(Photo Credit: Saint Louis University Athletics)
They say that there is a first time for everything. The 3-3 Davidson Wildcats made their first trip to Chafietz Arena to take on the 1-4 Billikens. Billikens were coming off a disappointing loss to George Mason, 92-79.
Jim Crews decided to shake up the starting lineups tonight starting freshman Jermaine Bishop, nicknamed, “The Phantom of Chafietz” because he wears a face mask due to a broken nose received in practice, and junior walk on Aaron Hines, the former Parkway North product. The duo didn’t let Crews down as both finished with career highs in scoring.
The Billikens got a huge jumpstart from senior Ash Yacoubou who hit a three to start the game. The Billikens and Wildcats traded buckets back and forth giving the Billikens a one point lead at halftime due in part to a last second jumper from Bishop. The Billikens led at half, 47-46. The most points scored in first half play from the Billikens at Chafietz Arena.
During the second half, the Billikens held a consistent 11-point lead until less than 4 minutes left in play. With three minutes left, the Billikens led by 6 points by a score of 85-79. The Billikens didn’t want to take the foot off the gas. Hines dropped in a jumper to extend the led 87-79. The Wildcats come back down and nail a three from Michelsen cutting the led to 5 with 1:30 left. The Wildcats decided to start intentional fouls looking to extend the game. Bishop was the first victim to step up to the line, but he was calm, collected and nailed both free throws. Davidson hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to five. The next victim was junior Mike Crawford, and he hit two free throws to grow the lead to 91-84. Davidson star Jack Gibbs was able to hit an easy layup. Then, Crawford missed the first free throw of a one-and-one, and Davidson collected the rebound. Gibbs launched a three and missed and rebound was collected by Crawford as he headed back to the free throw line. He hit one of two and grew the lead to 92-86. Gibbs missed another three and Crawford hit two free throws to grow the lead to 94-86. Crawford then extended the lead to 96-86 by hitting another pair of free throws. Davidson hit a free throw of cutting the lead to 96-87. Billikens would collect the second missed free throw and hold until the buzzer sounded. Billikens win 96-87.
Hines finished with career high 18 points and 3 assists. Bishop also finished with career high of 23 points. Yacoubou led all scorers with career high 27 points. My game ball goes to junior Reggie Agbeko, who finished with a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He didn’t led scorers, but he played hard with a lot of energy and played his best game as a Billiken. The Bills shot 54% from the field while holding Davidson to 41%. The Billikens went 9-22 (40%) from the 3-point line while holding Davidson to 10-36 (28%).
Head Coach Jim Crews took a gamble with starting both Hines and Bishop, but the risk paid off as the Billikens hope to carry the momentum to UMass on Saturday at 11 AM.