WASHINGTON (HMG) – Behind the A-10 Co-Player of the Year and the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player, Peyton Aldridge’s leadership and pure will-to-win brought the Davidson Wildcats an at-large bid to the “Big Dance.” Davidson hasn’t been “dancing” since Stephen Curry wore their uniform.
“I was particularly pleased with our defensive effort,” said Wildcat’s Coach Bob McKillop after the 58-57 victory. “Foul shots win games. We are a very good foul shooting team. We did that very well today.”
McKillop was impressed with his team’s resilience as they went 13 minutes without a score in the second half but performed well defensively and even better from the charity stripe.
Aldridge scored 13 points and had seven rebounds in the championship game. Kellan Grady had 17 points in the victory. This was their team’s first A-10 championship game since entering the conference in 2014.
“There is a lot of talent in this league. It is a tough league,” said Aldridge. “Hopefully we will get multiple teams into the NCAA tournament.”
E.C. Mathews led Rhode Island with 20 points and eight rebounds.
“We made silly fouls,” said Mathews. “Davidson trusted themselves a little more than we did.”
Rhode Island ends the season ranked 25th in the nation and will get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“Disappointing result there. It was an intense game,” said Rams Coach Dan Hurley. “Davidson is a classy program. I couldn’t have more respect for the way they play, the way they carry themselves. It was a tough loss.”
The A-10 All-Championship team included Aldridge, Grady, Rhode Island’s Jeff Dowtin, St. Bonaventure’s Matt Mobely and VCU’s Justin Tillman.
HMG Staff: Carl Ey
Photos: Eric Myhre