Some days despite a valiant effort and a hard fought battle you just don’t get the result you are working for and the indicators that usually point to success fail you. There will be losses scattered amongst the victories, but what defines a great team is their effort, their work ethic, and their pursuit of improvement. You’ll never know how far you have come without a few bumps along the way. This is where the La Salle Explorers enter and prove that every streak has to end sometime, including the Explorers 6 game losing streak.
Here’s the thing about numbers you can analyze them for days, make predictions, plan strategies but at the end of the day sometimes the unexpected happens. The Rams have had a strong season under new Head Coach Beth O’Boyle including a solid 9-2 home record for 2014-15. This loss is just the second on the home court for VCU and the losses come 1 week apart. The common thread in both games is the sheer determination of the Rams to play until that final buzzer. It doesn’t matter what the scoreboard reads they are full force for 40 minutes.
During the first half VCU struggled with rebounding and scoring and La Salle was leading by as many as 7 during play. The Rams remained undaunted and kept pushing to tie it up prior to the first buzzer. They continued to be aggressive and with only 16 rebounds and shooting 34.5% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc managed to go into the half at 30-30.
The Rams regrouped and came back fired up for the second half, but so did the Explorers. La Salle was overdue for a win and they weren’t going down without a fight. It was intense. The tempo turned up and a frenetic pace ensued as the teams chased each other through 2 ties and 7 additional lead changes. This VCU team has demonstrated a balanced roster where everyone is capable of shooting and you never know which player may step up in any game. A current trend shows that when Adaeze Alaeze scores more than 10 points in a game the Rams generally win. Her double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds didn’t seal it this time. Chaddaryl Clay led the team with 19 points and Camille Calhoun added another 15 yet it still wasn’t quite enough. Despite improved rebounding in the second half (both teams ended with 42) and taking more shots, the Explorers took the win 74-64 claiming their second win in conference play and their first victory since January 4th.
Overall a great game to watch as both teams went up tempo for a solid 40 minutes. As the team continues to work and those shooting percentages mature more of them will translate to results on the board. The Rams will dominate when that day arrives.
Click below for fullscreen images