January 13, 2021 –
In the final non-conference game for both teams the La Salle Explorers grind out a 58 – 55 win over the Drexel Dragons at the Gola Arena. It was the first win for the Explorers over the Dragons since 2009.
The Explorers gained a lot of experience and preparation for the remaining conference schedule by playing the local rivals.
“It’s definitely high energy and helps bring out our competitiveness, and helps us get better each and every day,” said La Salle forward Haleigh Hill.
The Dragons held a 50 – 48 lead with just over five and a half minutes to play. The Explorers were able to move in front 56 – 52 on a tip in by Hill. The teams battled with chances at the foul line for both, but they did not convert. There were steals, missed shots, held balls, and the issue was in doubt to the end punctuated by an offensive rebound off a missed foul shot by La Salle forward Claire Jacobs. The Explorers held on and can let it be a teaching point.
“Somebody said along the way you can learn from losses,” said La Salle Coach Mountain MacGillivray. “We learn from wins. Losses just hurt. We can go back and look at all the mistakes we made at the end of this game and not look at it from a woe is me standpoint. We can look at it and say we can be even better. There are a whole lot of things from the end of the game that we can learn from, but it will be a lot more fun sitting there after a win than after a loss.”
Haleigh Hill pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and added 10 points. Jacobs was the team leading scorer getting 17 points and 5 rebounds including they key offensive board. Kate Hill was credited with 7 assists. Deja King scored 12 points, all on three-point baskets. Contributions of this type from King will aid La Salle as the season progresses.
“It takes the pressure off our leading scorers when they know they can rely on someone else to put the ball into the basket, and they way my teammates look up to me brings energy to the court and the bench,” said Hill.
Keishana Washington led the Dragons in scoring with 16 points. She did most of her damage on the first half. Maura Hendrixson added 11 points and Mariah Leonard pulled down 7 rebounds. Hannah Nihill handed out 6 assists.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Explorers (5 – 6, 1 – 3) as they head to Olean, NY for a noon tipoff against St. Bonaventure.
“The team is not focused on who is next as much as us getting better and they saw a lot of things come better tonight,” MacGillivray said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian