DAVIDSON — Davidson didn’t get to the free throw line many times Thursday night against Chattanooga.
The way the rest of the Wildcats’ game was working, they didn’t need to.
Davidson put together its best game of the season, on offense and defense, and steamrolled Southern Conference frontrunner Chattanooga 94-51 at Belk Arena.
De’Mon Brooks finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and three other players finished in double figures for the Wildcats (11-11, 7-1), who handed the Mocs (14-9, 8-1) their worst loss of the season in snapping their 10-game winning streak.
“Without doubt, our best performance of the year,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “Our consistency, from opening tap to the end of the game, both offensively and defensively, were very evident. It’s very gratifying to have this kind of success tonight.”
Jordan Barham came off the bench to score 17 points, and Tyler Kalinoski and Tom Droney had 11 each for the Wildcats, who have won four straight and sit one-half game back of Chattanooga in the SoCon standings.
“We came out aggressive from the get-go,” Brooks said. “No one took a play off. When the starters came out, the bench came in and played their role. It was almost a perfect game.”
Davidson shot 59.2 percent from the field (42-of-71) – its second-best shooting game of the season and third straight game of 50 percent or better. The Wildcats also hit 6 of 14 3-pointers but were 4-of-8 from the line – their fewest free throws attempted in a game this season.
Davidson also dominated inside against the Mocs, outrebounding them 44-26 – including a 14-7 advantage in offensive boards – and outscoring them 70-24 in the paint.
But the Wildcats were just as impressive on the defensive end, holding Chattanooga to 32.7 percent shooting (16-of-49), including 0-of-13 on 3-pointers. The also forced 14 Mocs turnovers, leading to a 21-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
Z. Mason, Chattanooga’s leading scorer (and No. 3 in the Southern Conference) at 18.8 points per game, was held to seven points on 2-of-9 shooting. Casey Jones led the Mocs with 20 points.
“It wasn’t just me,” said Brooks, who drew the primary assignment of guarding Mason. “It was a team effort, and we got the job done. … When we have that, we can make some noise.”