La Salle was able to muscle their way past Saint Joe’s yesterday with a 78-77 win. Rahmir Moore, Ryan Daly, and Cameron Brown kept Saint Joe’s in the game the entire second half. Daly led the Hawks and finished with 25 points on 50% shooting. Rahmir Moore finished with 12 points and played a pivotal role handling the ball down the final stretch of the game.
La Salle’s Christian Rey was the difference maker for the Explorers. Rey was the spark that Coach Howard used to mitigate SJU’s multiple scoring runs. Rey scored 13 points on an efficient 5-8 shooting, and secured eleven total rebounds, five of them on the offensive boards. Christian Rey also led the Explorers in assist as well. Thanks to Cristian Rey, the explorers were able to end their A10 regular season with a win against a Philadelphia Big 5 rival. This was also La Salle’s first win in Hagan Arena since 2014.
However, the overall conclusion of this game was that La Salle got lucky. With only a few seconds left in the game, the Refs had the audacity to wave off a second chance bucket by Ryan Daly because of a “foul” by Cameron Brown. The only problem was there was no foul to be found. Without a replay, or even a discussion, the officials proceeded to walk off the court after deciding a game through bureaucratic choice.
Hawk’s fans were irate when this happened. The booing reigned down onto the court as fans watched cross town rival La Salle earn a victory through arbitration. I even witnessed a fan run down on to the court screaming at the officials. Luckily this drunken clown was quickly approached by security during his tirade. In Summary, this was by far the most egregious abuse of power I have seen used by the officials all season. Ending a game on a foul call should place all A10 fans on alert as we approach the ever important tournament season. If this is how A10 refereeing crews decide games, we can surely expect some questionable calls next week.
Saint Joe’s Messed Up
Now, La Salle winning the game was not all because of the refs. Saint Joe’s allowed the Explorers to crawl back into the game. The Hawks never seemed to be able to pull away throughout the second half. Yesterday was a major test for Coach Billy Lange. This was the first time all season that Saint Joe’s was favored to win. The Hawks played with confidence in the beginning, but as the game progressed they allowed Christian Rey to lead the Explorer’s back to within one by the end of the first half.
Rebounding was the biggest issue for Saint Joe’s. The Hawks consistently allowed La Salle to dominate on the boards, which culminated in La Salle securing 14 offensive rebounds throughout the entire game. The second chance opportunities La Salle received from these rebounds kept the explorers within striking distance. Despite the fact that La Salle was shooting worse from the field all game long. Hopefully, this lack of rebounding by SJU was because of size and not because of effort. I like to think it was the former and not the latter.
Saint Joe’s will kick off the Atlantic 10 tournament with a game against George Mason. Mason is the clear favorite and has beaten Saint Joe’s in their only matchup, which was on February 22nd.
For more SJU coverage, follow me on twitter @Jelly_Morelli and check out my podcast “Tony’s Takes” on Apple iTunes.