ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Davidson coach Bob McKillop isn't on the cusp of 600 wins from playing for overtime. So with the Wildcats down two with 20 seconds left against No. 17 Texas, he drew up a play to get a look from 3-point range.
And with a second chance, then he drew up another. Neither play ended with a basket as the Wildcats fell 78-76 against the Longhorns in the opening game of the Maui Invitational Monday at the Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville. Davidson will face the loser of Indiana and Providence Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"I really believe that we fought Texas as well as we could, and it came down to getting a stop at the end and getting a make at the end and we did neither," McKillop said in his postgame video conference. "I reflected back to the team in the locker room that there were multiple times during the game that one mistake could have been the reason we had lost, not the end of the game when we didn't get the stop or didn't get the score."
Sam Mennenga was 6-of-7 from the field shooting and led Davidson with 17 points and five rebounds. But the 6-9 redshirt freshman from New Zealand missed his last three shots – all 3-pointers that could have given the Wildcats the lead.
The Wildcats (1-1) last had a lead at 25-24 with 7:51 left in the first half. They never trailed by more than seven points the entire game, but had pulled within two, at 76-74, when Mennenga missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
A basket from junior forward Luka Brajovic tied the game at 76 with a minute left on a jump hook that happened to be Davidson's last successful ATO (after timeout) basket.
Texas guard Courtney Ramey tried to answer with a 3-pointer and missed when neither team could corral the rebound and it sailed out of bounds. Possession was initially signaled to Davidson, but the Longhorns got the ball back after an official review.
Ramey, who scored a team-high 14 points, would not miss a second chance to take the lead. This time, he got a step on Davidson's Carter Collins and drove for a layup with 20 seconds left.
HOW THE WILDCATS' LAST PLAY UNFOLDED