Belk Arena Davidson

La Salle Explorers vs. Davidson Wildcats Pick & Prediction JAN 29TH 2022

Logo La Salle Explorers
Logo Davidson Wildcats

138.5o -110
-15 -110



It might take time for Davidson to regain some of the swagger it possessed earlier this week.

The No. 25 Wildcats might as well get started with Saturday afternoon's game against visiting La Salle.

Davidson had moved into the national rankings for the first time this season Monday, yet that might be short-lived. The Wildcats dropped a 70-68 decision at home to Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday, a result that brought a halt to the nation's longest active winning streak at 15 games.

"To have one loss impact our feelings, we're not going to accept that," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. "What we are going to accept is the fact that we had a bad performance, but we never stopped fighting."

Davidson (16-3, 6-1 Atlantic 10) lost a game for the first time since Nov. 18.

"We can look at each other and acknowledge that we did not play very well," McKillop said.

Still, Davidson cut a 15-point deficit to just one before it was unable to complete a comeback.

La Salle Explorers

"We were relentless with our toughness, with our fight down the stretch," McKillop said. "We got ourselves back in the game. Let's use that and not allow one loss to become two losses."

By re-emerging on the national scene, the Wildcats find themselves in a bit of a different situation.

"You're getting everybody's best shot," Davidson guard Michael Jones said. "We just didn't execute well at times. We've just got to learn from it, get better and take it on to the next one."

It was a cruel reminder of walking off the court after a defeat.

"We didn't have to feel this from the last 15 games," Jones said. "This team has a special way to keep fighting. But we can build on it."

McKillop said he hopes the energy from the crowd that was on display Wednesday night is repeated for this next game.

La Salle (6-11, 1-6) had a different kind of setback Wednesday. The Explorers failed to hold on after leading by 16 points in the second half of a 77-71 home loss to Massachusetts.

"You got to play 40 minutes," La Salle coach Ashley Howard said. "Play for each other and together for 40 minutes. We haven't been able to get there yet. That's a part of the growth for our team, being able to do that. that's what La Salle has to do."

The Explorers have a three-game losing streak, but those results have come by a total of 16 points.

Unusual trouble in rebounding as well as turnovers hounded La Salle in its latest game.

"It was a combination of things," Howard said.

The visit to Davidson will be a home-state return for La Salle's Josh Nickelberry, a transfer from Louisville who is from Fayetteville, N.C. Nickelberry and Clifton Moore share team-leading honors, scoring 12.4 points per game.

Davidson's Luka Brajkovic is averaging 14.4 points (third-best on the team) and 7.1 rebounds per game and is coming off a 23-point, 12-rebound effort against VCU.

"He certainly is distinguishing himself as somebody who's going to have the attention of a lot of opponents," McKillop said.

--Field Level Media

La Salle Explorers
Davidson Wildcats

La Salle Explorers vs. Davidson Wildcats Recap JAN 29TH 2022

Luka Brajkovic racked up 22 points and No. 25 Davidson responded a few days after its first loss in about two months, defeating visiting La Salle 77-69 on Saturday afternoon at Davidson, N.C.

Hyunjung Lee and Foster Loyer both provided 14 points for Davidson (17-3, 7-1 Atlantic 10), which hopes to begin another winning streak after its 15-game string ended.

The Wildcats made a bid to stay in the Top 25 despite a two-point home loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday night. This week's spot in the rankings marked Davidson's first Top 25 appearance since the 2014-15 season.

Jack Clark tallied 18 points, Clifton Moore posted 14 points and Khalil Brantley had 11 points for La Salle (6-12, 1-7), which shot 7-for-32 on 3-point attempts.

This was the 1,000th game as coach for Davidson's Bob McKillop, who's in his 33rd season holds a 624-376 record. A postgame ceremony to retire jerseys of former coaches Charles "Lefty" Driesell and Terry Holland was planned.

Davidson rebuilt what seemed like a comfortable advantage at 61-46, but the Explorers pulled within 65-57 on Clark's 3-point basket with less than four minutes to play.

It was as close as 71-67 after a pair of Moore free throws at the 1:41 mark.

The Wildcats were 6-for-6 on free throws in the last 96 seconds, although a turnover during that stretch kept some of the suspense in place.

Brajkovic shot 7-for-10 from the field, making both of his 3-point attempts. Loyer delivered a team-high five assists.

For La Salle, co-team scoring leader Josh Nickelberry struggled in a return to his home state, notching six points on 2-for-11 shooting with a pair of 3-point baskets.

Davidson built a double-digit lead in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the game as it took La Salle almost five minutes to score its first points. The Wildcats extended that gap to 13 points before holding a 37-30 halftime edge

The Explorers have never won in four all-time trips to Davidson.

--Field Level Media

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