March 1, 2024 

Davidson cancels the rest of the 2023-24 season

'Significant number of injuries' cuts the Wildcats season short, A-10 to play 14-team tournament

On March 1, the Davidson athletic department announced the cancellation of the rest of the 2023-24 women’s basketball season “due to a significant number of injuries.” The team forfeited three of its last four Atlantic 10 games and when it celebrated four seniors on Feb. 28, only one of the four seniors was dressed in a uniform. That player, Maddie Plank, left the game with a knee injury. 

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“The physical, mental and emotional toll of this unfortunate and injury-riddled season has brought us to this point,” Chris Clunie, Davidson vice president and director of athletics stated in the team-issued press release. “We are incredibly saddened that we cannot finish out the season strong but feel this is the best decision for our scholar-athletes.”

Numerous players missed time due to injury this season, including Suzi-Rose Deegan and Charlise Dunn who posted on Instagram a month apart about their torn ACLs

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“The injuries we have sustained this season have weighed heavily on our entire program,” Davidson head coach Gayle Fulks stated in a team-issued press release. “This decision is not one that we are taking lightly, as no one wanted it to end this way. Our team of young women is the strongest, most caring and most competitive team I have ever been a part of.” 

They have been an absolute joy to coach, every single day. Despite the challenging nature of the way this season has unfolded, our team never wavered and competed to the very end. I am confident there is no team in the country that would have handled the hardship we faced with as much grace, strength and adaptability as our young women did. I am so proud of them.”

Davidson finished the season that started with a 12-1 record — including a win over Duke on Nov. 16 — at 18-11 (8-10 in the A-10).

A statement from A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade was released by the conference and Rhode Island head coach Tammi Reiss shared a positive message for the team.

The A-10 will seed the remaining teams 1-14 and play a 14-team tournament with one less game than originally scheduled on Wednesday, March 6, the first day of the tournament. The No. 10 seed will now receive a bye to the second round of the tournament.

While it is too early to know what the team will look like next season, Elle Sutphin is in the transfer portal as a graduate transfer (Davidson does not offer master’s programs). She averaged 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 15 games this season and has been a key piece for Davidson in her three seasons there.

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Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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