15 January, 2006

The second half counts; pass it on.

After a first half against Temple that had me on the verge of forgiving past indiscretions (Hofstra, Charlotte), La Salle only managed to rack up 17 in the second to Temple's 38, falling behind by as much as 19, eventually losing to the Owls 52-68.

At the half, the 35-30 La Salle lead did not truly relate the fervor with which the Explorers played. Darnell Harris (at left shooting a 3 during the second half) went 5-7 from beyond the arc and finished the first 20 with 17. He also finished the second 20 with only 17. Jermain Thomas was held to a single 3, and Smith fell short of his game average with only 15.

The bench points in the first half were also pretty decent, favoring La Salle 20-7. However, that total also held fast for La Salle.

Despite better shooting percentages across the board, La Salle simply didn't take as many shots (22-32 favoring Temple) in the second half and couldn't put the Owls away.

It just looked like they decided that being up by 5 at the half justified conservative play in the second. Unfortunately, Temple, led by Dustin Salisberys' (left with John Chaney) 15 pts. in the second (23 overall), got hot, hitting two free throws and then 2 consecutive 3's to pull away 47-40, sounding the death knell for the Explorers with 12:16 left to play.

Temple also won the battle for second chance points, scoring 20 to La Salle's 9. Oh yes, probably the most telling stat of the game were the points off of turnovers. From La Salle's 19 turnovers, Temple scored 25 points, while holding the Explorers to only 5 turnovers and 3 points.

Harris's hot streak in the first half is what the Explorers need more of, as I've said before, but he can't do it alone. Thomas's 3 points aren't going to cut it. St. John was under the boards a bit more than usual today, coming up with 8 rebounds, and his time outside the arc was limited to only 2 shots, hitting for his usual 1. Only a minute-long appearance from Sherman Diaz this time around, where he contributed exactly one missed shot and one turnover.

Wednesday should be a re-organization day for the Explorers. They host the Rhode Island Rams, who sits at 7-6 overall, 1-1 conference, but has had a tough road thus far. Looking farther ahead, a Big 5 matchup against St. Joes is looming next Saturday.

Judging by these past two losses, the Explorers need to re-tool their strategy and find a way to get pumped up for these games in order to maintain their former winning ways. They have talent, but just need to act on it.

The Pats deserved to lose tonight, they might as well not have even tried. I'm shooting for the Broncos now, because I can't find it within myself to get behind the Colts, and I certainly detest the Steelers too much to ever cheer for them.

I wore shorts today and now it's snowing out. What the hell?


Blogger Face of Spades said...

Oh. That's cold.

I continue to be unable to understand why Pennsylvania NFL fans can't sympathize with each other.

1:29 PM, January 16, 2006  

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