College Hoops

Ramblers Hot Start isn’t Enough to Stop Explorers

Ramblers Hot Start isn’t Enough to Stop Explorers

FINAL: Loyola Chicago 51, La Salle 67

The Ramblers got off to a blazing hot start, but cooled off after half time. Loyola built an 8 point lead and was up 28-20 late in the second quarter, but La Salle fought back to gain a 30-28 lead going into halftime. That 10-0 run to end quarter 2 was part of a larger 21-0 run that extended La Salle’s lead to 41-28, before a few Emma Nolan free throws ended the La Salle run.

A couple of the bench players provided a huge lift in the first half to help them gain the lead — Mallory Ramage and Jala Johnson scored 14 of the Ramblers 28 points in the first half. Mallory has really showed a bunch of improvements over the year. While Jala has been dealing with small injuries throughout the season. Coach Guth agreed, “Those two gave us a spark off the bench. Mallory is learning to play in the system and change speeds. They were our leading scorers in limited minutes.” Jala looked fantastic in the fast break, while Mallory can create her own offense, and has improved her all around game.

How it Happened

The quick 7-0 burst to start the game was an impressive show of teamwork and quick pace. Baskets from Tanin, Galanopoulos and a three from Brown prompted an early timeout from La Salle’s head coach, Mountain MacGillivray. It seemed like in the early going the only reason La Salle stayed in the game was because the Explorers made threes. 12 of their 13 points in the first quarter came from made three pointers. La Salle is shooting 31% from three point range on the year. They shot 42% (10 of 24) from three point land on Sunday. The Ramblers got out to a 28-20 lead, but should have probably scored and extended the lead even more. They missed a couple lay ups and an open three pointer that could have extended their lead to double digits. La Salle rattled off 10 points in the last 2:16 of the second quarter, that gave them a 2 point lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter was more of the same. The Explorers rattled off 11 straight points to cap a 21-0 run. The Ramblers were struggling to find answers an offense. They missed a handful of shots that they usually make, and they also struggled from three point range. They shot 25% for the game, 3 for 12. I asked Coach Guth about their struggles from three point range after the game. Over their last 4 games, the Ramblers have made 14 of 70 three pointers. That’s 20% overall.

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