Youngstown, Ohio – If that was the ramp for Antoine Davis, it sure was one hell of a ride.
Davis made a spirited run for the all-time college basketball scoring record, but finished with a three-point lead as Detroit Mercy dropped a War of Wills, 71-66, to No. 1-ranked Youngstown State in the Horizon League quarterfinals Thursday night at Beeghly Center.
Davis finished with 22 points. It took 25 to catch Pete Maravich.
Davis had another look with about 4 seconds left, a double 3 that came off the rim and the clock ran out – perhaps a season-ending Detroit Mercy, and Davis’ historic career.
“At the end of the day, I feel like I’m still the best scorer of my generation in basketball,” Davis said softly, afterwards, standing in a quiet hallway outside the visitors locker room. “Nobody can take that from me.
“Just getting close is something no one thought could be done. I’m so grateful for everything, grateful for life, grateful for all my people who were able to come and support me, and thankful for my teammates.”
Detroit Mercy (14-19) could still technically play one more game this season, if a lower-division postseason tournament is interested. Detroit Mercy was invited and played one last season, despite a sub-. 500 regular season. Antoine’s father, head coach Mike Davis, said the Giants would accept an offer if one was made.
But if the Titans’ season did indeed end, Davis finished his five-year career at 3,664 points. The record is 3,667, held by Maravich, who had an epic three-year career at LSU in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Thursday’s game was played, in far eastern Ohio, less than an hour away from Maravich’s birthplace, in Pennsylvania.
Maravich held the record in just 83 games, as the freshman never got to play varsity on his day. He did it without the 3-point line. Davis played in 144 games, with a fifth year awarded by the NCAA to all athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stark differences had some critics calling for an asterisk and Davis set the record straight.
We’ll let his father tell you what you can do with an asterisk.
“Well, I just hope he gets the recognition he deserves, you know,” said Mike Davis. “When you read a lot of things about the Asterisks and all that talk, and people trying to justify him doing what he did, the bottom line is every game he played was an NCAA game.
“I was disappointed some people said the asterisk.”
Davis made a shooting out of the night on Thursday, going 7-for-26, including 4-for-16 in 3. He double-teamed all night, as usual, even on his final shot, when the game was essentially over.
He was also harassed all night by a rowdy Red Sea crowd of 5,584, who only cheered him on when he was introduced during the pre-game warm-up, and then again later when he was recognized as a Horizon League player on the Horizon League squad. year.
more:State Hoops: Antoine Davis’ life has changed in many ways, even off the field
The game was physical – there were three technical fouls players were called – and things got worse after the game in the handshake line, when their coaches had to separate the players, sending them off in opposite directions. Davis, after removing his mask, was carried off the court by two Titans employees, and was the target of rubbish thrown by a few members of the student section, located 10 feet above the court.
Davis’ teammate Gerald Liddell picked up one of the pieces of trash and launched it back into the student section. Davis and his father held their post-game press conferences in the foyer, rather than walking to the upstairs press area, which would have required walking the field while the fans were still in attendance. The police were at the stadium after the match.
Davis said the heat ran down handshake lane when Youngstown State’s Dwayne Cohill told him he didn’t deserve to be the Horizon League Player of the Year.
“I wouldn’t have told him that if he had won it,” Antoine said. “At the end of the day, God doesn’t like the ugly.”
Cohill, a first-team All-Horizon League selection who had some support among coaches for the league’s Most Valuable Player award due to his status on the championship team, was not available to respond to Davis’ accusation, when the school’s spokesman was asked to confirm. Cohill and Davis battled each other for most of the game, with a small scuffle resulting in a late technical foul on Cohill that pushed Davis onto the goal line.
As pieces of trash were falling from the student section as the Titans walked off the field toward their locker room, the PA announcer urged fans not to throw anything.
Horizon League commissioner Julie Roe Lach declined to comment immediately after the game.
It was an ugly end to what was looking like a rocky atmosphere to a match that saw nine confrontations and seven key changes. Detroit Mercy’s biggest lead was eight; Youngstown State was five years old.
“Nothing like this should ever happen,” said Mike Davis. “We can’t be emotional, either way. You can’t do that.”
“You win with kindness, you lose with kindness. There’s no room for that.”
more:A mother’s touch led Antoine Davis to Detroit, where he is still making history
Davis led the way for the Titans, in points, with two assists and two steals, but also five turnovers.
Freshman guard Marcus Tankersley added a career-high 14 points, while senior forward Liddell had 13 rebounds and 12 points, a double-double to make up for a tough game in the Horizon League’s opening win against Purdue Fort Wayne. He also had two blocks, and graduate student forward AJ Oliver — who, interestingly, went to the same high school as Maravich, in South Carolina — had 13 points.
Veteran Impact players TJ Moss (Ankle) and Arashma Parks (COVID) were unavailable for the second straight game.
Davis, 24, had seven first-half points as Detroit Mercy led, 33-29, in a bid to reach the Horizon League semifinals for the first time in the Davises’ five-year stint together.
He heated up to stretch in the second half, and drilled a 3-pointer with 4 minutes, 15 seconds remaining to give Detroit Mercy a 63-60 lead. That gave her 20 points, on the cusp. But he missed his last four goal-scoring attempts, as his final points came on a free throw late in the game and then within reach of Youngstown State (24-8).
Davis would finish his career as the 3-point king of college basketball, a two-time Horizon League Most Valuable Player, and a five-time All-Horizon League All-Star selection. The Number 0 had already retired at Callihan Hall, in an emotional ceremony last weekend.
It wasn’t everything he wanted – he returned to Detroit Mercy for a fifth year to reach the NCAA Tournament; His dad has pulled it off nine times in three previous stops, nothing with the Titans – but it’s still pretty good.
“I don’t regret anything,” Davis said. “I felt like God was telling me to go back and do something special here. At the end of the day, it didn’t happen, but, you know, it’s something you can’t control. And I’m just grateful.”
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