La Salle came into today's game on a 9 game losing streak looking to find some traction after a couple below average showings. But Saint Joseph’s wouldn’t let that happen, as the Hawks led for the entire game and by as many as 30. La Salle was able to cut it to 12 in the early portion of the second half, but they could not find a way to stop the potent scoring punch of Saint Joseph’s.
What went well?
DeAndre’ Bembry got off to a hot start, scoring all of his 13 points in the first half, and additionally finishing with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. James Demery also gave the Hawks a spark off the bench with great defensive pressure as he finished the game with 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals. However, it is hard to pinpoint a star for the Hawks, as this game was a complete team effort. Not only did they out rebound the Explorers 42-28, but they also limited themselves to 8 turnovers.
Although they could not sustain it for majority of the game, La Salle was able to chip at Saint Joseph’s lead for much of the first half and in the early portion of the second half. This was thanks to some streaky shooting by Cleon Roberts, who was able to knock down 3 three pointers and finish the game with 17 points. Freshman Karl Harris also compiled 12 points and shot 50% from the field. They were the mere bright spots in a game that will be tough to swallow for the Explorers.
What didn’t go well?
On double teams in the post, Saint Joseph’s got lost a couple times, resulting in open shots for the Explorers. Rotations need to be quicker for the Hawks if they want to compete for an Atlantic-10 championship.
La Salle could not find a way to slow down the Hawks, as they allowed them to score 88 points and shoot 51.7% from the field. Coach John Giannini tried everything he could to fix the problem. The Explorers began the game in zone and later transitioned to straight up man defense to many different variations of man defense. But nothing could work for the squad as the Hawks were able to hit 70 points by the 8 minute mark in the second half.
Saint Joseph’s hosts Dayton, while La Salle faces St. Bonaventure. Both games are scheduled for next Wednesday. The Hawks look forward to a gigantic test against the Flyers, who are the top team in the A-10. Likewise, a win against 16-6 St. Bonaventure could give La Salle some confidence going into the A-10 tournament.
-Benjamin Simon & William Derry
-Saint Joseph's ends season with loss in first round of A-10 tournament against UMass