Philadelphia: The long grind of conference play can make or break a team, and that is what we had on Saturday afternoon as the Saint Joseph’s Hawks took on the LaSalle Explorers from Tom Gola Arena on the campus of LaSalle University. LaSalle came into the game with a 9-13 (3-6 in A10) record and off a loss to Davidson on January 31, while the Hawks enter battle with the explorers with a 9-12 (4-5 in A10) record and coming off a bad loss to Saint Louis also on January 31. Before the game, LaSalle held a Moment of Silence to honor Rasul Butler who passed away on Wednesday.
Moment of Silence for Rasul Butler
— David Malandra Jr (@David_Malandra) February 3, 2018
Saint Joseph’s won the tip to start the game and the managed to get the first points of the game on 3-pointer from LaSalle Amar Stukes for the 3-0 lead. The Hawks got on board on the basket from Pierfrancesco Oliva. The Hawks would take it to the Explorers and at one point they would lead by 13 at 41-28 with 3:02 left. The Hawks would make eight 3-pointers in the first half as the Saint Joseph’s would lead 43-38 at halftime.
In the second half, the Hawks would increase their lead up to six, at 54-48, with 15:25 left. The Explorers would go on a run and they would tie the game at 58 on foul shots from Saul Phirl with 10:26 left. The Explorers would retake the lead on 3-pointer by Jamir Moultrie with 9:56 left. Both teams would play good defense and make some big shots down the stretch. The Hawks had a chance to for the game into overtime but it would come up short as the Explorers took down 81-78 in a thriller at Tom Gola Arena. With the win, the Explorers go to 10-13 (4-6 in A10) and now head into a battle with George Washington on February 7, while the Hawks fall to 9-13 (4-6 in A10) and look to get back to their winning ways as they take on Davidson on February 6.
In the 2nd half, LaSalle Bj Johnson would pick up his 1,000 career points.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks:
Shavar Newkirk: 30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
James Demery: 20 points, 11 rebounds
Pierfrancesco Oliva: 10 points, 8 rebounds
BJ Johnson: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
Amar Stukes: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Pookie Powell: 15 points, 4 rebounds,