Men’s Basketball Edges Out Duquesne in A10 Opener
DAVIDSON, N.C. — KiShawn Pritchett backed in his defender to score the go-ahead layup, and Kellan Grady added two late free throws to push Davidson past Duquesne 65-61 Saturday at Belk Arena in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams.
The game featured 18 lead changes, and each team led for more than 16 minutes. But Davidson was out front when the final horn sounded.
“To have a really grind-it-out, tough win like this is a really great jumpstart to our league,” said Grady, who returned from a knee injury to score a team-high 17 points.
The Wildcats (10-4, 1-0 Atlantic 10) pulled ahead for good when Pritchett caught the ball in the left corner, dribbled in against Marcus Weathers and lofted a turnaround shot over Weathers and fellow defender Michael Hughes with 1:41 left. The shot gave the Wildcats a 63-61 lead.
“Coach has been telling me to be aggressive, especially in spots like that,” said Pritchett.
Coach Bob McKillop was confident Pritchett could make the play.
“KiShawn has really gotten good at making that maneuver,” said McKillop. “He’s a big, strong guy who takes up a lot of space, and he’s got terrific touch. I love that move.”
After the Dukes came up empty on their next two possessions, Grady was fouled by guard Sincere Carry on a defensive switch behind the 3-point line. He drained both free throws with 21.9 ticks left to extend the lead to four and finalize the scoring.
Grady, who missed the previous four games, said he learned over the past month that it’s much more stressful to watch a game from the bench than play in it. He acknowledged there was some rust to shake off, but his deep, step-back 3-pointer just before the first half ended gave Davidson a 41-39 lead at the break, and his lean-in trey with 2:51 left gave Davidson its first lead in more than five minutes. And, plain and simple, he felt good.
“Physically, believe it or not, it’s the best I’ve felt in the 10 games I’ve played (this year),” he said.
McKillop liked what he saw from last year’s Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, who last played on Dec. 4 against Winthrop.
“I thought he did pretty darn well,” said McKillop. “For him to come back in a month and make the kind of plays he made after surgery, that’s pretty special.”
Duquesne (9-5, 0-1) was led by Carry’s 17, while Frankie Hughes scored 15.
Davidson visits George Mason Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest.