PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/19/2016 – An inter-sectional clash can be interesting. Especially one where both teams like to take as many shots as possible. We may seen something similar in the post-season, but we are well ahead of ourselves. Let’s focus on the present. The La Salle Explorers were close to winning this game, but a three-pointer as time ran out by Delani Robinson lifted the Tigers to a 77 – 76 win at the Gola Arena.
“That’s a crushing loss,” said La Salle Coach Dr. John Giannini. “We could not stop them without fouling, they outrebounded us, they hung in there. Every play in the game counted the same. They did one more good thing than us.”
No lead was safe in the game. Texas Southern got out to an early lead at 23 – 10 that La Salle erased to go into halftime ahead 35 – 34.
The second half had the same trend. The Tigers got in front, but the Explorers came back. TSU took its next to last lead at 68 – 65 on a basket by Robinson, who scored a team-high 17 points. LSU scored nine of the next ten points to move in front on a layup by B.J. Johnson, who put in a career-high 24 points, with 1:23 to play. The game turned at this point as La Salle guard Pookie Powell went inside uncontested, but his dunk attempt bounced off the back of the rim. Tigers guard Zach Lofton responded and got the game to within 74 – 73 with just over 30 seconds remaining. Powell bounced back by making two free throws at the 7.7 second mark.
“Pookie’s play decided the game,” Giannini said. “We had a layup to win the game, but tried a dunk and missed it.”
As TSU advanced the ball, La Salle fouled with 5.5 seconds showing. Kevin Scott made one cutting the gap to 76 – 74. Explorer forward Demetrius Henry was fouled, but missed the front end of a one-and-one giving Texas Southern one last chance, and Robinson made the game deciding play.
There were a total of 109 shots taken in the game, 55 by La Salle and 54 by Texas Southern, and 38 total 3-pointers. The Explorers made 45.5% of their attempts compared to 48.1% by the Tigers, however the visitors made 55.5% in the second half. TSU was good on 18 of 23 attempts from the line while LSU was 17 of 22. The Explorers committed 22 fouls, the Tigers 18. The rebounds went to Texas Southern by a 35 – 25 margin. The average time of possession to score was under 20 seconds for each team.
La Salle (1 – 2) takes a week off before facing Drexel at the DAC next Sunday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian