Call it the Stephen Curry effect.
It wasn’t all that long ago when a Wildcat scoring 40 would’ve most definitely been Curry, who did so six times in his college days. But on Tuesday that honor belonged to junior guard Gibbs, who had a night to remember in front of the reigning NBA MVP and his family.
Gibbs made his first 14 shots, including six three-pointers, en route to scoring a career-high 41 points on 14-of-17 shooting (6 of 7 from three and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line) and leading Davidson to a resounding 109–74 win. It was, by any standard, an incredible performance. Gibbs drained 25 points in the first half alone, going a perfect 9 for 9 from the field in the first 20 minutes.
The historic night was a long time coming for Davidson, as Gibbs was the first Wildcat not named Stephen Curry to score at least 40 points in a game since Rich DiBenedetto in 1979.
Curry was in town because his undefeated Golden State Warriors are on the road getting ready to face the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. It’s too bad for the Wildcats that Curry can’t be around more often, as his presence sure seemed to jump-start his team to a 35-point win.
“To have someone take the time in his schedule to come and support this program, [it’s] quite a statement,” Davidson head coach Bob McKillop told reporters after the game when asked about Curry’s attendance. “I’m a great believer that the two greatest gifts we have are time and love, and he gave us those two gifts tonight. How lucky are we?”
Davidson is now 5–0 on the season heading into a showdown at No. 9 North Carolina on Sunday. The Wildcats will likely need another heroic performance from Gibbs to knock off the Tar Heels, but if Tuesday night is any indication, it seems the junior is up for the challenge.