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Thank you D-Cats. May we have another?

wtf?As spankings go, the Black and Gold bendover in Belk Arena last night was mercifully light. It hurt. It throbs. It may leave a mark, but thankfully no scarring.

After playing near even for roughly 31 minutes, App State’s chicken wire defense eventually snapped. Jason “Who?” Richards and Stephen “Not STEE-ven but STEF-en” Curry ignited a 14-2 run the Apps failed to come close to matching. A five-point game with nine to go ended with the D-Cats smiling, 68-55. Now excuse me while I go kick a kitten.

The Mountaineers (17-12, 12-7) lost for the fourth time in five games and put their chances of finishing first in the SoCon’s North Division in peril. Chattanooga can move a full game ahead of the Mountaineers and lock up the No. 2 seed for the SoCon Tournament with a victory over UNC Greensboro tonight.

Jason Richards, who leads the nation in assists with eight a game, led the Wildcats in scoring last night with 24 points. Stephen Curry, the fifth-ranked scorer in Division I, hit 5 of 10 3-point attempts and totaled 17 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Wildcats, who extended the longest winning streak in Division I to 18 games and their SoCon streak to 29 in a row.

Donte Minter led the Mountaineers with 19 points and eight rebounds, and Ryann Abraham added 15 points.

Habitually Davidson-favored box score here. Rare multi-sentence Observer story here. Even rarer App State game photos here. Will’s World live blog here.

Let’s take a hit of Zoloft and break-it-down Mr. Happy like.

Ya gotta be proud of the defense.
SoCon Flavor of the Season Curry was held in check for most of the game. It wasn’t until he nailed a jumper from somewhere outside Concord that he started running wild. Davidson as a team came into the game averaging 79 points, but had just 34 at the half. It was also held 10 percentage points beneath its FG average (39%).

Minter the mighty.
Donte “The Inferno” Minter continues to be Baby Shaq. By his own estimation he was double teamed “80 percent of the time,” but still scored 19 on 7-of-10 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and two blocks.

Ryan’s Hope renewed
Where have you been, Abraham? The sophomore was in double digits for a third straight game, going for 15 on 6-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-4 from Curry land. He appeared to be aggressive with his shot and was one of the few in Gold attempting to take some attention away from The Inferno.

Enough happy talk. Let’s tap our inner Bobby Knight.

Where, oh where, have our offensive sets gone?
While the defense played the role of Jessica Alba, the offense was all Ugly Betty. There was no consistent spacing. Passes were thrown where two(!) Apps stood. The paint stayed empty. Everyone but Minter wanted to be on the wing. Too often, the Apps just seemed lost, particularly when the D finally broke down.

Swing it, don’t sling it.
App State committed 19 turnovers, many of which came off foolish crosscourt passes in a halfcourt set. They were haphazard and way too popular. Quarterbacks are expected to throw passes over the heads of 8 people. Basketball players aren’t.

Where have all the shooters gone?
Donald “The Evolution” Sims has somehow lost his 3-point shot (0-5). Douglas McLaughlin-Williams still somehow thinks he has one (1-3 last night, 2-12 this month). Starting guards Eduardo Bermudez and Kellen Brand together went three for seven from the floor. With no reason to roam the outside, the D-Cats could concentrate all their attention on the middle. Minter still got his, but Jeremy Clayton had a rare off night. He can’t afford another one.

The ‘Whee-Cats are up Saturday, then tourney time. Can’t say I’m in a dancing mood.

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