With the beginning of the new semester, students flocked back to La Salle after the winter break, anxious to watch the school’s basketball team. As the number of spectators increased\, so did the expectations for the team to win. Despite this, as we have seen time and time again in the season, the team failed to live up to its expectations, and once again, faced defeat at home. On Jan. 22, the men’s team hosted the Richmond Spiders for their sixth conference game of the season. The Spiders were a seven point favorite according to the college basketball odds, and were looking to follow up their win against Fordham.
The Men were off to a hot start in the game, gaining an early lead in the game. Yet, their lack of points from within the paint, an issue we have seen time and time again during the season, managed to allow the Spiders to remain in the game. The Explorers went nine minutes without scoring a single point, allowing the Spiders to not only catch up to them, but also pass the Explorers in total points. The Spiders outscored the Explorers 31-29 in the first half, and went into the locker rooms carrying all of the momentum in the game.
At the start of the second half, the Explorers were looking to stay in the game and kept trying to match the pace of the Spiders. While the Explorers were able to tie the game at 33, the Spiders scored nine unanswered points, putting themselves in the lead. The Explorers were never able to recover from this deficit, and although they managed to lower the deficit down to seven points towards the end of the game, the Spiders came out on top 64-56. This loss moved the Explorers to the last place in the A-10’s, a position they are no strangers to.
The same issues that the basketball team has seen every week showed during this game. Once again, the Explorers were unsuccessful from within the 2-point range, having a .382 field goal percentage. In addition, the Explorers had one of their lowest 3-point percentages thus far in the season, scoring only .200 percent of all of their 3-point shots. Redshirt senior Clifton Moore had a career high 19 points in the game, but was still unable to lead his team to victory at home. Up next the Explorers will face off against UMass at home, for another A-10 conference game. UMass is currently one place above La Salle in the rankings.