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Davidson holds off Eastern Washington in offensive show

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DAVIDSON, N.C. – Jack Gibbs scored 37 points, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range, to help lead Davidson to a 96-86 win over Eastern Washington on Wednesday night.

Gibbs entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in scoring at 24.6 points per game.

Brian Sullivan and Jordan Barham each added 22 points for the Wildcats (6-1), who shot 59.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. The 22-point effort is a career high for Barham.

Austin McBroom scored 33 points for the Eagles (5-4) and Venky Jois had 21 with 14 boards.

Davidson led 47-39 at the half and took its first double-digit lead (54-44) after Gibbs’ layup with 16:50 left. A Nathan Ekwu layup with 9:28 remaining stretched the lead to 77-59.

A Jois dunk cut the Wildcats’ lead 88-78 with 1:38 left, but the Eagles got no closer.

EWU shot 49 percent from the field and 10 of 27 on 3-pointers.

Davidson is the former home for the NBA’s hottest star, Stephen Curry of the unbeaten Golden State Warriors. Gibbs did his best imitation of Curry, hitting 12 of 17 shots.

Davidson is ranked 32nd in NCAA Division I in scoring (84.3) and is 19th in 3-pointers made per game (10.2). The Wildcats finished 13 of 26 on 3-pointers and shot 66 percent from the field in the second half.

“We represented our school very well,” Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said. “We showed that offensively we can hang with these teams, but we just couldn’t put together the stops we needed. We didn’t have enough mature depth to close that gap and that’s why we left with a 10-point loss. It was a great learning experience. It’s game that I would like to play in the future, because it’s against the kind of team that can only make you better.”

Eastern plays four more nonconference games before beginning Big Sky Conference play on Dec. 31.

Davidson suffered its first loss of the season at ninth-ranked North Carolina on last Sunday by a score of 98-65.

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