February 18, 2021 –
The La Salle Explorers embarked on the last road trip of the regular season. Bad weather moved into the Richmond area causing a one-day delay for the Saint Joseph’s game with Richmond, but VCU played on. And it was an entertaining game for those able to view with the snowflakes falling. At the end La Salle could not get a final shot away and drops a 63- 62 overtime game to the VCU Rams.
Kayla Spruill headed the Explorers in three statistical categories. The junior guard scored 27 points, one shy of her career-high set earlier this season making 11 of 21 from the field and 3 of 9 from beyond the arc resulting in her fifth game scoring 20 or more points. Spruill pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, a season-high, in recording a double-double, the second this season. Spruill set a collegiate-mark with 6 steals.
La Salle saw opportunities to post a victory putting up 11 more shots than the Rams. However, they converted only 2 more field goals. The defense forced 20 turnovers, but LSU could only muster a 12 – 11 edge in points off turnovers.
VCU took a 31 – 27 lead into halftime, and stretched that to a 40 – 33 advantage on a basket by Madison Haddix-Covington with just under five and a half minutes to play in the third quarter. VCU would score no more baskets until Haddix-Covington made another with just under two minutes left. She would create more impact the game a little later. Meanwhile, Spruill found the range and scored 6 consecutive La Salle points cutting the gap to 44 – 43 after three quarters of play.
The Explorers opened the fourth quarter on a 6 – 2 run. Amy Jacobs gave LSU a 49 – 46 lead. Haddix-Covington answered with 5 straight to give the lead back to VCU. The game went back and forth. Claire Jacobs, who scored 19 points, tied the game at 51. Sarah Te-Biasu nailed a step-back three-pointer with just under three-minutes to play in regulation, and the Rams held a three-point advantage.
La Salle knotted the game at the free throw line and had two chances at the end, but shots by Claire Jacobs and Spruill were blocked. The horn sounded and the game went to overtime, the first this season for the Explorers.
In the overtime Claire Jacobs started the scoring hitting a shot from beyond the arc. VCU pulled ahead, but Spruill drained a shot from distance to retake the lead. Claire Jacobs hit another shot with just less than two minutes on the clock that gave the Explorers a 62 – 59 lead that would be their last of the game.
A minute remained and VCU held a one-point advantage when La Salle got the ball to Spruill in deep. The Rams double-teamed her and Te-Biasu slapped the ball away. She got a long pass off to Haddix-Covington who took the ball to the basket, scored, and created the final margin of victory.
Another last chance for LSU did not result in a final desperation shot.
Haddix-Covington scored a team-high 15 points making 6 of 9 from the floor and both three-point shots. Haddix-Covington pulled down a team-best tying 9 rebounds. Te-Biasu added 13 points to go along with 5 assists and 2 steals.
The Rams improve to 10 – 9 for the season and 8 – 4 in conference. The Explorers fall to 10 – 11 overall and is 6 – 8 in the Atlantic 10. Another chance presents itself on Saturday when La Salle, looking to break a two-game losing streak, plays at Richmond.
Written By: Glenn Papazian