January 16, 2021 –
When planning for playing Davidson one item of note is to limit the points that Wildcats leading scorer Kellen Grady gets. La Salle did that holding him to 4 points. But the Wildcats got scoring from other players, and balance on where they scored to take a 77 – 53 over the Explorers of La Salle at the Gola Arena. Meanwhile La Salle found it difficult to get their offense going especially early, and the result was their third straight loss.
Davidson got the offense going to start the game getting the ball inside to forward Luka Brajkovic who scored 17 points. He added 5 rebounds and 4 assists. On the outside guard Carter Collins sank 10 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 6 outside of the arc for a game-high 24 points. Collins handed out 3 assists.
“We went into the game with a plan to stop Kellen Grady, and we did that,” said La Salle Coach Ashley Howard. “It just so happens that they had other guys that really stepped up in a significant way.”
“They went inside to Brajkovic and he got some easy touches inside, and he scored. And then Carter Collins got it going. We never made the proper adjustments on those guys throughout the course of the game.”
In the first half the Wildcats made 20 of 32 field goal attempts. The Explorers got off to another slow start and converted 10 of 28 shots. Davidson took a 44 – 25 lead into halftime. La Salle would not get to within double digits for the rest of the game.
Scott Spencer was the only Explorer to score in double figures getting 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting. His baskets were all three-pointers as Spencer took 7 from beyond the arc. Forward Jared Kimbrough led the team in rebounds with 5 and Jhamir Brickus handed out 4 assists.
For the game La Salle made 21 of 53 (40%) from the floor. But not enough as Davidson (8 – 5, 4 – 2) converted 32 of 58 (55.2%). Basketball is a numbers game. The Wildcats had the better numbers.
It will be a quick turnaround as La Salle (5 – 8, 2 – 4)will host Saint Joseph’s on Martin Luther King Day. It will be a Monday afternoon contest between the city rivals.
The Explorers will try to improve their start, something that plagued them over the past three games.
“The players have to go into the game with confidence,” Howard said. “At the beginning of the game most players play with adrenaline. Then you settle down into the game. Our opponents are coming in with that confidence. We have to figure out a way to get our guys to do that.”
“We tried different lineups, we tried different offensive strategies, we have to keep encouraging our guys to go into the game with confidence. Hopefully they will get some clean looks and that will give our guys a boost.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian