PHILDELPHIA, PA. 1/4/20 – The La Salle Explorers opened their Atlantic 10 schedule, but were defeated 98 – 58 by the Dayton Flyers.
The Flyers had five players score in double figures led by Shakeela Fowler with 16 points and 6 assists. Kyla Whitehead added 18 points, the most this season. As a team Dayton made 57% from the floor (37 of 65) and 11 of 21 from beyond the arc. La Salle, led by Jordon Lewis who scored 13, connected on 37% from the field. One team making shots, the other missing is a bad combination. Did one end of the floor affect the other?
“I’ll say there is always a correlation between the two,” said La Salle Coach Mountain MacGillivray. “Their making shots hurt us more than our missing. I’m not sure if it was what we were doing schematically. Maybe it was a lot us Dayton and a lot of us that contributed to their good night.”
The beginning of the game was all Dayton who made 12 of their 17 shots and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc in the opening quarter. La Salle had no answer for Fowler who made all 5 of her field goal attempts including a three-pointer for 11 points. The Explorers could not find the mark hitting just 4 of 15 to trail 31 – 11 after one quarter of play. The team had to focus inward after the rough start, and play hard.
“Competitiveness, the same thing I look for every day,” said MacGillivray. “I’m looking for them to compete every second that they are out there, diving for loose balls, fighting for rebounds, being strong when they have the ball. We did that at a twenty percent rate tonight. That’s why this really stings.”
It got better in the second quarter for the hosts who found the range on half of their 12 shots, 3 of 5 from deep, and ended the second quarter with an 11 – 2 run to cut the deficit to 47 – 33.
La Salle got to within 12 at 47 – 35 early in the third quarter on a basket by Claire Jacobs. Dayton responded with a 14 – 4 run to lengthen the lead to 22 with 5:07 left in the quarter. The Explorers got no closer than 19 the rest of the way.
“In the second quarter we turned up our competitiveness and intensity and were able to cut the gap,” said La Salle point guard Kate Hill. “We came out at halftime, cut it again, but we just lost it.”
Turnovers were an issue as the hosts committed 20 that gave the visitors a 30 – 5 advantage in points off turnovers. Araion Bradshaw stole the ball 6 times, a career-high, and had a game-high 7 assists.
“We could have lost by 40 because they were the dominant team, but we lost by forty because of who we were and that hurts,” said MacGillivray.
Hill came into the game leading the Atlantic 10 in assist to turnover ratio at 2.21. She added to her totals handing 9 assists, two shy of her career-high, and making just one miscue in a collegiate-most 32 minutes. Kayla Spruill contributed 11 points, the only other Explorer in double-digits. Shalina Miller pulled down a game-best 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.
Jenna Giacone scored 14 points and Christine Szabo set a career-mark with 11 points. Erin Whalen added 10 points. The Flyers scored their season-most points.
La Salle (6 – 8, 0 – 1) takes the court again on Wednesday hosting St. Louis.
Written By: Glenn Papazian