GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Davenport and Wayne State provided a wildly entertaining game for the fans that came to see the Panthers GLIAC home-opener. Despite the Warriors making some highly contests jump shots, Davenport came away with the three-point victory. The Panthers had a great crowd behind them and made a couple clutch plays in the last minute of play. The win propels Davenport into second place in the GLIAC South Division and second overall in the GLIAC.
Final Score: Davenport-73 | Wayne State-70
Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.
POINTS PER HALF
First Half: DU-31 | WSU-30
Second Half: DU-42 | WSU-40
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Panthers came out the gate with a great energy, fueled by the fans in the stands, and built up a double digit lead. With the score 15-10, in favor of DU, Janeau Joubert knocked in back to back three balls to give Davenport a 21-10 lead, forcing the Warriors to take a timeout. The timeout proved to be a smart move by the Wayne State head coach, as they battled back to tie the game 24-24 in just under five minutes after the break in the action. The Panthers held a one-point advantage over Wayne State at halftime.
The second half was wildly entertaining, with plenty of momentum shifts. The Warriors flipped the script and went on an 8-2 run in the opening 4:07 of the half. Davenport responded by going on a 10-5 run to make the game tied at 40-40. With 13:45 to go in regulation. The Panthers continued to build on that momentum and went on a 12-2 run to take a double digit lead. The run was capped off by a three by Avery Hudson on a fast break, with Chris Rollins and Robbie Bramhill each making a three during the run. The lead hovered around 8-10 points for a good chunk of the half. The Panthers lead was threatened late in the game and in a hurry. With 2:28 on the clock DU led 67-57, the lead was cut down to only one with 1:01 remaining in the game. Davenport put the ball in the hands of Delano Smith, and similar to earlier in the season, he came through with two clutch buckets. After the Warriors made two free throws Delano drove the ball and finished a tough layup to take a 71-68 lead. Wayne State responded by getting fouled on a drive and hitting both free throws, cutting the lead to one yet again. Davenport put the ball in Smith's hand and he drove the lane again. This time Smith missed his initial shot, but was able to grab his own miss and put the ball in the basket with just under 10 seconds to play. The Warriors came down and missed a three, with Bramhill grabbing the defensive rebound to end the game.
"Wayne State is the best one-win team in early December that I've ever seen. I'm really happy with our teams' ability and willingness to fight through a great deal of adversity. The Warriors hit a lot of tough shots tonight. At this time of the year it is great to have our young team finding ways to win.
I thought several guys had huge contributions. Avery again reeled in nine rebounds and Chris rallied after a rocky first half to really rally the troops and make some incredible plays both ends of the floor in the second. As well, Delano has been far from himself the last few games and again at "game time" was able to come through with two critical buckets to secure the win.
I was incredibly proud of and thankful for our DU student section tonight. There was a large group of students that played a huge role in us winning this GLIAC South contest! Thanks and we hope to see you on Saturday. Go DU!" – Head Coach Burt Paddock
Points: Hudson/Rollins (15)
Rebounds: Hudson (9)
Assists: Hudson (5)
Steals: Hudson/Smith (2)
Blocks: Dyllon Hudson-Emory/Bramhill (2)
Davenport will have their toughest test to date on Saturday. The Panthers welcome Ashland to the DU Student Center. The Eagles are currently the only team in the GLAC that have a 3-0 record in conference play and they sit at the top of the GLIAC standings.
Story by: Devin Steiner