La Salle Knocks Off VCU, the 20th-Ranked Team in Country
La Salle took advantage of a depleted VCU squad, and upset the Rams on the road in double overtime. Jordan Price led the Explorers with 36 points, including all of the Explorers’ 12 points in the second OT.
It was just the Rams’ third loss in their last 32 home games.
La Salle was helped by the fact that VCU was missing two starters: Briante Weber suffered a season-ending knee injury late last month. Treveon Graham was expected to carry the load, but he is still dealing with a high ankle sprain.
Still, in some ways, this is the biggest upset for any Big 5 team this season. It’s incredibly hard to win on the road in Division I men’s college basketball: Winning percentage for road teams is lower than pretty much any other sport. That’s due to a few factors, including wild TV schedules and rowdy home crowds, which influence refs and confound players.
Following an offensive rebound, Jordan Price hit a three-pointer with 29 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. Price didn’t score in the first OT, but opened the scoring in the second overtime with a three-pointer and a layup. He scored the rest of the team’s nine points from the free throw line as La Salle pulled off its biggest win of the year. “He was absolutely terrific,” La Salle coach John Giannini said postgame. “His rebounding was huge and he made gigantic shots.”
I didn’t write about La Salle in my early Philly March Madness preview earlier this week, and the 14-10 Explorers will probably have to win the Atlantic 10 tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament this year.
La Salle has played a very hard schedule, going 2-7 against teams in the RPI top 50 (the rating system the NCAA selection committee uses). Per KenPom, they’ve played the 47th hardest schedule in the country. But, the Explorers probably don’t have enough quality wins to be inconsideration for an at-large bid, unless they end the year on a tear. A win over VCU on the road is a good start.
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