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Davidson Wins Men's Basketball Championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 03/05/2006
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Courtesy: Southern Conference
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - For Davidson, it was the perfect end to a far-from-perfect Southern Conference season.

Brendan Winters scored a career-high 33 points and the Wildcats routed Chattanooga 80-55 in the conference tournament championship game Sunday, sending Davidson to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.

A trip to NCAAs was the expectation a year ago, when Davidson entered the league tournament as the favorite with a 16-0 conference record. But the Wildcats were bounced in the semifinals and had to settle for a NIT bid.

The conference record wasn't as flashy this season, just 10-5 going into the tournament, but Sunday the Wildcats left no doubt where they would go in the postseason.

``Coming off the bus I felt pretty good and during warmups I felt pretty good. But I couldn't have done it without my teammates,'' said Winters, whose dad, former South Carolina and NBA star Brian Winters was on hand to see his son's performance. ``To have him at my game tonight, I couldn't have asked for it any other way.''

Winters, the tournament's most outstanding player, had two of his six 3-pointers in the decisive first half.

``Brendan Winters had perhaps his finest game in a Davidson uniform,'' Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. ``He has had many, many illustrious games in his career. But to have that finest one on championship Sunday is quite a special feat.''

The Wildcats (20-10) were helped by dismal shooting from Chattanooga, the defending conference tournament champs. Chattanooga shot 25 percent and was 1-for-11 from behind the arc during the first half, which ended with Davidson up 35-20.

Chattanooga (19-13) improved its shooting in the second half, but the outcome was never in doubt. Chattanooga shot 35 percent for the game and 26 percent from 3-point range.

Boris Meno added 12 points for the Wildcats while Ian Johnson had 10. Keddric Mays led Chattanooga with 13 while Ricky Hood had 10.

The Wildcats also avenged a 65-59 loss to Chattanooga during the regular season.

``We got outplayed,'' said Chattanooga coach John Shulman. ``Davidson played like a bunch of seniors that were very hungry to rid the memory of last year.''

``We didn't make shots,'' Chattanooga's Casey Long said. ``I didn't make shots. We didn't make shots as a team. We missed them and they made them.''

McKillop now has three Southern Conference tournament championships. Lefty Driesell is the only other Davidson coach with as many. The loss spoiled Shulman's perfect Southern Conference tournament record with Chattanooga, leaving him 5-1 over two seasons in the tourney.

2006 Southern Conference All-Tournament Team

 

First Team

J’Mel Everhart, The Citadel

Kyle Hines, UNC Greensboro

D.J. Thompson, Appalachian State

Ian Johnson, Davidson

Matt McKillop, Davidson

Brendan Winters, Davidson

 

Second Team

Keddric Mays, Chattanooga

Jeremy Clayton, Appalachian State

Charles Anderson, Chattanooga

Jerice Crouch, Chattanooga

Jermaine Johnson, College of Charleston

 

Most Outstanding Player

Brendan Winters, Davidson

 

 

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