Nate Davis might not have shot great at the free throw line Wednesday night, but for what he lacked there, he made up for and then some elsewhere.
"I do what I have to do. If we come out with a win, that's great," Davis said.
It was just that as Davis recorded a double-double, committed only a single turnover and had some memorable blocked shots in Heidelberg's 66-58 win over Albion.
The senior from Dayton registered 18 points, 14 rebounds and had three blocks, two more than the entire Albion team.
Just about the only place he didn't excel was at the stripe, where he still went 6 of 11.
"I just plan to be the garbage man and be like Heidelberg's Dennis Rodman," Davis said, mentioning the NBA star of the 1990s. "Just grab like every rebound. That was my goal."
The description fit him quite well as he was found hanging around the rim often, grabbing board after board, including nine in the second half.
Heidelberg coach Anthony Gholson had much to say about his senior star.
"He's (Nate Davis) been coming out fast, he had 30 (points) the last game. He's letting the game come to him a little more," Gholson said.
However, Davis wasn't the only one who performed above Gholson's expectations.
Dane Givner, another senior starter, started out hot, scoring six points in the game's first five minutes. It was the type of performance Gholson's been waiting for.
"I thought Dane finally had a game. The first half, he got us going a little bit, he had 13 points. He's our best wing guy and it's about time he start playing like a senior," Gholson said. "He played like a senior today and made a couple of free throws down the stretch which really helped us out and he rebounded well and had no turnovers."
Givner ended with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Heidelberg went into the second half leading 36-26, however anytime it went on scoring spurts, Albion fought back, keeping the game within 10 points for most of the final half. At one time, the Britons were with within seven points, but a final timeout with 16.6 seconds remaining that had Gholson preaching to his players to finish, worked in his favor.
"I told them to finish, finish the game. One of the things in our pregame was focus, fight and finish. They weren't finishing. We weren't making free throws, we weren't making layups," Gholson said.
With 10 seconds left, Albion's Alex Harville fouled Dane Givner as a last ditch effort to stay alive, but after sinking both free throws and a Nate Davis block at the buzzer, Heidelberg moved to 4-1.
Saturday marks the Student Princes first OAC game of the season (against John Carroll) and Gholson said the team has work to do at the charity stripe. When asked one thing he sees the team working on in practice over the next few days, he responded: "Free throws. We're probably the worst free throw shooting team in America. We're struggling shooting the basketball right now."
Heidelberg shot just 58 percent from the foul line (9-14) something that Gholson expects to see improvement on in Saturday's game. He is also looking for the team to focus more.
"If we make bad decisions, we can get beat by 40 in the John Carroll game. If we make good decisions, we can win by 40. It's just gonna be that kind of game." Gholson said.