Courtesy of GoExplorers.com
ESTERO, Fla. – Led by an MVP performance from sophomore Ed Croswell, the La Salle University men’s basketball team took home the Gulf Coast Showcase championship with an 81-76, overtime victory over South Alabama at Hertz Arena on Wednesday evening.
Croswell scored 18 points and added 12 rebounds while senior Isiah Deas scored a team-high 21 points for the Explorers, who held an 11-point halftime lead but saw the Jaguars fight all the way back and build an 11-point lead of their own with 8:46 left.
La Salle battled back and took a two-point advantage on a putback layup by Croswell with 17.5 seconds remaining in regulation. But USA’s Andre Fox hit a tough jumper in the lane with under a second left to tie the score and send the game to overtime.
In that extra session, La Salle held South Alabama to 3-of-9 from the field and took the lead for good after two free throws by junior Scott Spencer with 2:04 remaining.
La Salle heads home with its second in-season championship in as many seasons, as it won the Boardwalk Battle event in Atlantic City last December.
The Explorers will look to continue their hot streak as they take on Big 5 rival Villanova at Finneran Pavilion on Sunday, Dec. 1.