Guard Nik Cochran and the Davidson Wildcats defeat the No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks 80-74 tonight at Kansas City’s own Sprint Center in what looked like a repeat of their 2008 Elite 8 match up.
Thomas Robinson once again led the Jayhawks with a powerhouse performance, scoring 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. Guard Tyshawn Taylor added 15 points and 7 assists along with Elijah Johnson’s 15 points and 6 assists.
Wildcats Cochran finished the game with 21 points after shooting 5-6 from the field, 4-5 from the 3 point land, and 7-8 from the free
throw line. Guard J.P. Kuhlman added 15 points and two clutch late game free throws. The team managed to commit 0 turnovers the entire second half.
The Jayhawks tied the Wildcats four times throughout the entire game but never managed to take the lead. They stayed within single digits the entire second half until the final twenty seconds when the Wildcats pulled away with their excellent performance from the free throw line.
The intensity picked up at 5:00 after a steal from Davidson’s Jake Cohen leading to a transition bucket to place the Wildcats lead at 65-56. Travis Releford proceeded to capitalize on 3 point play after being fouled on a well aimed jumper to put the Hawks down by only 3 points with four minutes to play.
Jawhawks’ Connor Teahan’s sluggish performance late in the game hurt the Hawks chance at making a comeback. His foul on Nik Cochran, a 94% free throw shooter, gave the Wildcats a 5 points lead, 66-61, with 3:04 left to play. Teahan commits another foul after Tyshawn Taylor’s made jumper which put a halt to their momentum after cutting the lead to three. The Hawks next offensive possession is wasted after an off-the-mark three pointer from Teahan.
The game was neck and neck until the final minutes when Cochran drained a 3-pointer with no time left on the shot clock to put the Wildcats up by six, 71-65, with 1:36 left. An accidental foul by Jayhawks’ Tyshawn Taylor sent Cochran to the free throw line to put the Wildcats up 75-68 with under a minute left to play.
The Wildcats shot 9-10 from the free throw line in the final minute of play solidifying their lead. Hawks’ Teahan’s 3-pointer with :16 left and Elijah Johnson’s 3-pointer with :07 left were only enough to bring them within six as the clock wound down and the buzzer sounded. The Davidson Wildcats stunned the No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks