The 2-4 Explorers faced off against the 2-6 Holy Cross Crusaders at Tom Gola Arena on Saturday, Dec. 4. Although the Explorers came into the game thinking it would be an easy win, it turned out to be a much larger struggle for them.
The Explorers went into halftime tied 37 all with the Crusaders. In the first half, the Explorers went 16-29 in Field Goals, 3-11 in three-pointers, and 2-3 in free throws. In comparison, the Crusaders went 12-30 in field goals, 5-10 in three-pointers, and 8-12 in free throws. Once again, the Explorers are haunted by their poor performance from within the paint, although their 55.17 percent completion rate in the first half is one of the highest percentages of the season for the Explorers. In their previous game against the Temple Owls, the Explorers had a higher three-point completion percentage than field goal percentage.
At the start of the second half, the Explorers came out with the necessary energy to win the game and for the first time in the season looked like a fully functional D1 basketball team. The Explorers went 18-34 in field goals, 4-12 in three-pointers, and 7-10 in free throws. The Explorers scored 47 points in the second half, and their defense was able to hold the Crusaders to only 28 points in the half, ultimately sealing the win for La Salle.
The two major problems that the Explorers have had this season bared their ugly teeth in La Salle’s victory over Holy Cross. The lack of points from within the paint (although some of the highest they have had all season) and the excessive fouls committed on both sides of the ball heavily tormented the Explorers throughout the entire game. This is a recurring issue for the Explorers and head coach Ashley Howard. The lack of discipline inside of the game has caused the Explorers to give their opponents various game-changing free throws in the past, and this game was no different. Coach Howard still has a lot of work to do with his team in order to get them into true Division I competing level, and he must do so fast if he hopes to be able to have any sort of playoff run.
Update: The Explorers beat the Farleigh Dickinson Knights 81-55