Gaels Down The Girls In Season Opener: La Salle Women’s Lacrosse Week In Review 2/14/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

The final from Iona’s Mazzella Field. (courtesy of lasallelacrosse)

Before I start writing this article, let me preface that as one of the La Salle Collegian’s sports editors, I know very little about the game of lacrosse and the overall scope of NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse.  What I do know is that once both La Salle’s women’s and men’s basketball teams cap off their seasons in early April by hoisting national championship trophies, I’m going to need something to write about for the remaining two months of our spring semester.  That is where I find myself attempting to write about lacrosse, a sport I have never played, cared about, or even watched until about two years ago.  Thankfully, my dedication to our university’s athletics is unwavering, so prepare to read some absolute garbage in my attempt to shine a light on a sport that I am fairly certain is only played in the northeast of the United States.  Now enough of my nonsense.  On to the real article.

For the second season in a row, the La Salle women’s lacrosse team opened their season with a contest against the Iona Gaels of the MAAC.  While last year’s game took place within the confines of cozy Olney, Pennsylvania, this year’s matchup was staged in lovely New Rochelle, New York (I never have and never will go there), on Iona’s very own Mazzella Field (it looked nice in the pictures).  Last season’s opener ended with the Explorers winning a thrilling 14-13 battle, so hopes were high for this year’s edition to pack the same amount of quality entertainment.

Julia Dellaratta was a brick wall last year in net for the Explorers. (courtesy of lasallelacrosse)

The Explorers kicked their new campaign off on Saturday, Feb 11th, with a slow start.  Iona opened the game with two early goals in the 1st Qtr, forcing La Salle to come up with an early response.  Luckily, Maddie Henderson was up to the task.  Just two minutes after Iona established their two-goal lead, Henderson cooked the Gaels defense to score a goal that would cut the lead in half.  Minutes later, Henderson found herself a free position opportunity that she would convert to even the game at deuces.  Iona would close out the initial period with three unanswered goals.  The 2nd Qtr was also a bit of a sleeper until Alana Lathan got herself on board with a goal that would cut the Gaels lead to 5-3 going into halftime.  If Lathan’s goal was the meat of the sandwich, the bread would be another 3-0 Iona run that would be used to establish a daunting 8-3 lead for the home team midway through the 3rd Qtr.  Needing some goals to get back into the game, La Salle dug deep and began cooking up a run with dreams of saving their season opener.  Claudia Steinmetz got the ball rolling with a free position score to trim the lead to four, and, two minutes later, Tori Rolon got her own look from the free position to bring the game within three.  An Iona goal looked to have halted the Explorers rally, but Lathan was back at it just a minute later, catching a peach from Ellen Stickney in traffic and firing home a shot to make the score 9-6 heading into the final period of play.  Stickney would continue the La Salle run with a laser beam on her free position attempt, while Mackenzie Click would tack on another goal from the free position to cap off a 5-1 Explorers run that had the scoreboard reading 9-8 Gaels with 11:45 left to play in the 4th Qtr.  The bad news: La Salle couldn’t get anything going for the rest of the game.  Iona answered with a goal three minutes after Click’s effort to extend the lead to two and a late Gael’s goal left the Explorers settling for an 11-8 loss in their season opener and moving to 0-1 on the year.

Maddie Henderson grilling the opposing defense to the tune of two goal and an assist. (courtesy of

Henderson led the team in points with 3 (2 goals, 1 assist), Rolon got the most shots with 4 (all on target), and Sara Grassi secured the most ground balls with 4.  Starting keeper Julia Dellaratta put up 9 saves against 20 shots on goal, good for a 45% save percentage.

This upcoming week, La Salle gets back on the road on Saturday, Feb 18th, against the Ivy League’s Penn Quakers.  The two sides will face off at Penn’s Franklin Field (have been there, took some nice pictures), where the two squads met last season when the Quakers walked away with a 16-11 victory in front of their home crowd.  The Explorers look to exact revenge on their local rival at 1PM EST in what will be Penn’s season opener.  The game will be streamed on ESPN+.  Expect me to know even less about lacrosse by the time I cover that game.

Boys Bounce Bonnies, Sweep The Minutemen Aside: La Salle Men’s Basketball Week In Review 2/14/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Hassan Drame gets set to rip a ball from beyond the arc. (courtesy of shotbyscornely)

The last time the La Salle University men’s basketball team lost a game, Herbert Hoover was still holding the keys to the Oval Office.  Luckily for me, the La Salle Collegian does not employ a single fact-checker, so no one can disprove this statement, but a minor logistical error should not take away from the work Fran Dunphy and the boys are putting in on the hardwood these past two weeks (Dunphy might have been alive during the Hoover administration, don’t fact check that one either).  After dropping five contests in a row in the month of January, the Explorers have bounced back, risen from the dead (in accordance with the scriptures), and rolled off four straight victories to find themselves sitting nice and pretty in the middle of their conference standings with a little under a month of regular season basketball to play.  We shall now dive into the efforts Olney’s finest put out this past week.

La Salle’s journey to stability in mediocrity started with a dreaded trip to Olean, New York, to face the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies (13-12, 7-4) in the Reilly Center on Wednesday, Feb 8th.  The Explorers have not won a game at the Bonnies since 2015, and the home team was bringing their own three-game win streak into the contest.  None of that fazed La Salle, as the Explorers were cooking in the 1st Half.  Josh Nickelberry and Andrés Marrero contributed four and two long balls respectively in the early going to spark a 26-10 La Salle run that helped the Explorers build a 44-35 lead going into intermission.  The 2nd Half would feature a close knife fight, with the score staying locked at 67-66 in favor of the Explorers for over four of the final five minutes.  Some timely points from Mamadou Doucoure mixed with some clutch free throw shooting helped La Salle put the game away 76-70 and leave frigid, hellish, western New York with a big win in hand.  Nickelberry’s 18 points off the bench paired well with Khalil Brantley’s 16 to set the Explorers up for a big game a few days later.

The final from Saint Bonaventure’s Reilly Center. (courtesy of lasallembb)

The second chore La Salle had to take care of this past week was cleaning up the house as they had a Saturday, Feb 11th, date at home against the UMass Minutemen (13-12, 4-9).  The Explorers had already taken care of the Minutemen earlier this season in Amherst by the score of 78-77, so this past Saturday’s preferred cleaning tool would have been the broom, a necessary item for sweeping.  The game was hotly contested in the 1st Half with an intermission score of 35-33, meaning La Salle would have to turn it on in the 2nd Half.  Spoiler: they did.  Nickelberry turned on the oven and began baking the UMass defense.  He finished with 21 points on seven deep balls and was one of five Explorers in the double-figures.  Those high-powered efforts led to La Salle closing out the contest 86-72 in front of a stellar home crowd.  As a big man, I have to shout out Rokas Jocius, who put in 12 points and 4 blocks.

The final from Tom Gola Arena. (courtesy of lasallembb)

With their win streak now at four, La Salle sits at 12-13 with a 6-6 mark in conference play.  There is a chance a couple more wins could seal the Explorers a bye-week come the A-10 Tournament in March, so every win is going to really matter from here on out.  La Salle’s upcoming contests are against the Richmond Spiders (13-13, 6-7) on Wednesday, Feb 15th, at Tom Gola Arena and on Saturday, Feb 18th, at the George Mason Patriots (14-12, 6-7).  The Spiders game is at 7PM EST, while the Patriots game is at 4PM EST.  Both games will be streamed on ESPN+. Next week, I will hopefully return to report on a six-game win streak.

Water Polo starts season with 2-2 record again


Enrique Carrasco, Editor 

Courtesy of Go Explorers

The La Salle Explorers Water Polo team started the season on the road for the second season. Last year, the Explorers faced a four-game split, three of which were at Bucknell, having to face off against Bucknell, Mercyhurst, and Saint Francis, Pa. Eventually, they faced off against nationally ranked Princeton at home. This year, the Explorers traveled up to Brown University to play in the 2023 Bruno Classic, where they faced off against host team Brown, Gannon University, Saint Francis PA, and Harvard University. 

The Explorers (NV) opened their season on the road facing off against the 25th-ranked Brown University Bears. The game was off to a hot start, with the Brown Bears winning the game-starting swim-off and quickly converting to take an early 1-0 lead over the Explorers. Sophomore attacker Francesca Co, however, refused to let the Bears take the momentum and found the back of the net for her 50th Career goal as an Explorer, an outstanding feat considering she is only in her second year at La Salle. After this, the Bears went on a 2-0 run to finish the quarter 3-1.

The Explorers came into the second quarter full of energy, with Graduate Student Center Forward Madelyn Koerper finding the back of the net after a defensive effort from the Explorers. The Explorers, however, were not able to stop the offensive might of the Bears and gave up a 5-meter penalty shot, which the Bears converted, putting the Bears in a 4-2 lead. This penalty gave the Bears the first of their goals during a 3-0 run, which was only stopped by Francesca Co right before the half, cutting the Explorer’s deficit to 6-3 heading into the half. 

The third quarter of the contest was defensively dominated, with the Explorers allowing only one goal in the quarter, while failing to convert any power plays and scoring the only goal in the quarter. The Explorer’s only goal in the quarter came from Koerper once again toward the end of the quarter. 

The Bears maintained control and momentum throughout the 4th quarter, scoring back-to-back goals, which put the Bears up 9-4. The rest of the game was predominantly defense centered, with the Explorers only allowing one more goal in the quarter. The Explorers fell 10-4 against Brown. 

The Explorers then faced off against the Gannon Golden Knights. The Explorers managed to go on a 6-0 run, only stopped by a goal from the Golden Knights toward the end of the first quarter. The second quarter only saw two total goals, both of which came from the arm of Sophomore Francesca Co, who was able to convert a five-meter penalty shot as well as finding the top corner of the cage only two minutes later. The Explorers went into the half with an 8-1 lead. 

The second half of the game was a predominantly defense-controlled game. The scoring drought ended after a goal from Junior attacker Hannah Warren, followed by Senior team Captain Shanna Zuanich who was able to find the top right corner of the goal, putting the explorers up 10-1. The Explorers won the matchup 13-3.

The Explorers then traveled to Harvard University, where they faced off against ST. Francis PA, whom they defeated 9-6. The Explorers (NV) then faced off against (T-19) Harvard University, whom they lost 18-7 to. 

Although the team went .500 in their first weekend, there were mostly positive notes from the team. In a post-game interview, Francesca Co stated, “I think the most important thing is that even though we brought home two wins, which is a good start, we have to learn how to keep a clear mind during the game. Especially in the most difficult games, as was the case against Brown and Harvard, when fatigue starts to take over, we have to stay rational and play smart.” The girls were failing to win swim-offs against faster teams, and often the lack of subs by the coach made the game more difficult for the Explorers. The first weekend of games was the first test of the new head coach James Wolff. La Salle is Wolff’s first experience being the head coach of a Division I athletic program, and the lack of knowledge was apparent against nationally ranked teams. 

The team, however, is full of motivation and energy and seems poised to make a postseason run in the MAAC championships. It’ll be interesting to see how Sophomores Francesca Co as well Tatum Lomax, the youngest starters on the team, further develop in Divisional I athletics and how the coaching style might change depending on the opponent. Regardless, if this weekend of games is any indication of what is to come, the Water Polo team will find themselves battling for top positions within their conference.

Eagles v. Chiefs: It’s The Super Bowl Sunday: The La Salle Collegian Super Bowl LVII Preview


Some of Super Bowl LVII’s stars. (courtesy of

Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Super Bowl LVII kicks off in a little under a week and this year’s big game has some obvious meaning to the local Philadelphian community that La Salle University finds itself nestled into.  The matchup will feature the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs in what is expected to be a hard-fought battle highlighted by a thrilling duel between MVP finalist quarterbacks.  With another chapter of the NFL finale looming on the horizon, the La Salle Collegian is here to break down the information you have probably already read on ESPN or TikTok but are willing to read again because you’re in a justified football craze.

To start off with the basics that need to be known for Sunday’s contest, Super Bowl LVII (57 for those who couldn’t be bothered to remember some random symbols they were taught in grade school) is set to kickoff Sunday, Feb 12th, at 6:30PM EST from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  For those not lucky enough to have a golden ticket to the event (the cheapest seat is currently north of $4,400), the game will be broadcast on Fox and will feature Kevin Burkhardt with the play-by-play and Greg Olsen with the color commentary.  This will be the duo’s first appearance as Fox’s big game broadcasters, as the network formerly trotted out the pair of Joe Buck (play-by-play) and Troy Aikman (color), who called both Super Bowl XXXIX and Super Bowl LIV, both games that will be addressed later.  The halftime show is set to star Rihanna, while the United States national anthem is to be sung by Chris Stapleton.

Now that the logistics have been sorted out, attention must shift to the game itself and the teams contesting the NFL’s greatest prize.  The location of this Super Bowl is a great place to start.  State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, was constructed in 2006 and will be hosting its third Super Bowl.  The previous two installments, Super Bowls XLII and XLIX, were two of the most iconic games in the storied championship’s history (think 18-1 New England Patriots and Malcolm Butler interception, respectively).  With the location addressed, the competitors are obviously the next big thing to get into for Sunday’s finale.  The Eagles and Chiefs are no strangers to the big stage, as both squads are making their third appearance in the big game in the twenty-first century, tied for third most behind only the Los Angeles Rams and the Patriots.  The Eagles enter the contest boasting a 1-2 all-time Super Bowl record, with losses in Super Bowl XV and XXXIX and a triumph in their most recent trip, Super Bowl LII.  The Chiefs bring in a cool record of 2-2, with early appearances in a Super Bowl I loss and a victory in Super Bowl IV complemented by a more recent run of good form with back-to-back showings in a Super Bowl LIV win and Super Bowl LV loss.  Both squads having Super Bowl appearances in the past six years might lead one to think these two sides have been consistent contenders in recent history, but a deeper dive into the teams will tell the true story of who is playing for the Lombardi Trophy.

Jalen Hurts has been a machine this year, amassing 13 rushing touchdowns. (courtesy of The New York Times)

First, it feels right to start with the Eagles, the team that went from preseason NFC East favorite to league juggernaut in just a couple of months.  There is no other place to begin talking about the Eagles than starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.  Throughout the offseason, much of the Eagles potential success involving the 2022-23 season revolved around the third-year signal caller taking the next step to becoming the Eagles long-term answer under center.  Hurts was being asking to take a leap forward so his team could do the same, but Eagles general manager Howie Roseman was going to make sure the former Heismann finalist had all the pieces around him to make it happen.  Picks were sent to the Tennessee Titans for former Pro Bowl wide out A.J. Brown, who Roseman would then hand a four-year contract extension.  To take pressure off Hurts’ offense, the defense was bolstered too.  Linebacker Haason Reddick and cornerback James Bradberry were signed in free agency.  Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson entered the fold via trade with the New Orleans Saints.  A first-round draft pick was spent on run stopping defensive tackle Jordan Davis.  The result, a 14-3 record that was good enough for the NFC’s #1 seed with Hurts joining his new teammates Brown, Reddick, and Bradberry as AP Second Team All-Pros, while two more Eagles were selected to the First Team (right tackle Lane Johnson and center Jason Kelce, both pieces from the Philly’s last Super Bowl run).  The Eagles played dominant football, scoring 28.1 Points Per Game (3rd in NFL) while only letting up 20.2 (7th in NFL) and registering 70 sacks (3rd most in NFL history).  They dodged major setbacks, keeping a relatively healthy lineup while playing to such a level where most games were won with certainty and ease.  They have hammered their playoff opponents by a combined score of 69-14, and they have just one test left to cap off a dream season for second-year head coach Nick Sirianni.

The Kansas City Chiefs are only a few years out from potentially becoming the next generation’s equivalent of the hated Patriots of the past two decades when it comes to consistent dominance.  This year marked the team’s fifth straight AFC Championship appearance (all five contests played at home) and their third victory in that game in the past four years.  At the center of the whole operation is former (and favored to soon be two time) league MVP Patrick Mahomes.  Clocking in at twenty-seven years of age, Mahomes has already built the foundation for a potential GOAT argument a decade from now and watching him on any given Sunday will show you why he is arguably the most talented quarterback who has ever graced the NFL with his presence.  Mahomes is a Madden cheat code on the field, slinging passes and escaping pressure with ease, inventing new ways for viewers’ jaws to drop to the floor week after week.  While some may have believed the former Texas Tech man was going to take a step back after losing All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill to free agency, Mahomes just walked right back out and continued to display his greatness without missing a beat.  With Hill gone, it became easier to appreciate Mahomes’ future Hall of Fame counterparts, tight end Travis Kelce and head coach Andy Reid.  Both men are going to be two of the biggest narrative cogs in this year’s contest.  Kelce is the younger sibling of the previously mentioned Jason Kelce (a future Hall of Famer himself), while Reid was the man patrolling the Eagles sideline only a decade ago, leading them to the earlier mentioned Super Bowl XXXIX, which he lost 24-21 to the Patriots.  Reid has since gotten his ring, winning with this core of Mahomes and Kelce just three years ago in the Super Bowl LIV.  Kansas City’s two most prominent ballers can’t be the only ones focused on here as, like the Eagles, the roster is loaded with star talent.  Defensive tackle Chris Jones is a Defensive Player of the Year finalist and joined Mahomes, Kelce, and punter Tommy Townsend as AP First Team All-Pros, while left guard Joe Thuney and center Creed Humphrey made the Second Team.  Free agency like wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have combined with draft selections like wide receiver Skyy Moore and running back Isiah Pacheco to keep Kansas City’s offense as potent as ever, while the defensive has been strengthened by the selections of cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end George Karlaftis.  The pieces are here for the Chiefs to win the ultimate prize and solidify their position as the NFL’s next great dynasty.

Mahomes hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIV. (courtesy of

So, who wins?  What’s the verdict?  Who’s going to Disney World after their crowning as Super Bowl LVII champion?  Las Vegas likes the Eagles, with Philly clocking in as a 1.5 to 2 Point favorite depending on the sports book, which reasonably makes sense.  They are the team on a roll, with the wind at their back, and the world liking their odds (ironic when you consider the narrative surrounding their last Super Bowl run).  Despite all this though, I can’t reasonably pick the Eagles to win.  Or better way to put it, I can’t reasonably pick Mahomes to lose.  The man is Tom Brady 2.0 in every way.  The only time I ever used to believe the Patriots were dead was when the clock read zero and they had less points.  I always assumed they were winning until that moment because, as the Atlanta Falcons showed, anything is possible when you have strange voodoo magic in sports.  I believe Mahomes has that strange voodoo magic.  The man has already clawed back from the abyss of a major fourth quarter deficit in one Super Bowl, so why would I bet against him to do it again?  Could this just turn out like Mahomes’ other trip to the big game, where he was hounded for sixty minutes by a dominant Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive front?  Yes, I believe the previously mentioned Reddick, along with other double-digit sackers Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, and Josh Sweat could kill Mahomes in a defensive bloodbath.  But I’m taking the dude who I think is going to retire as the greatest man to ever throw the pigskin.  Whatever happens, both teams should be proud of themselves for the seasons they put together.  In the end, the NFL is just the friends we made along the way.

Explorers Shift Gears And Return To The W Column: La Salle Men’s Basketball Week In Review 2/7/23


Jhamir Brickus dribbles the ball up the court in La Salle’s 75-64 win over the George Washington Colonials. (courtesy of doms.pov)

Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

The La Salle University men’s basketball team is back, baby.  After taking off for what seemed like the entire second half of the calendar month of January, the boys in blue and gold had a stellar week that featured not just one, but two wins to stop their freefall into utter irrelevance.

La Salle’s big week began on Wednesday, Feb 1st, with a contest at home in the Tom Gola Arena against the George Washington Colonials (11-11, 5-4).  The Explorers opened the game with some strong play, cutting up GW early for a double-digit lead only eight minutes in that ballooned to a 32-18 lead with 4:39 left in the 1st Half.  The lead would shrink down to just seven as the scoreboard read 35-28 as the teams entered the locker rooms for some rest and adjustments.  The Colonials certainly took the time to change things up, as they opened the 2nd Half with a 17-4 run that saw them secure a 45-39 lead only five minutes into the half.  Despite the visitor’s rally, the Explorers would not be deterred as they staged their own 10-0 run to reclaim a 49-45 lead just three minutes after GW completed their run.  The teams would spend the next seven minutes trading small leads, until a huge three-ball from Jhamir Brickus ripped the game open with just over four minutes remaining.  The Explorers would go on to close the game 75-64 in front of a popping home crowd (there was a decent student attendance due to the celebration of National Girls & Women In Sports Day) to end a painful five-game losing streak that hadn’t seen them win a game since their 78-77 win at the UMass Minutemen on Jan 11th.

Khalil Brantley is cool, calm, and collected from the free-throw line. (courtesy of shotbyscornely)

After La Salle took care of business earlier in the week, a Sunday, Feb 5th, trip to Hawk Hill to face the hated Saint Joseph’s Hawks (5-6, 11-12) at Hagan Arena was on the docket.  A loss to society’s least favorite Jesuit university would give the Hawks their first sweep of the Explorers since the 2015-16 season and would also move the Hawks ahead of the Explorers in the overall Philly Big 5 standings for this current season.  Needing this win, La Salle again came out playing the better basketball through the game’s opening, securing a 22-11 lead halfway through the 1st Half.  Just like the GW game, the Explorers did their best to let that lead bleed away, taking only a 35-30 advantage into the break.  Both sides would trade blows in the opening frames of the 2nd Half, with the score finding itself level at 45 all with twelve minutes remaining in the contest.  It was here where Josh Nickelberry decided to take over the game, scoring the next eleven La Salle points to give the Explorers a 56-51 lead with 7:30 on the clock.  Nickelberry hits three long balls in this period, which helped him pace the Explorers with 16 points on the day, including a 4 of 6 mark from beyond the arc.  The Hawks would never be able to shrink the La Salle lead below five for the rest of the contest, as the Explorers combined timely baskets and stellar free throw shooting to ward off any late comeback attempts.  The 73-65 win avenged La Salle’s earlier loss to St. Joe’s and brought the Explorers overall record to 10-13 on the season, with a 4-6 mark in A-10 games.

Andrés Marrero locks in on defense against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. (courtesy of doms.pov)

This upcoming week for La Salle features a trip to Olean, New York, where the Explorers will face off against the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies (13-11, 7-4) on Wednesday, Feb 8th, at 7PM EST.  The Bonnies will bring a three-game win streak into the matchup, which includes a 61-58 win at the A-10’s best team, the VCU Rams (18-6, 9-2).  After their midweek trip, La Salle returns home to face off against the UMass Minutemen (13-10, 4-7) on Saturday, Feb 11th, at 2PM EST.  The Explorers already knocked off the Minutemen 78-77 in Amherst as mentioned earlier in the article, so a sweep here would be huge for future tiebreakers.  Both contests will be streamed on ESPN+.

Dreadful Shooting Performances Cost Explorers: La Salle Women’s Basketball Week In Review 2/7/23


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+.

Sports Commentary: Late missed dunk costs the Explorers win over Rhode Island

Commentary, Sports

Enrique Carrasco, Editor

On Jan. 28, 2023, the La Salle Explorers (7-12, 2-5) faced off against the Rhode Island Rams (7-13, 4-4) on the road for the second and last game against Rhode Island of the season. The two teams previously faced off on Jan. 7, 2023, where the Explorers won 77-75 in overtime. The Explorers, however, failed to repeat the same outcome and, after blowing a 40-29 halftime lead, eventually failed to close the game. 

The Explorers were off to a hot start at the beginning of the game, where they took an early 8-2 lead over the Rams, with the help of three-pointers coming from Andres Marrero and Sophomore guard Khalil Brantley. The Explorers and the Rams continued to trade blows with one another, culminating in a 15-13 lead for the Rams with 11 minutes left in the first half. The Explorers, however, had not played their strongest hand yet, and after subbing in Senior Josh Nickleberrry, went on an 8-0 run. The Explorers continued their offensive strides and pushed their lead to 35-25 with 3 minutes left in the first half. After a steal and layup from Brantley, and an offensive rebound from Daeshon Shepherd, who proceeded to kick the ball out to Brantley, the Explorers were able to take a 40-25 lead. The Explorers went into the locker room leading 40-29. 

The second half is where the game fell apart for the Explorers, as it seemed like their performance in the first half managed to overinflate their egos.  The Explorers were able to extend their lead to 14 points three separate times. This, however, was not enough to seal the game away for the Explorers. In the game’s last four minutes, the Explorers failed to score any points for three minutes straight while also failing to make any defensive stops against the Rams. At one point during this drought, Nickleberry was able to get a takeaway, running away with the ball. Nickleberry, however, failed to score the wide-open basket and gave a defensive rebound for the Rams, who were able to convert the rebound into points, bringing them to 64-64. The Rams maintained this momentum and finished the game with 72 points while only allowing 70 points. The following graph, provided by ESPN, showcases the probability of the Explorers winning the game. 

As one can see, the Explorers were heavy favorites to win at various points throughout the game. The Explorers, however, once again failed to perform. A lack of discipline both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball led to the Explorers having 13 separate turnovers throughout the game. In addition, there is no excuse for a D1 Basketball player, much less a Senior, not to be able to finish a dunk. Nickleberry’s late dunk miss would’ve given the Explorers the two points necessary to force overtime. The fact that he leads the team in points speaks volumes about the ineptness of this team on offense. This only shows the irreversible damage that Ashley Howard’s failure during his tenure as head coach has caused La Salle. His inability to properly recruit any worthwhile talent, coupled with an irresponsible and ineffective athletic department (Brian Baptiste has been detrimental to La Salle sports) has created a ripple effect that still affects the Basketball team. 

Josh BRICKelberry

The Explorers now only have ten games left in the season, all of which are in-conference, to make any form of a postseason run, something I consider impossible for this team. I do not believe La Salle has the required talent or necessary aid from the school to make any form of sound in the postseason. Once again, the basketball team helps prove the foolishness and dullness of the La Salle Athletic Department and, most importantly, its director.  

Next up, the Explorers will face off against George Washington University for National Girls & Women in Sports Day.

Explorers Extend Win Streak To 5 In Win Over Lowly Bonnies


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

La Salle Women’s Basketball Week In Review 1/31/23

The final from Tom Gola Arena. (courtesy lasalle_wbb)

Beating up on league bottom feeders is not the most glamorous activity in which a team can partake on a January afternoon, but it’s something good teams have to do to keep pace with the front of the pack.  The La Salle Women’s basketball team (14-8, 5-2) took care of A-10 cellar dweller St. Bonaventure (4-20, 1-8) 65-52 at Tom Gola Arena this past Saturday, Jan 28th, to extend their most recent win streak to five games, their longest streak since the 2019-20 season, and their longest such streak in conference play since the 2016-17 season.

The game opened with some back and forth until the Explorers opened up to a ten-point lead late in the 1st Qtr.  The Bonnies narrowed the lead down to five just before the close of the 2nd Qtr, but the Explorers would score to take a 30-23 lead into the half.  The 3rd Qtr featured some solid play by the visitors to narrow the La Salle lead to one point at 37-36, but the ensuing 19-3 run by the Explorers put the game away for good.

Mia Jacobs is following her sisters’ dominance when it comes to La Salle women’s basketball. (shotbyscornely)

La Salle’s win was highlighted by stellar outings from some of Australia’s finest exports, Claire and Mia Jacobs.  Claire led the squad with 21 points, going 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, while her younger sister Mia dropped 17, burying 3 of 5 from range.  Charity Shears also reached double-digit points herself, hitting 2 of 5 from three to finish with 10 points, while Kayla Spruill got big down low with 9 boards, all complemented by Molly Masciantonio’s 4 assists.

Molly Masciantonio is currently operating as one of the nation most efficient point guards. (courtesy lasalle_wbb)

With this weekend’s result giving the girls a 5-2 mark in conference play, La Salle find themselves sitting third in the A-10 with a month of basketball left to play in the regular season.  Several upsets around the A-10 this weekend, including Davidson, Fordham, and Saint Joe’s all falling on the road have left the Explorers as the lone team with two conference losses.  With league leader Rhode Island (17-3, 8-0) not on the remaining schedule, La Salle has some mild upside when it comes to possible seeding for this year’s A10 Women’s Basketball Championships in Wilmington, Delaware.

The girls are hard at work to secure the programs best campaign since the turn of the century. (courtesy shotbyscornely)

This upcoming week’s slate features a midweek matchup at the struggling VCU Rams (6-14, 3-5) who have lost ten of their last thirteen and a major home matchup against the UMass Minutewomen (17-4, 7-1) who are just ahead of the Explorers in the conference ladder.  The VCU game will start at 11AM EST on Wednesday, Feb 1st, while the UMass game will begin at 2PM EST on Saturday, Feb 4th.  Both contests will be broadcast on ESPN+.  Hopefully I can bring you coverage regarding those matchups, but if I am once again relegated to talking about our exhilarating men’s team, just know that I hate Enrique Carrasco.

La Salle Men’s Basketball Week In Review 1/24/23


Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Courtesy of lasallembb

Society’s favorite La Sallian newspaper, may have taken the past month off to enjoy the winter holiday and delightfully dreary weather that plagues the northeastern United States, but the ever-middling La Salle Explorers men’s basketball squad was not afforded the same opportunity.  While the average resident of 20th & Olney was bumming around all break, Coach Fran Dunphy and the boys were hard at work on the hardwood battlefield.  As always, a new calendar year ushers in good ol’ conference basketball play, and with that, the realization that over eighty percent of the teams in NCAA Division 1 are not making the tourney and will be deeply irrelevant come mid-March.  La Salle, for twenty-nine of the past thirty years, has fallen into this irrelevant grouping.  Hopefully, the Explorers buck the trend this year (they were picked to finish bottom three in the league in most publications).

Courtesy of shotbyscornely

Since the last publication of my Men’s Basketball Review, La Salle has unfortunately settled into the dreaded swing of mediocrity.  A steaming record of 8-11 has been complemented with a sterling mark of 2-4 in conference play.  Highlights of the winter break include a 77-75 OT win over the Rhode Island Rams, a 78-77 upset win at the UMass Minutemen, and covering the spread at Saint Louis (very rare).  While this start might not be ideal, there is a silver-lining somewhere in there.  While our beloved Explorers might be average at best, the Atlantic 10 as a whole this year is frankly a steaming pile of disappointment.  A league that began the year with a ranked Dayton team has fallen off in the whooping three months since the season tipped off.  The conference is hellbent on the path to having just one team dancing come March, and that squad seems poised to fall to an average Big 12 in their opening tournament matchup.  So the silver-lining is that La Salle is not the only “bleh” team in the A-10 this year.  Everyone seems to be on their way for a forgettable 2022-2023 season.

This upcoming week, the Explorers get a home date against the Davidson Wildcats (9-10, 2-5) on Tuesday, Jan. 24, as well as a trip to Kingston, Rhode Island, to face the Rhode Island Rams (6-13, 2-5) on Saturday, Jan. 28.  I pray they win these contests as they would make next week’s article exciting to write (but equally as painful).

Women’s Basketball humiliates Loyola Chicago on the road 


Enrique Carrasco, Editor

Courtesy of La Salle Women’s Basketball

On July 1, 2022, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers were officially accepted into the A-10 after years of dominating the Missouri Valley Conference. The Ramblers stated that this move was due to “Loyola’s commitment to the high-level scholastic achievement of all of its students, coupled with its excellent athletic profile, from success in [various sports] to outstanding facilities and resources,” which made the A-10 conference an excellent fit for the school. The Ramblers, however, have failed all season to showcase any form of the same dominance that they exhibited in the Missouri Valley Conference. 

On January 22, 2022, the La Salle Explorers Women’s Basketball team faced off against the Ramblers for their 6th game of the new year and first away game of the semester. The Explorers (12-7) were coming off of a 3-game win streak and were looking to continue this streak. On the other hand, the Ramblers (6-12) were coming off of a 4-game losing streak and were looking to end this streak with a win at home. 

The game started in favor of the Ramblers, who managed to take an early 7-0 lead over the Explorers. The Explorers, however, would not simply roll over for the home team. Kayla Spruill, Claire Jacobs, and Charity Shears could swish the ball from outside the 3-point line, tying the game at 9-9 with 4 minutes left to play in the first quarter. After a shooting foul from the Ramblers, Senior Claire Jacobs gave the explorers a 10-9 lead after sinking one of her free throws. After the Ramblers went up 13-10, Freshman Mia Jacobs sank her three-pointer, tying the game at 13-12. The Ramblers took an early lead during the second quarter, going 24-20 into the media timeout. The Explorers, however, went on a 10-0 run, giving them a two-point lead heading into halftime. There was a total of four different lead changes in the second quarter. 

The half-time break was beneficial for the Explorers, who came out playing as a different team. The Explorers were able to flex their defensive capabilities, holding the Ramblers scoreless for the first 4:34 of the third quarter. At the same time, the Explorers could put up 11 offensive points, further pushing their lead. However, the Explorers went on to commit various defensive fouls, allowing the Ramblers to go 3 for 4 in free throws, bringing the game to 43-31. The Explorers finished the quarter with a 52-37 lead over the Ramblers.

La Salle achieved its highest point difference early in the fourth quarter, with a 16-point lead. The Ramblers, however, refused to go down without a fight, going on their own 7-0 run heading into the media timeout. The Explorers maintained their momentum in the game, going on a 12-5 run to end the game. The Explorers overcame the Ramblers 67-51. Four separate Explorers, Kayla Spruill, Claire Jacobs, Mia Jacobs, and Molly Masciantonio, were able to score at least 10 points, which directly led to their victory over the Ramblers. 

Next up, the women’s team will host St Bonaventure for pride day.