The La Salle Explorers were able to secure their first win of the season after a decisive 80-62 victory over Lincoln University. The Explorers were able to utilize the depth of their roster to overwhelm the Lions. While Lincoln was able to put up a decent fight, it was clear that the Division 1 talent of La Salle was too much for them.
The Depth of Division 1
La Salle Coach Ashley Howard has evenly spread playing minutes across the roster this season. Heading into this matchup, La Salle had eight players averaging over 20 minutes a game. Coach Howard stuck with this strategy against Lincoln with nine players reaching double digit minutes.
It was evident that Coach Howard’s rotations contributed to the win. The Explorers split their scoring evenly, 40 – 40, between the starting rotation and the bench.
In contrast, Lincoln saw itself relying on three players throughout the entire game. Ja’Zere Noel, Korey Williams and Zahrion Blue all played over 35 minutes for the Lions. The difference in depth between the two schools showed the gap between Division I and Division II programs.
While Lincoln had some solid players who could hold their own on any given day. La Salle had the luxury of throwing everyone onto the court to help contribute to the win. The Explorers had ten players score, with four of them reaching into double digits points.
La Salle shouldn’t get Comfortable..
While La Salle was able to win the game by 18 points, there were still some aspects of play that were concerning. Lincoln was able to start the second half on a 15 to 8 run, and closed within nine points with ten minutes left in the game. This comeback was due to the fact that Lincoln was finally able to rest their starters at half time. After some rest and relaxation, Lincoln able to reengage their offense for the second half.
It was clear that La Salle felt too comfortable after ending the first half with a 43 to 24 lead. With the way La Salle dominated at the start of the game, fans of the Explorers should expect their team to come out of the half and continue the beat down of a Division II opponent! Instead, fans received minor heart attacks as the Lions slowly climbed back throughout the second half.
Some could say this is nit picking, however, La Salle should not get into the habit of playing down to the level of a Division II opponent. Especially as the conference schedule approaches.
A Win is a Win
In the end, a win is a win. La Salle needed something to kick this team into gear after their 0-3 start to the season. Critics can say that a win against a Division II team is not worth talking about, but that is not true. In the era of Covid securing a win against anyone has value. This team needed a confidence boost and this win provided just that. Hopefully, La Salle can build off this momentum as they prepare to play Drexel this Saturday, 12/12.