Tonawanda News — AMHERST — It was a very good weekend for the Daemen men’s basketball team. On Saturday the Wildcats beat Maine-Fort Kent, 96-67 and they followed that up on Monday night with a 113-53 schlacking of Ontario-based Sheridan College.
How’d they do it? Defense.
Daemen (10-3) forced a combined 61 turnovers in the two games and never stopped running. The Wildcats didn’t shoot over 50 percent in either game, but it didn’t matter because they recorded 17 steals — in each game.
Against Sheridan, Daemen recorded 29 assists, scored 22 points on its fast break and scored 39 points off turnovers. The Wildcats had five players in double figures — two of which came off the bench.
Redshirt sophomore Aaron Davis (North Tonawanda High School) played in two straight games for the first time this season and looks to finally be in game shape after a year off recovering from an Achilles injury. Davis scored 12 points in 16 minutes Monday night and added six rebounds.
The former Lumberjack said it feels great to be a part of the team again.
”I feel good. It’s great to be back into it and the team’s looking good,” he said. “We’ve had two good games back-to-back now and I just feel good. I feel good about my Achilles for the moment, and I’m happy to be out there playing again.”
Daemen associate head coach Mike Miranto said that Davis is a guy that makes winning plays whenever he steps onto the court. He’s taken to his role on the team and provides a spark every time he checks into a game. His defensive intensity has been a big lift for the Wildcats all season.
”He’s done a really good job embracing his role, and I think coming out of high school people wouldn’t have saw him as a defensive player,” Miranto said. “It’s always nice to bring a guy off the bench that not only embraces their role but that has the ability to score. I mean, he scored 1,600 points in high school. That’s always nice.”
Miranto said Davis went through a full week of practice last week and should continue to improve in terms of stamina and confidence. Rehabbing a big injury is a long process that requires patience and relentless work ethic and Davis said that it wasn’t always easy.
”When I first got back out there I was a little tentative,” he said. “My dad will be screaming from the stands not to be tentative. But you get into the flow of things and you have your teammates helping you out. It’s been a rough go and I’m just trying to get the hang of it.”
Sophomore sharpshooter Jordan Greene scored 16 points in only 12 minutes and went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He scored 14 points on Saturday on 4 of 5 shooting from three-point range.
Senior Jim Regan also had a big night Monday, finishing with 19 points and nine rebounds in only 19 minutes. Junior Casey Sheehan wowed those in attendance with high-flying offense and defense, scoring 18 points, dishing out five assists and recording three steals. Junior Mark Coppola finished with a game-high seven assists.Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News Sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.