Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
In the first six minutes of Friday night’s bout with Davidson, the Rams’ Havoc defense forced nine turnovers — eight of them steals.
The Wildcats’ total was up to nine by the under-12 media timeout, and the team was in a scoring drought that lasted almost five minutes.
“We talked about defense and to be who we are on defense: getting deflections, getting steals, flying around, making it tough for them to score,” coach Mike Rhoades said.
Those first six minutes characterized the black and gold’s defensive play, leading the Rams to a 73-62 win.
“It’s up there I would say,” redshirt-senior guard Marcus Evans said of the team’s defensive performance. “I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface. We still could have been more locked in.”
Evans drew five fouls in the contest and logged one of the 12 steals on the night.
The Rams forced 21 total Wildcat turnovers — a new season high for Davidson. The black and gold scored 23 points off the errors.
Senior guard De’Riante Jenkins stole the show on the defensive end, tying a season-high five steals in the first half.
“Last game we didn’t play as hard as we should have as a team,” Jenkins said. “I was just thinking ‘what could I have done better?’ I was just being more aggressive defensively.”
Jenkins logged five steals in the Rams win over Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 23.
“He’s more confident on defense then he ever has been,” Rhoades said of Jenkins. “He was trying harder. It’s amazing when you try harder, you become a better defensive player.”
Senior guard Mike’l Simms and redshirt-senior guard Issac Vann both logged two steals in the contest.
In addition to the steals, the Rams forced a Davidson 10-second violation early in the contest and then a shot clock violation late in the first half.
The Rams host George Mason on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.