Thursday, March 21, 2013

A loss no Davidson fan will ever forget

Marquette devastated Davidson Thursday with a monumental NCAA tournament comeback, knocking down three straight three-pointers and then a running left-handed layup by Vander Blue with one second left to edge the Wildcats, 59-58, in a heartbreaking game at Rupp Arena.

This will be one of those losses that no Davidson fan will ever forget. No.14 seed Davidson looked to be in control, up seven with 1:49 to go and still leading 58-54 with 20 seconds left following Nik Cochran’s two free throws. But No.3 Marquette got a three-pointer and then De’Mon Brooks threw the ball away down the sideline trying to get it to Cochran (who leads the nation in FT shooting and had just made two).

After the turnover, with about six seconds left, Blue took the inbounds pass and drove to the rim with no one able to stop him. Davidson switched a screen and Cohen was on Blue, but Blue shot it left-handed over Cohen and banked it in. Cohen came within a few inches of blocking the shot.

Give Marquette credit for playing an unbelievable last 70 seconds. Davidson was up 54-48 with 1:10 left. But in Marquette's last four possessions, the Golden Eagles made three three-pointers and Blue's running layup. Up until then, Marquette had made only one three-pointer the entire game. Davidson called a timeout with one second left, but had the ball 94 feet away from the basket. Blue intercepted Cohen's pass and it was over.

The Wildcats wasted what was otherwise a fine performance, as they led for almost the entire game. Cohen had 20 points. Cochran and Brooks both had 11.

In the silent Davidson locker room, the talk was mostly about the team's four seniors and how difficult the loss would be for them. "I'll have another chance," Brooks said. "They won't."

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