DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP)—If Stephen Curry is having any problems adjusting to his new role, he didn’t show it in No. 20 Davidson’s season opener.
Curry scored 29 points and had career highs with 10 assists and nine steals, and the Wildcats pulled away in the second half to beat Guilford 107-83 on Friday night.
The preseason AP first-team All-American—still adjusting to the move from shooting guard to the point—put up his third career double-double for Davidson, which led by as many as 39 points in the second half en route to winning its 17th straight home opener.
“It’s different in practice than in a game,” said Curry, one of three starters returning from last year’s team, which finished 29-7 and made it to the NCAA regional finals for the first time in school history.
“As I get more comfortable at the position, I’ll know what spots to attack and when to be patient and make an easy play. I’ve got that first-game experience now about what works and what won’t, so that’ll make it easier on myself and my teammates.”
Andrew Lovedale added 16 points, Brendan McKillop had 14 and Bryant Barr 11 for the Wildcats, who opened the season ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 1969-70 season.
Clay Henson scored 21 points for the Quakers, who shot 51.9 percent from the field and outrebounded Davidson 39-31, but could not overcome 39 turnovers. Gabriel Lowder added 15 and Tyler Sanborn had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“They’re a lot bigger, a lot quicker and longer, and they play physical,” Guilford coach Tom Palombo said. “They forced us into a lot of those turnovers, but some of them were because we had a lot of young kids playing their first game.”
Still, the Quakers—who finished 24-5 and made it to the NCAA Division III tournament last season—gave Davidson fits in the opening minutes of the first half, scoring the game’s first points and trailing by only 12 at the break.
“They played like they had nothing to lose,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “They played free and easy, and they made shots and put us on our heels. … But I was delighted with our defense in the second half.
“They gave us everything we could handle … so clearly we’ve got a lot of work to do to get better.”
Up 56-44 at the break, Davidson opened the second half with a 23-5 run, with Curry’s three-point play with 11:44 remaining giving the Wildcats an 80-49 cushion.