Despite at times looking more like a cohesive team, La Salle dropped another Atlantic 10 matchup, losing to Richmond, 64-56, on Saturday.

Inside Tom Gola Arena, the early indications were good for the team, with an impressive atmosphere due to students returning to on-campus events and the team honoring former La Salle guard Tyrone Garland’s famous maneuver against Ole Miss in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (the Southwest Philly Floater).

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“There are no excuses,” said La Salle coach Ashley Howard, when it was noted the team played for the third time in a week. “I felt like we handled it as best we could. I thought our guys were prepared for the game today, I thought we played a battle at Rhode Island, and then we responded, we came back, and were prepared for Richmond. They’re a high-octane, offensive team, and we held them to only 64 points.

“In college basketball, with COVID, every team is going to face stretches where you’re playing three games in a week. You have to look at it in terms of preparation for a postseason...if you play in a postseason, you have to be prepared for a quick turnaround. I thought our guys did a good job of that.”

Forward Clifton Moore scored 19 points, leading the Explorers (6-10, 1-5 Atlantic 10). Guard Jack Clark had 13, most of them in the first half, when the score was still close.

“I think they were physical with [Clark],” said Howard. “They did a good job of keeping him off the offensive glass. Even though he still ended up with eight rebounds, he’s been rebounding like a grown man, and I’m proud of him for that. In the second half, they sped him a little bit, got him off balance, and he can work on that.”

The Explorers were energetic in chasing the game, which had been a source of frustration for coach Howard. La Salle fans will take some consolation that team play and movement was generally effective, but too inconsistent.

“We’ve got to stay positive,” Howard stated. “Wednesday will be here before we know. That’s the beautiful thing about the season, you get a chance to redeem yourself in a couple of days.”

Ultimately, La Salle was doomed by turnovers which allowed Richmond multiple opportunities to score transition points. La Salle had 16 turnovers in the game. Nathan Cayo and Grant Golden paced the Spiders (12-7, 3-3) with 18 points each.

“We’re younger and less experienced than the teams we’re playing against ... but our guys are playing hard, our guys are playing together, our guys are coachable,” Howard said. “As long as we continue to get better and keep improving, I think we’ll end up where we want to be in late February and March.”