PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/19/2020 – The Gola Arena hosted a basketball doubleheader featuring the school’s women’s and men’s teams. The first game saw an Explorers women’s team, trending in an upward direction, play a team near the top of the standings in the Atlantic 10. That was followed by the men who played a stalwart defensive team that was one game behind them in the standings.
The results were a split. The women fell to VCU while the men earned a gritty win over Fordham.
Let’s see how.
Women’s Basketball – VCU 67 La Salle 61
The Explorers brought a two-game winning streak into the game against VCU Rams, a team sitting in second place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. La Salle gave VCU all they could handle, but fell in a tightly contested game. And the Explorers stayed in contention despite shooting 23 of 66 from the floor (34.8%) and just 3 of 22 from beyond the arc.
Amy Jacobs had a team-best 19 points. Kayla Spruill posted her third double-double of the campaign getting 17 points and 12 rebounds.
On defense VCU was held to a low percentage, but they did have Tera Reed who had a game-high 23 points. She was 7 of 19, and converted 9 free throws. Madison Hattix-Covington contributed 18 points, 11 at the line. For the game VCU was 33 of 41 from the charity stripe. Two LaSalle players fouled out.
The game stayed close. During the second quarter neither team had more than a one possession lead. The teams went into halftime tied at 31, the only time this season that LSU was tied at intermission. VCU went ahead 46 – 43 after three. In the fourth quarter the Rams opened up a 9-point lead at the 6:27 mark. The Explorers climbed right back into the game behind a 12 – 3 run evening the game at 59 on a Spruill layup with just over three and half minutes left. VCU got control back making 8 of 10 from the line. La Salle got just one more basket.
Shalina Miller blocked 6 shots giving her an all-time season record with 68 blocked shots.
The Rams improve to 10 – 3 in conference. The Explorers fall to 5 – 8. Next up for La Salle is a game at Rhode Island on Saturday. The Explorers are improving.
“We’re coming,” said La Salle Coach Mountain MacGillivray. “This game was as good as the Saint Joe’s and the GW game. It wasn’t perfect and there were things we need to get back. It’s starting to come together.”
Men’s Basketball – La Salle 58 Fordham 49
Fordham is one of the tougher defensive teams in the conference. Therefore, this was not an offensive masterpiece. The Explorers turned it over to the defense. LSU gave up 49 points which is the least number of points given up this season. La Salle allowed 19 points in the first half, the lowest number given up in any half this season. Overall, the Explorers held the Rams to 35% shooting and just 4 of 24 three-point shooting. The 16.7% from three-point land by Fordham was the lowest percentage La Salle allowed.
“It was a team effort,” said La Salle Coach Ashley Howard. “It was important for us to play forty minutes of La Salle basketball where we are guarding them, and the guys coming in the game giving maximum effort and staying connected for forty minutes. This was our best defensive effort of the season in terms of our ability to stay connected
La Salle was not scoring in bunches either and held a 22 – 19 lead at halftime.
The offense got going a bit more on the latter half. Midway through the stanza the Explorers led 34 – 31. Christian Ray beat the shot clock with a three-pointer than started an 8 – 0 run. The advantage would grow to as many as 13 points as LSU gets their 3rd Atlantic 10 win. Fordham came into the contest a game behind La Salle. The Rams are now 1 – 12 and tied with Saint Joseph’s for 13th place in conference.
Ed Croswell and David Beatty led the Explorers in scoring with 12 each. Croswell pulled down a team-high 9 rebounds.
Josh Colon registered a game-high 14 points for the Rams.
The Explorers (3 – 10) travel to the nation’s capital to play George Washington on Saturday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian