He left the game on Tuesday against Quinnipiac with a back injury.
He wasn’t put in the starting lineup on Saturday.
But this did not stop senior Jerrell Wright from having a major impact for La Salle as they defeated the Saint Peters Peacocks by a score of 59-50. Wright was the first man John Giannini summoned off of the bench. According to Giannini, the decision to play Wright was made just before game time.
“I leave the court at 20 minutes and he looked ginger,” said Giannini. “Then with one minute left, I told him to do one-on-one drills with Tony (Washington) live. And in that last minute, he did some things live and I knew that he could do it.”
Wright secured a double-double for his team, scoring ten points and leading the floor with twelve boards on the day. After this game, Wright believes that there will be no future issues with his back.
“I feel 100% right now,” Wright said on his current health status. “It’s all mental. When you know you have a game, you know you have to go out there and go 100%. I rested a little bit and did a lot of treatment, but I feel good.”
Despite La Salle’s defense allowing Saint Peters to shoot 40% from the floor in the second half, Giannini was very impressed with how his defense handled the challenge in front of them.
“It’s just great defense,” said Giannini on how well his defense played. “We’re holding people in the low thirties and no one can score 60 points on us. Our defense is at the highest level, and obviously right now, our offense is on the opposite end right now. But it’s really good defense.”
But the story of the game for La Salle was redshirt sophomore Jordan Price. Price led both teams with twenty-one points, a complete turn from last week at home, where he only scored eight. He turned things around against Quinnipiac on Tuesday, where he scored 18 points. Price credited this to taking advantage of the open looks that he has been getting from his fellow Explorers.
“Basically I was hitting the shots that my teammates were providing me,” said Price on his good shooting day. “They were giving me different opportunities to score off of screens, off of the dribble drive offense. I feel like getting to the line helped me a lot. I didn’t shoot the ball that well from the free-throw line, so I got into the gym this whole week to be able to contribute from the line.”
Giannini was very impressed with how Price performed today.
“He was terrific defensively,” said Giannini on the transfer’s big day. “He’s the one guy we have that can make something out of nothing. Obviously, we depend on that.”
Another key factor for the Explorers was overcoming injuries. As the buzzer rang to signal the end of the first half, Steve Zack landed awkwardly on his ankle and limped to the locker room. This resulted in Zack only seeing 17 minutes of playing time, despite getting the start. Khalid Lewis also rolled an ankle in the second half, but still totaled 31 minutes on the floor for the Explorers. This forced redshirt sophomore Cleon Roberts, who started the game in place of Wright, to play 35 minutes. He totaled eight points and eight rebounds in the process.
Amar Stukes added 11 points and 3 assists in 30 minutes.
Giannini knows that his team is facing some health issues, but he also knows that his team has to step-up despite that.
“We have a lot of health issues,” Giannini said when asked about his team’s health after the game. “But I think we’ll be alright. Jerrell hadn’t practiced since the last game with back spasms, Khalid turned his ankle, and Steve turned his ankle at the end of the first half. Not to use the NFL cliché, but its next man up.”
The Explorers will next take on St. Francis Brooklyn at the Tom Gola arena on Tuesday, November 25th at 7:00 pm. Philahoops will have live coverage