit the biggest shot of the game when he nailed a near half-court shot with a minute and half left and Davidson up by a point. The shot came off another offensive rebound by the Wildcats. The Pack had once last hope, getting the ball down three with 30 seconds left, but Costner missed a very long 3-pointer to end the game.
The Pack led most of the game thanks to solid performances from its two starting big men, as Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner each recorded double-double. Costner led the Pack with 18 points and also had 11 rebounds while McCauley scored 16 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. While no other players recorded double figures, CJ Williams and Trevor Ferguson each added seven.
Farnold Degand, who's missed three straight games with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, returned to the line-up but saw limited time. He played just a few minutes in the first half and didn't see any action in the second 20 minutes. Courtney Fells also missed most of the game, scoring just four points and sitting out most of the first half with an apparent injury.
The Pack got off to a quick start as Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to set the tone, getting off to a 16-5 start only to watch Davidson score 11 straight points to tie the game up at 16-16. The two teams went back and forth for most of the half as Curry carried the offense for Davidson with 21 first-half points. McCauley led the way for the visiting team with 9 points as the Pack took a 41-37 lead into the locker room.
The game took a more intense turn with 12 minutes left in the first half. Trevor Ferguson had an open breakaway when Max Paulhus Gosselin mauled Ferguson as he went to the basket. Gosselin came across the neck of the junior forward who crashed to the ground hard, drawing a flagrant foul and an immediate ejection from the referees. Ferguson would leave the game but return a few minutes later with no ill effects.
The offense struggled to find any momentum in the second half, as Davidson's work on the glass kept the ball out of the hands of the Pack offense. The Wolfpack mustered just 26 points in the second half as the poor rebounds, rushed shots and turnovers added up. For the game the pack coughed the ball up a season-high 19 times, while the Wildcats turned it over just 12 times en route to its six win of the season.