A first half deficit in which VCU trailed LaSalle by nine proved costly in the Rams’ ability to limit the Explorers’ second half output. The main reason behind their inability to cut the deficit was the production of LaSalle guard Ramon Galloway.
Galloway, who scored the game-winning basketball for the Explorers earlier this week in their upset victory over Butler, finished the contest with 31 points overall to lead the way. The Rams virtually had no answer for him despite a 22-point effort from Juvonte Reddic.
The story behind Saturday’s loss however, was the week-long struggles for VCU as a whole. The Rams were handed their first conference loss earlier this week when Richmond upset them in overtime. The loss to LaSalle on Saturday now drops VCU to 4-2 overall in the A-10, a tough deal considering they really could have separated themselves atop the conference standings this past week.
VCU had moved up to No. 19 in the country this past week, but the back-to-back losses will surely cost them their Top 25 ranking when the poll is re-released on Monday afternoon. The good news however in terms of looking ahead, is that VCU has two games that are more-than-winnable this week.
A trip to Rhode Island is scheduled for Wednesday, while Fordham will make the trip to Virginia Commonwealth next Saturday. The Rams and head coach Shaka Smart will need to rebound this week to reassert themselves amongst the league’s best, although there is no reason to panic despite this past week’s struggles.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS