Men’s Basketball Erases Double-Digit Deficit to Defeat VCU
[see our News of Davidson photo album from the game – download photos for free]
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson’s Luke Frampton is known as a long-range shooter, but with the score tied late against VCU Saturday afternoon, he caught the ball in the left corner, drove the Belk Arena baseline and lofted the ball high into the air.
It was not going to reach the cylinder, so forward Luka Brajkovic re-directed it into the basket for what proved to be the go-ahead points in the Wildcats’ 64-57 come-from-behind win over the Rams.
The final result came with a few hard facts. The Wildcats rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, had a 21-4 run that included 14 straight points and didn’t allow a VCU field goal in the final eight minutes en route to their first 3-0 Atlantic 10 record. Kellan Grady showed his high-level ability by scoring a game-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
But one question remained. When the score was tied at 55-all, was Frampton trying to score or pass the ball to Brajkovic?
“It was a shot, but …” Frampton said afterward, smiling as Grady intervened.
“We’re going to give him a lob,” said Grady. “We practice lobs in practice, so let’s give him a lob.”
Officially, it was scored a missed shot, but either way, the Wildcats had the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the second half.
Davidson (12-4, 3-0) led 28-23 at the intermission, but the Rams (11-5, 2-1) pulled ahead with a 20-2 run, including 16 straight points, early in the second 20 minutes, as the Wildcats went more than eight minutes between field goals. Two free throws by Issac Vann pushed VCU’s lead to 47-35 with 10:17 to go, and the Rams led 51-42 with 7:50 left.
Bob McKillop instructed his players to stick to their principles, and defensive stops led to points. He saw a “connection” on the defensive end and players finding their open teammates with the basketball.
“They were instinctive,” said McKillop. “They disciplined themselves to use their habits, and I thought it was a tremendous opportunity to use their skill. So the combination of their talent and skill and the use of their principles paid big dividends for us.”
Two Brajkovic buckets started the run of 14 straight points, and Frampton dove on a loose ball, energizing the crowd. Bates Jones hit two free throws, and Grady followed with a trey to cut it to 55-51. After a Carter Collins foul shot, Grady drove and found KiShawn Pritchett open in the right corner. Pritchett splashed in the 3-pointer to tie it with 2:25 left, and Frampton’s trey moments later, following the Brajkovic tip-in, extended the Wildcats’ lead to five.
Grady and Frampton sealed the win with four free throws in the final 21 seconds.
It’s a win that seemed elusive midway through the second half, but one that the Wildcats hope will be a springboard as the league season rolls on.
“It’s a tremendous statement about how good we can become,” said McKillop.
Davidson will visit Saint Joseph’s at 9 p.m. Tuesday.