Davidson County Community College had not forgotten what Division I Clinton Junior College did to them last year in the Storm Classic.

DCCC had a dismal second half and wound up losing by 13. Nearly a year to the date, the Storm got even on Saturday. After a sluggish first few minutes of basketball, Davidson turned on the jets and sprinted away for a 96-77 victory in the Storm Classic opener, shooting 52 percent in doing so and stealing the ball 16 times.

“It was an all-around team effort,” said head coach Matt Ridge. “I was proud of how we guarded the ball in stretches. They are so athletic and talented and I thought we did a great job of keeping the ball out of the paint.”

For a team that scores near the century mark almost every night, the Storm started slow with only 17 points through 11 minutes and trailed by four. Needing to find some offense quickly, sophomore guard Daniel Lawson gave them a huge lift. He scored nine points during a 11-2 run that gave the Storm a 28-23 edge. He assisted on a lob to Marquel Newkirk later on to put his team up 15, before the Golden Bears trimmed the deficit to nine at the half.

“Daniel carried us the first half,” Ridge said. “He had 17 points at the half and keeps getting better. When he first came here last year, I never imagined he would do what he has done. Daniel has really worked on his game and gotten stronger, and as a result he now has four-year school looking at him.”

Clinton came out hot to start the second half. Keyon Hilton had them within five on his offensive rebound and putback. The lead remained around five to six points until a big stretch for the Storm over a five minute span decided the game.

Davidson was up 58-52 when Gerry Hairston found all net on a 3-pointer from the wing. C.J. Woodbery and Lawson added back-to-back dunks to push the lead to 13. Clinton could not get the margin back under 10. With 10:35 to go Hairston stole the ball away and drove in for a layup, making it a comfortable 80-60 advantage. The largest the lead would get is 22 points moments later.

Lawson wound up with 25 points to lead four DCCC players in double figures. Hairston had 16, Ace Chalmers 13 and Woodberry had 11. Reid Goodson cleaned up the boards with 14 rebounds.

DCCC made 19 free throws while the Bears only attempted 20.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.