By Sarah Moomaw, News Staff
The Huskies began the season with back-to-back buzzer-beating wins but tonight found out what it’s like to be on the other end as they fell 66-64 to La Salle University at Matthews Arena.
They’ve now lost four straight games.
“I thought tonight we played a winning effort but we didn’t win the basketball game,” head coach Bill Coen said. “I thought there were a couple critical possessions down the last three, four minutes where we have turnovers, just really didn’t handle the basketball as cleanly as we needed to.”
With the game tied at 64, La Salle ran the the shot clock down to 11 seconds and called a timeout, with 11.8 left on the game clock. They came out of the timeout to sink a layup just as the shot clock expired causing the refs to review the play.
The two-pointer stood, but the game clock was reset to 1.4 seconds, giving the Huskies the final possession. Stahl lobbed the ball three-fourths of the court to sophomore forward-guard Quincy Ford who just missed the game-tying buzzer-beating jumper.
Overall, the Huskies shot 54.9 percent on the night to the Explorers 50.0 as the Huskies found themselves involved in their fifth game decided by less than three points.
“That’s college basketball today, very exciting game for the fans, a little nerve racking for the coaching staff,” Coen said. “I think the lesson to be learned is that every possession is valuable.”
After Walker tied the game at four in the first half, the Huskies wouldn’t see the up side of the game until a three by Joel Smith from the top of the key to go up by two, 20-18. Dueling lead changes would fuel a 8-0 run by the Huskies for a seven-point lead, 28-21, with 7:55 to play.
The Explorers would retaliate with an 11-2 run to knot the score at 32 before taking a two-point lead into halftime, 36-34.
At 5:53 in the second half, Stahl returned the lead to the Huskies after taking the ball from the defensive zone and fighting for a layup through traffic, making it 46-44. He drew the Huskies first free throw of the night but missed the shot from the line.
A three by the game’s leading scorer, senior guard Ramon Galloway (24 points), would put La Salle up by one and start an 11-10 La Salle run. A three by Smith would cap the run, with a two-point Explorer advantage going into a media timeout with 6:45 to play, 58-56.
After exchanging free throws, a jumper by Quincy Ford would knot the game at 64 with 1:19 left on the clock, to start the dramatic ending that didn’t go the Huskies way.
The Huskies will return to Matthews Arena for a matinee tip-off with University of North Carolina-Asheville on Dec. 18 at noon.