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March 13, 2015

La Salle loses to Davidson on buzzer beater

The Explorers coughed up a big lead and failed to score in the game's last 4:45

March Madness is a fitting term, but while college basketball's postseason is extremely exciting, it can be absolutely heartbreaking if you end up on the wrong end of that madness. La Salle unfortunately found that out the hard way this afternoon:

After leading for almost the entirety of the day's first Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal, La Salle lost 67-66 on that layup by Davidson's Tyler Kalinoski, the league's player of the year. Even though the Wildcats were the top-seeded team in the league, Dr. John Giannini's group looked very comfortable for most of the day's proceedings. Specifically, they exploited their huge size advantage for almost the entire game. At one point, the Explorers even led by 18 points. The big man duo of Steve Zack and Jerrell Wright combined for 43 points (on 26 shots) and 21 rebounds. The two seniors were playing bully ball against Davidson's undersized frontline in what might have been their last college game. 

Davidson coach Bob McKillop went to a 1-3-1 zone at the end of the game, and it proved to be the game's critical adjustment. The Explorers couldn't get the ball down low to either Zach or Wright, and they failed to score at all for a long time down the stretch: 

There were a couple of late questionable calls that went against La Salle and caused Giannini to lose his mind. Still, the Explorers couldn't get it done during winning time, and they still lost by the slimmest of margins. For that reason, this is going to be a tough loss for them to stomach.