Coach MacGillivray instructs his team during a media timeout. (courtesy of shotbyscornely)
Nicholas Signoretta, Editor
It was a rough week for the La Salle University women’s basketball team, as their five-game win streak they had cooked up throughout the second half of January was gone faster than you could say “Masciantonio”. A two-loss week leaves the Explorers needing to play some fine February basketball to keep pace with the pack towards the top of the A-10.
La Salle’s week of misfortunes began on Wednesday, Feb 1st, when the girls traveled to Virginia to face off against the VCU Rams (7-14, 4-5). The Rams had been struggling as of late, losing three of their last four, but they came to play against the Explorers. VCU forced La Salle to shoot a paltry 13 of 55 from the field (23.6%), including a dismal 3 of 23 from range (13%). The Explorers only trailed 13-10 at the end of the 1st Qtr and were level at the halftime break 21-21, but a 16-0 3rd Qtr run put the Rams ahead 40-31 going into the final frame. La Salle would actually cut the lead down to four with 7:30 left on the clock, but an 11-0 VCU run would close out the contest. The Explorers’ scoring dried up for the final seven and half minutes giving the Rams a 52-38 victory. The 38 points would be La Salle’s lowest scoring output of the season so far, with their previous low coming in a 75-50 loss at the South Florida Bulls (who are now ranked #24 in the AP Poll). The loss to the Rams was bad, but a bigger game against the A-10’s second best team still loomed on the horizon.
The final from VCU’s Stuart C. Siegel Center. (courtesy of lasalle_wbb)
La Salle returned home for a Saturday, Feb 5th, contest against the UMass Minutewomen (19-4, 9-1). The Minutewomen were going into the game hot, with their most recent loss coming on Jan 4th against the A-10’s best team, the Rhode Island Rams (19-3, 10-0). Since that game, UMass had won seven straight, so another horrid performance like the Explorers’ midweek fiasco at VCU would not cut it if La Salle wanted to pull off the upset in front of the home crowd at Tom Gola Arena. The team started off strong defensively, with UMass being held scoreless for almost the first five minutes of the contest. The problem: La Salle’s shooting woes were not behind them. The Explorers did not take advantage of the Minutewomen’s poor start, as they only amassed a 4-0 lead in this time. UMass would start cooking and would take a 9-7 lead into the start of the 2nd Qtr where they would stay hot and amass a 25-10 advantage halfway through the period. A small Explorers run would cut the lead to 32-21 entering the half, but the game would never get much closer. The 66-42 loss would mark the Explorers’ (14-10, 5-4) second straight game under 50 points after not having any in the first three months of the season. La Salle’s shooting was once again a major problem, as the girls shot 15 of 60 from the floor (25%) and 3 of 27 from downtown (11.1%).
The final from Tom Gola Arena. (courtesy of lasalle_wbb)
This upcoming week features two matches for the Explorers, a Wednesday, Feb 8th, trip to the Richmond Spiders (13-8, 3-5) and a home date against the Duquesne Dukes (15-9, 5-6) on Sunday, Feb 12th. The Richmond game starts at 6PM EST, while the Duquesne game will tip-off at 2PM EST. Both games will be streamed on ESPN+.