PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/15/2020 – It was a Play for Kay game as the Saint Joseph’s Hawks hosted the La Salle Explorers in an Atlantic 10 game on Hawk Hill. The Big Five game was played at 20th and Olney in late January.
La Salle won that game and had an opportunity to do something they had not done before, sweep a season series against Saint Joe’s. The Explorers did that, but they had to earn it defeating the Hawks 59 – 53. It was their first win on City Line since 1998.
“They weren’t going to give up, and we had to stay with it and try to match it,” said La Salle Coach Mountain MacGillivray. “I like the way we responded.”
La Salle had the better of the early going. They lead 34 – 26 at halftime. But the Hawks crawled back into the game getting to within four points going into the final 10 minutes on a corner jumper by Mary Sheehan. It gave the team energy and Saint Joe’s stayed in striking distance, but La Salle held on to the lead. The Explorers iced it on baskets by Claire Jacobs and Deja King.
“They’re starting to build a memory on how we defend, what our expectations are, and it’s really paying off,” MacGillivray said. “We’re getting more comfortable in these situations.”
Jacobs scored a game-high 18 points and sister Amy Jacobs added 11 points. They pair continue to contribute.
“That’s what they continue to do, score the ball,” said MacGillivray. “They’re getting much better on the defensive end of the floor. I’m pleased with that.”
Saint Joe’s got more shots than La Salle putting up 56, but could convert 18 of those attempts for 32%. La Salle went 20 for 46 from the field. SJU was 14 for 22 from the free throw line. The shots went up, but not in the basket.
“We’ve outshot our opponents in most games,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “The challenge is that we’re not making them. It’s great we got to the foul line, but we missed eight and that hurts you.”
Gabby Smalls led the Hawks in scoring with 17 points. Katie Jekot added 12 points. The Hawks had a 40 – 28 edge in rebounds, 16 – 4 off the offensive glass.
“The outcome wasn’t what we wanted,” Griffin said. “I’m proud of our effort. Things didn’t go our way down the stretch.”
La Salle improves to 11 – 14 for the season and is 5 – 7 in the Atlantic 10.
SJU has lost 6 in a row dropping to 2 – 10 in conference.
Written By: Glenn Papazian