Saturday, December 29, 2012

La Salle Shoots Past Siena 80-52

La Salle's pressure defense and solid ball movement against the Siena zone was too much for the Saints to handle as the Explorers routed Siena by an 80-52 score on Saturday night.  And it could have been worse.

La Salle started out cold, missing ten of their first thirteen three point attempts, almost all of them wide open, in the games first twelve minutes, but Ramon Galloway eventually caught fire, making five shots from beyond the arc to leading the Explorers to a comfortable 39-24 halftime lead.  La Salle then went on a 21-5 run to start the second half and cruised to the easy win.  The Explorers finished the game shooting a hot 46.4% from three, making six of seven in the second half. 

But it wasn't all about offense for La Salle.  The Explorers defense held Siena to 33% shooting and forced seventeen turnovers against only six assists.  The La Salle guards controlled Siena's leading scorer Rakeem Brookins, forcing him into a 4-17 shooting day, and big men Steve Zack and Jerrell Wright blocked eight shots and shut down Siena's star power forward O.D. Anosike in the first half.  Anosike did most of his damage in the second half after the Explorers had blown the game open.

For La Salle, Galloway filled the stat sheet once again with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.  Also in double figures were Tyreek Duren (13) and D.J. Peterson (11).  Peterson went a perfect 4-4 from the floor, including 3-3 from beyond the arc.  Sam Mills and Tyrone Garland were outstanding defensively and combined for 15 points and 8 assists.  Zack and Wright combined for 13 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers, and the previously mentioned 8 blocks.

Anosike (14 points and 16 rebounds) and Brookins (10) were the only Siena players in double figures.

The Explorers return to action on Wednesday night in Florida against the Miami Hurricanes.  The game will be televised at 9:00pm on Fox Sports South and ESPN3.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Explorers Throttle Sacred Heart 100-71

La Salle shot a blistering 63% from the floor while taking a 66-30 halftime lead as the Explorers coasted to an easy 100-71 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon.

Ramon Galloway played a near flawless game as he filled the stat sheet up once again.  He ended the afternoon with 22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.  The game was never in doubt as La Salle jumped out to a 15-2 lead just five minutes into the game and never looked back.  The balanced Explorers had five other players besides Galloway in double figures.

The all-sophomore frontline of Jerrell Wright, Steve Zack, and Rohan Brown combined for 48 points and 22 rebounds.  Also in double figures were Tyreek Duren (14) and Tyrone Garland (12).  Garland dished a career-high 6 assists as he turned in his third straight strong performance since becoming eligible on December 15th.

Sacred Heart was led by Shane Gibson (19) and Steve Glowiak (15).

La Salle returns to action next Saturday as they travel to Albany to meet Siena.  The game will be telecast in the Philadelphia area on The Comcast Network starting at 7:00pm.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

La Salle Runs Past Iona 88-74

La Salle overcame an early seven point deficit with some hot shooting and timely defense to run past Iona 88-74 at Tom Gola Arena on Thursday night.  The game turned into a track meet early on with both teams scoring at a torrid pace.  Ramon Galloway was on fire early, scoring 21 first half points and carrying the Explorers to a slim 49-45 halftime lead.  Tyrone Garland, obviously pressing in his first home game in a La Salle uniform, struggled to make shots in the first half but his teammates encouraged him to continue to shoot.

That encouragement paid off as Garland picked up where Galloway left off as he scorched the nets for 19 second half points on 7-12 shooting, at one point scoring 14 straight points as the Explorers pulled away from the Gaels, who seemed to tire down the stretch.  As good as Galloway was in the first half, he was even better in the second despite not scoring.  Defensively, he put the clamps on outstanding Iona point guard MoMo Jones, plus he handed out seven assists and played an outstanding all-around game.  The win was a true team effort as everyone who got on the floor for the Explorers made positive contributions.

Garland finished with a career and game high 26 points. Galloway filled the stat sheet with 21 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.  Jerrell Wright scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.  Tyreek Duren scored 13 points, pulled down 5 rebounds, and handed out 4 assists.  Steve Zack (10 rebounds), Sam Mills (8 points and 5 rebounds), and D.J. Peterson with his usual solid floor game all played well in the victory.

Iona was led by David Laury's 21 points and 14 rebounds while Jones (19) and Sean Armand (15) also scored in double figures for the Gaels.

La Salle only gets a short rest as they return to action against Sacred Heart at home on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Explorers Lose Touch In 74-66 Loss To Bucknell

Cold shooting and foul trouble were too much to overcome as La Salle fell to Bucknell 74-66 on Saturday night at Sojka Pavilion.  Steve Zack picked up two fouls in the first minute and a half of the game and the Explorers were forced to play small most of the night.  Bison big men Mike Muscala and Joe Willman were able to dominate the inside with Zack on the bench and Bucknell ran out to a fifteen point lead with just over three minutes left in the half.

The Explorers came out cold, only hitting on 34% of their shots in the first half, despite getting many open looks in the paint off dribble penetration.  Tyrone Garland, in his first game in a La Salle uniform, went coast to coast for a layup to get La Salle within eleven at the half.  La Salle was able to cut the lead to three (47-44) with eleven minutes to go, but Bucknell went on a run of their own to extend their lead to thirteen with six minutes to go.  The closest the Explorers would get the rest of the way was seven with just under two minutes left.

Ramon Galloway led La Salle with 21 points and 7 rebounds.  Tyreek Duren (14) and Jerrell Wright (10) also scored in double figures.  Bucknell was led by Muscala and Willman with 18 points each.

The Explorers return to action on Thursday when the Iona Gaels visit Tom Gola Arena.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Duren Does It Again In 66-64 Win Over Northeastern

Tyreek Duren once again provided the late game heroics, hitting a short fadeway jumper with under two seconds to go to lift La Salle to an exciting 66-64 victory over Northeastern on Saturday night.  After going scoreless in the first half, Duren took charge late in the game when backcourt mate Ramon Galloway went to the bench with foul trouble.  All of his 12 points were scored in the second half, with the last 2 being the game winners.

Galloway was hot in the first half, scoring 19 points to help the Explorers erase a seven point deficit and go into halftime with a two point lead.  But the Huskies clamped down on him in the second half, so Duren and Jerrell Wright picked up the slack helping the Explorers gain a much needed win in order to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Galloway finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals while Wright (13) and Duren (12) also scored in double figures.  D.J. Peterson was his usual efficient self, scoring 6 points, grabbing 4 rebounds, and not committing a turnover in 30 minutes of action.

The Huskies had four players in double figures, led by Reggie Spencer's 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The Explorers return to action next Saturday, traveling to Bucknell to take on the 8-1 Bison in what amounts to La Salle's biggest test of the young season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Duren Leads La Salle Past Penn State 82-57

Hot perimeter shooting and tough defense allowed La Salle to break open a close game midway through the second half as the Explorers ran away from the Penn State Nittany Lions 82-57.  Tyreek Duren was outstanding, scoring 29 points on just 13 shots, as well as handing off 4 assists and playing smothering defense on Penn State's leading scorer D.J. Newbill.

With fifteen minutes remaining and La Salle holding onto a 47-43 lead, the Explorers went on a 21-3 run over the next eight minutes with Duren scoring 12 consecutive points during the run which ended with La Salle having an insurmountable 68-46 lead with just under eight minutes left.  The Explorers ended up shooting a blistering 16-31 from three point range and a solid 18-24 from the foul line while committing only 4 turnovers the entire game.  Also in double figures for the Explorers were Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills with 14 points each, while Steve Zack anchored the middle with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocked shots.  D.J. Peterson rediscovered his shot, adding 8 points and his usual solid defense and floor game. 

Penn State was led by Jermaine Marshall's 19 points while Ross Travis and Newbill scored 12 points each. 

La Salle returns to the court on Saturday night as they travel to Boston to face the Northeastern Huskies.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fast Start Lifts Explorers Past Rider 63-52

Stifling defense and hot shooting by La Salle in the game's first nine minutes were too much for Rider to overcome as the Explorers held off the Broncs in the second half for a 63-52 win.

La Salle played possibly their best basketball of the season, jumping out to a 32-14 lead midway through the first half.  Rider had no answer for the Explorer's aggressive man to man defense while La Salle could not miss, making five of their first seven three pointers.  By the time the Broncs regrouped, the Explorers were sitting on an eighteen point cushion.  Rider then chipped away at the lead, outscoring La Salle 9-2 to end the half and putting them within striking distance.

Despite La Salle's offensive struggles in the second half, their defense was just good enough to keep Rider at bay.  With just under eight minutes to go, the Broncs narrowed the lead to six at 49-43, but the Explorers then went on a 7-1 run in the games next three minutes to give them a comfortable twelve point lead and from that point on, they made enough free throws to hang on for the eleven point victory.

Leading the way for La Salle was Tyreek Duren with 20 points (on 6-6 shooting from the floor), 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals and Ramon Galloway with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists.  Sam Mills added 8 points and 7 rebounds and Jerrell Wright chipped in with 6 points. 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks. 

Rider was led by 12 points each by Danny Stewart and Anthony Myles.  Leading scorer and former La Salle commit Nurideen Lindsey was held to 5 points.

La Salle's next contest will be 9:00pm Wednesday night against Penn State in a nationally-televised game on the NBC Sports Network.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Explorers Sneak Through Back Door for 77-74 Win Over Villanova

Tyreek Duren's wide open layup off a back door feed from D.J. Peterson gave La Salle a late one point lead and the defense did the rest as the Explorers ended a ten game losing streak against Big Five rival Villanova with a 77-74 overtime win on Sunday afternoon.  

After taking an early lead, La Salle was forced to play from behind for most of the game.  Villanova extended their lead to eleven points early in the second half but the Explorers chipped away until they were able to finally tie the game at 49 with just over nine minutes left.  The game went back and forth until the Wildcats were able to take a three point lead when Ryan Arcidiacono connected on one of two foul shots with 25 seconds left.  The Explorers pushed the ball downcourt and with 7 seconds left, Duren was able to make a 25 foot jumper over the outstretched arm of Mouphtaou Yarou which sent the game into overtime.

Once again, Villanova took the lead early in overtime until La Salle was able to force a turnover by the Wildcats with just over a half minute to go and down by a 73-72 score.  That set up the game winning back door layup by Duren followed by two foul shots by Steve Zack which gave the Explorers the 77-74 win.

Ramon Galloway almost single-handedly kept La Salle in the game during the second half and finished with 26 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.  Duren took over the game late in regulation and during overtime and ended up with 23 points, 5 assists, two rebounds, and two steals.  Jerrell Wright (10) was also in double figures and Steve Zack pulled down a career high 14 rebounds.  Villanova was led by Mouphtaou Yarou's 20 points and 7 rebounds and JayVaughn Pinkston's 19 points and 7 rebounds.

The Explorers return to action on Thursday night at Rider.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

La Salle Stumbles Past Hartford 64-51

Despite 19 careless and mostly unforced turnovers, the La Salle Explorers were able to jump out to a 40-22 halftime lead and hold off the Hartford Hawks for a 64-51 win on Tuesday night.  After a miserable defensive effort in their previous outing against Central Connecticut State, the Explorers came out much more aggressive against an undermanned Hartford squad and were able to gain some separation with the 18 point halftime lead.

Luckily for the Explorers, Hartford also struggled on the offensive end in the second half and La Salle was able to keep a double digit lead the rest of the way en route to the 13 point victory.

The main bright spot for La Salle was the play of redshirt freshman forward Rohan Brown.  The Hartford native came home and made friends and family proud with an outstanding double-double effort, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.  Tyreek Duren (15), Jerrell Wright (14), and Ramon Galloway (13) also scored in double figures.  Mark Nwakamma led Hartford with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

The Explorers return to the court at 1:00pm this Sunday against Big 5 rival Villanova in a nationally-televised game on the CBS Sports Network.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Defense Rests As Explorers Drop Verdict To CCSU

A porous defense along with a quick opponent was the wrong recipe as the La Salle Explorers were upset by the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on Sunday afternoon.  The Blue Devils ran past the Explorers to the tune of 48 first half points and withheld a late charge by La Salle to pull out the win by scoring the game's last seven points after the Explorers had tied it at 74.

The loss was the last thing La Salle needed as it tries to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in two decades.  They will need to get through the rest of their out of conference schedule without any more letdowns against any of their low major opponents and will need to pull an upset or two along the way.

Kyle Vinales and Adonis Burbage led the Blue Devils with 23 and 21 points.  Burbage was almost perfect, going 7-8 from the floor and 5-6 from the free throw line.  The Explorers had four players in double figures, led by Jerrell Wright's 18 points and 6 rebounds.

La Salle travels to Hartford to take on the Hawks on Tuesday night in a must-win game.