Ramon Galloway had 31 points as the La Salle Explorers defeated the 19th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams 69-61 late Saturday night.
Galloway’s 31 marked a new career high as the senior guard lead the Explorers (14-5, 4-2 A-10) past the Rams for their second straight victory against a top 25 opponent. This dominant performance comes only a few days after his game-winning layup against the 9th-ranked Butler Bulldogs.
With this win, it looks like the Explorers have finally gotten things clicking after losing 3 of 6 games coming into this week. They are now a serious contender in the A-10, which has become one of the top leagues in the NCAA, as they are only .5 games behind the league leaders, Butler.
In the first half, the Explorers took an early lead thanks to a Tyreek Duren layup, beginning a 6-0 run that gave them some breathing room against the fast-paced VCU (16-5, 4-2 A-10) offense. The rest of the half was a back and forth affair, consisting of short runs by both teams, but at the end of the half it was La Salle who had the 34-25 lead following a 15-2 run by the Explorers to close out the half.
The Rams came out of the locker room in the second half with a vengeance, scoring the first 17 points which gave them a 42-34 lead with 14 minutes to go in regulation. The Explorers countered with an 19-5 run, however, in which Galloway had 12 of his 31 points. This gave La Salle a 53-47 lead. The Rams would not go out with a fight and were able to fight back to 56-55 with 2:50 remaining. This was the closest they would come to tying things up.
Ramon Galloway, proving that he is the clutch player for the Explorers, scored 8 of the team’s last 13 points, all of which came from the foul line.
In the end the Explorers gave VCU its 29th loss at the Stuart Siegel Center as it defeated the Rams, 69-61.
The star performer for the Explorers was Ramon Galloway, with 31 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block. For the Rams it was Juvonte Reddic, with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. Duren also added 16 points and five rebounds for La Salle.
This win marks the first time the Explorers have consecutively beaten two ranked opponents in the same week since their appearance in the 1952 NIT tournament, where they had to beat three in a row to advance.