Antoine Davis scores 46 as Detroit Mercy wins first DI men’s postseason game of season
Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis scored seven 3-point points in his first seven games of the season. Total.
On Thursday night, Davis made 10 3s and finished the game at 46 – the fourth 40-point game of his career and just three points off Archie Tullos’ program record – when the Titans returned to the postseason for the first time in two years drew by Robert Morris, 83-73, away in a Horizon League quarterfinal game at Calihan Hall. It was the first men’s Division I postseason game of the season.
The Titans (12-9), who finished fifth in the tournament, won their eleventh game in their last 13 games, taking on Northern Kentucky (13-10) on Thursday night. This is the first school meeting this season.
Robert Morris (3-13) and Detroit Mercy played their third game against each other, with the Titans winning all three, although the last two weren’t exactly easy.
As in the last game, Robert Morris, who was number 12 in his first year in the Horizon League, took the early lead 9-3 thanks to defensive pressure at one point in the first half. But eventually Davis found some openings and found his groove.
He scored 24 in the first half for a 36-24 Detroit Mercy lead, in 6v10 shooting from 3s. In the second half he was quieter from a great distance, but showed his more versatile game, drove to the basket, pulled fouls and found his teammates. He has made 47 free throws in a row.
Davis couldn’t quite hit the single-game record of 49 – in the classic way he dribbled out of the clock – but still made history, topping the 2,000-point mark for his career and passing Dave DeBusschere to finish third in Detroit Mercy. Davis follows only Rashad Phillips (2,319) and John Long (2,167) with 2,024. His 46 points are also a record for a Detroit Mercy player in the postseason.
Davis, who was named to the first-team All-Horizon League for the third year in a row this week but was shy for Player of the Year, had his best single-game performance against Wright State in 2019 at 48. He also scored 43 against IUPUI to close the 2020 season and 42 against Loyola-Chicago in 2018.
Bul Kuol added 14 for Detroit Mercy and Chris Brandon had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Brandon had two scores in a row to answer some of Robert Morris’s work on the other end.
Kahliel Spear scored 22 for Robert Morris, Jon Williams was 17 and Kam Farris was 15. Robert Morris has played for much of this month without star AJ Bramah, who switched and was without big man Charles Bain (ankle) and top in the second half -Defender Dante Treacy for a few minutes late in the second half because of bad problems.
Still, the Colonials, who qualified for the NCAA tournament last year before it was canceled due to COVID-19, stayed in it for most of the second half, aggressively dominating the color on multiple consecutive possessions. Detroit Mercy usually found a way to respond and eventually found some breathing space after taking in Robert Morris at 5:40 on a Davis 3.
This was Detroit Mercy’s first postseason win since winning a game in the 2016 Horizon League tournament in front of three head coaches. The Titans sat out last year because of the NCAA’s academic credentials.
Horizon League men’s tournament
Detroit Mercy 83, Robert Morris 73
►No. 11 UIC (9-12, 6-10) in Youngstown State No. 6 (14-11, 9-11)
►No. 10 Purdue Fort Wayne (7-14, 6-14) at No. 7 Green Bay (8-16, 8-12)
►No. 9 IUPUI (8-9, 7-9) in # 8 Milwaukee (8-11, 7-10)
►Lowest remaining seeds at No. 1 Cleveland State (16-7, 16-4), 7 (ESPN +)
►Tenth lowest remaining seeds at No. 2 Wright State (18-5, 16-4), 7 (ESPN +)
►Tenth highest remaining seeds at No. 3 Oakland (10-17, 10-10), 7:30 (ESPN +)
►No. 5 Detroit Mercy (12-9, 10-6) at No. 4 Northern Kentucky (13-10, 11-7), 7 (ESPN +)
8TH OF MARCH
At the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis
►Semifinal, 6:30 (ESPNU)
►Semifinal, 9:30 (ESPN2)
►Championship, 7 (ESPN or ESPN2)
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