Familiarity Breeds a Close Game

La Salle Holds Off Saint Joseph’s for a 61 – 58 Win


La Salle wins this game. Saint Joseph’s won the previous battle in a possession game 68 – 64. The rivalry continues between the teams. Why? Familiarity. The coaches, one saw the other play in college. Some players played for their coach, even both. They played against and with each other in their school days. Everyone knows each other very well. A rivalry, and a fierce and friendly rivalry.

“We know everybody,” said La Salle Coach Mountain MacGillivray. “Our players know one another. Sisters are on both teams. It’s not a rivalry of animosity. It’s the way basketball is supposed to be. It’s a rivalry of you really like these people on the other side and you really want to beat them. And I know it’s the same way for them with us. It’s a lot of fun to play in these games. You don’t ever like to lose to somebody and you really don’t like to see somebody you really like lose either. That’s the challenge.”

Both teams personified that feeling. A close game that came down to the fourth quarter. The stat sheet was even, the turnover relatively even, rebounding close. Not one stat pointed to the reason why one team won.

La Salle led by 57 – 52 at the 6:07 mark. The Explorers went cold and did not score again until after the Hawks tied the game. Claire Jacobs gave the lead back to La Salle on a drive to the basket with 1:39 to play. From that point neither team found the basket as the defenses took away what the other team wanted to do. Saint Joseph’s had the last possession after a La Salle miss. Only 15.2 seconds showed on the clock. The Hawks moved the ball, but found an Explorer in front of them. The ball popped loose and came to Laura Ziegler who put up a three-pointer. It missed, the horn sounded, and La Salle won.

“We were able to keep our composure on the defensive end, and dial in,” MacGillivray said. “On that last play they were trying to get open and we were everywhere they were.”

On the other side Saint Joseph’s coach Cindy Griffin had the same feeling about why these games are close.

“It’s more than an Atlantic 10 game,” Griffin said. “I think it adds a bit more flavor because there are local kids on both teams, and then just the familiarity of they style of play. You know it’s going to be a possession game. We got them at their place in a possession game. They got us today.”

What the Numbers Say

The Explorers were headed by two of the Jacobs sisters as Claire scored a game-high 18 points. Mia posted a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with 12 points. She has posted a double-double in both St. Joe’s games. Sister Amy scored 6 points and pulled down 5 rebounds.

Julie Jekot did not score for the Explorers, but her sister Katie had 11 points and 7 assists for the Hawks.

Unfortunately, the five family members were not on the floor at the same time.

Talya Brugler scored a team-high 17 points for SJU. Ziegler added 11 points and a team-best 7 rebounds.

Up Next

La Salle pulls to within a half-game of Saint Joseph’s. The Explorers are at 3 – 2, the Hawks at 4 – 2. Rhode Island leads the league at 6 – 0.

La Salle goes to Loyola of Chicago for a Sunday game. St. Joe’s hosts Fordham that day. Both teams are 4 – 2 in conference and tied for third place.


Written By: Glenn Papazian

Contact: Glenn@PhillyCollegeSports.com

Molly Masciantonio (in blue) Guarding Katie Jekot

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.