Saturday, December 29, 2012
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Today Coach John Giannini announced that Class of 2013 6'2" point guard Amar Stukes from La Salle College High School signed his letter of intent to attend La Salle University. Stukes averaged 13.4 points per game and was named first team Philadelphia All-Catholic league as a junior. Amar picked La Salle over Drexel, Fairfield, and numerous other Division One schools.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Steve Zack (19 points, 8 rebounds) and Jerrell Wright (14 points, 10 rebounds) dominated the inside allowing the La Salle Explorers to grind out a hard-fought victory over the Delaware Blue Hens 73-66.
The Explorers jumped out to an early 21-5 lead only to see Delaware cut it to a six point halftime deficit. The Blue Hens were able to take a brief 51-50 lead in the second half and the game was tied at 60 with four minutes to go. At that point, Zack and the Explorers took over, going on a 9-4 run aided by two buckets and a blocked shot by Zack. La Salle never relinquished the lead and hung on for the seven point win.
Also scoring in double figures for the Explorers were Tyreek Duren (12) and Sam Mills (10). Delaware was led by Jarvis Threatt (17) and Devon Saddler (14). First team All-CAA power forward Jamelle Hagins was limited to 12 points by fine defensive efforts by Zack and Wright.
The Explorers return to the court a week from tomorrow for a contest at Gola Arena against Central Connecticut State.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Down 53-44 with just under ten minutes to play, La Salle turned up the defensive pressure and scored just enough to slip past 2012 Canadian national champion Carleton University 61-58.
Ramon Galloway led the way with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and an outstanding defensive effort on Philip Scrubb, holding the Raven's leading scorer to 12 points. Also in double figures for the Explorers was Jerrell Wright with 12 points, while Steve Zack and D.J. Peterson combined for 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Tyson Hinz scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Carleton.
La Salle opens their regular season a week from tomorrow against the University of Delaware who was the preseason pick to finish second in the CAA.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
At 5:00pm on Friday October 12th, the 2012-13 La Salle Explorers held their first full practice, beginning the more than five month journey towards what will hopefully become their first NCAA appearance in over 20 years. Once again, most of the preseason prognosticators are undervaluing the talented and deep Explorers, picking them to finish anywhere between seventh and tenth in a very strong Atlantic 10.
Guards win in college basketball, and La Salle has arguably the most talented and deepest backcourt in the A10 and one of the best in the country. In addition to returning starters Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren, and Sam Mills and a healthy D.J. Peterson, the Explorers will add former Bartram High star and Virginia Tech transfer Tyrone Garland once the first semester ends on December 14th. Even more depth is provided by streak shooter Taylor Dunn and freshman walk-on O.J. Lewis who averaged double figures for D.C. area powerhouse Riverdale Baptist. Also on the roster is 6'3" combo guard and Delaware transfer Khalid Lewis who has to sit out the 2012-13 season due to transfer rules.
In the frontcourt, La Salle returns 6'8" sophomore power forward Jerrell Wright who is expected to have a breakout season after making the A10 All-Rookie team as a freshman. Preseason reviews of 6'11" sophomore center Steve Zack have been encouraging and there is a good chance he will take Earl Pettis' spot in the starting lineup as the Explorers will start out the season with a more traditional 3 guards, 2 bigs lineup. Also expected to contribute on the frontline are 6'7" redshirt freshman combo forward Rohan Brown, 6'9" true freshman center Jermaine Davis, and 6'10" center and Penn transfer Garvin Hunt. There will be no shortage of size and muscle on this year's roster to go along with the talented backcourt.
Coach Giannini will have lots of options in 2012-13. He can go small and play four guards or he can go big with Brown on the wing along with three big men. The Explorers will be a matchup nightmare for most teams.
The preseason fun continued with the Bill Raftery Open Practice and Reception on Friday October 19th and was followed by an open practice event held for the students earlier today.
The Explorers finally get to go up against someone other than themselves this Saturday as the Princeton Tigers visit Gola Arena for a closed scrimmage.
The following Friday, the general public will get their first look at the team as they face Canadian National Champions Carleton University. The Ravens already have three games under their belt, defeating Buffalo and Northeastern along with a close four point loss to a strong UNLV team. The Explorers will then open their regular season on November 10th in a special Homecoming appearance against Delaware who was picked to finish second in the CAA by the league's coaches.
Monday, September 10, 2012
After La Salle announced in early April that Devon White would not return to use his final year of eligibility, it was assumed that Coach John Giannini would be signing a big man during the spring signing period. The Explorer coaching staff looked at a number of prospects, including grad student transfer Kore White from Florida Atlantic, juco transfer Keith Coleman, and schoolboy prospects Mike Aaman and Donovon Jack among others. All four chose to go elsewhere so by mid-May, it looked like La Salle would go into the 2012-13 season with a frontline consisting of sophomore big men Jerrell Wright and Steve Zack along with freshmen Rohan Brown and Jermaine Davis.
But then in early June, the Explorers 2012-13 roster was posted on the school's athletic website and to the surprise of many, included on the roster was 6'10" Garvin Hunt, a transfer from the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, there has been much speculation as to how Hunt ended up at La Salle and what his role on the 2012-13 La Salle squad was expected to be.
Check out this excellent article by Jeff Goodman of CBS College Sports as he gets answers to many of the questions about Garvin and his journey that has led him to La Salle for one more chance at college basketball.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Atlantic 10 posted their full men's basketball conference schedule, including TV dates, earlier today. More TV dates are sure to be added as member schools negotiate broadcast rights with local affiliates. Below is La Salle's conference schedule:
- Wednesday January 9th - @ Charlotte
- Saturday January 12th - Richmond
- Wednesday January 16th - Dayton (Fox Sports Ohio)
- Saturday January 19th - @ Xavier (CBSSN-Regional)
- Wednesday January 23rd - Butler
- Saturday January 26th - @ VCU (CBSSN)
- Wednesday January 30th - UMass
- Saturday February 2nd - @ George Washington
- Saturday February 9th - Fordham
- Wednesday February 13th - @ St.Bonaventure
- Saturday February 16th - St. Joe's (NBCSN)
- Thursday February 21st - @ Temple (CBSSN)
- Sunday February 24th - @ Rhode Island (CSN)
- Saturday March 2nd - Duquesne
- Wednesday March 6th - George Washington
- Saturday March 9th - @ St. Louis (NBCSN)
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Recent online articles on the ESPN and Sports Illustrated sites have singled out La Salle senior guard Ramon Galloway and sophomore power forward Jerrell Wright.
Galloway's high-flying act has gotten him recognition as one of the top dunkers in college basketball. His reverse slam against Minnesota in the NIT was ranked the second best dunk of the 2011-12 season. Check out these articles by ESPN's Myron Medcalf with quotes from Ramon and Coach John Giannini.
After an impressive and efficient freshman season, Wright is being touted by SI.com's Luke Winn as the third most likely sophomore to have a breakout season. Check out his article.
Friday, August 31, 2012
As reported back on July 10th by various recruiting outlets, the news became official this past Monday as La Salle announced the transfer of 6'3", 185 pound guard Khalid Lewis from the University of Delaware. Lewis will sit out the required 2012-13 transfer year and will have 3 years of eligibility left at La Salle.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Atlantic Ten posted the 2012-12 Men's Basketball prospectus on their official website today.
Monday, August 20, 2012
La Salle men's basketball coach Dr.John Giannini announced the Explorer's 2012-13 out of conference schedule today. Highlights include the beginning of multi-game series against BCS opponents Miami and Penn State and mid-major powers Iona and Siena. The Explorers open the season against CAA title-contender Delaware during La Salle's Homecoming festivities on November 10th, play Villanova and Penn at Gola Arena in Big Five action, and go on the road to face 2011-12 NIT participant Bucknell. The full OOC schedule can be found in the below link. The A10 schedule should be published sometime in early to mid September.
- Friday November 2nd - Carleton University (exhibition)
- Saturday November 10th - Delaware (Homecoming)
- Sunday November 18th - Central Connecticut State
- Tuesday November 20th - @ Hartford
- Sunday November 25th - Villanova (CBSSN)
- Thursday November 29th - @ Rider
- Wednesday December 5th - Penn State (@ the Palestra) (NBC SN)
- Saturday December 8th - @ Northeastern
- Saturday December 15th - @ Bucknell
- Thursday December 20th - Iona
- Saturday December 22nd - Sacred Heart
- Saturday December 29th - @ Siena (TCN)
- Wednesday January 2nd - @ Miami (Fox Sports South)
- Saturday January 5th - Penn
Friday, August 17, 2012
La Salle has landed 2013 priority point guard recruit Amar Stukes. The news was broken by various recruiting websites this past Wednesday. The 6'2", 165 pound Stukes, from La Salle College High School of the Philadelphia Catholic League, picked the Explorers over offers from Drexel, George Mason, Fairfield, and Binghamton. The La Salle coaching staff targeted Amar early on, offering him a scholarship after the conclusion of his sophomore year, and their persistence has paid off. Stukes will be groomed to be the replacement for current La Salle point guard Tyreek Duren after he graduates in 2014. Even with the graduation of Duren and current La Salle juniors Sam Mills, Tyrone Garland, and Taylor Dunn in 2014, having an experienced Stukes on the roster will bolster an already strong 2014-15 backcourt along with D.J. Peterson and recent Delaware transfer Khalid Lewis.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
According to The Recruit Scoop and various other recruiting websites, Khalid Lewis, a 6'3", 185 pound guard from the University of Delaware, will be transferring to La Salle. Lewis, a Trenton, NJ native who played his high school ball at Trenton Catholic Academy, will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the required 2012-13 transfer year. He was a recruiting target of the La Salle coaching staff coming out of TCA but they did not let him get away the second time around.
Khalid had a fine freshman year at Delaware, starting all 32 games at the point while averaging 5.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists for the 18-14 Blue Hens, who advanced to the postseason, playing in the College Invitational Tournament. Lewis is a lockdown defender and had a solid 1.3 assist to turnover ratio (83 assists versus 63 turnovers). He should be able to step into the 2013-14 guard rotation, replacing Ramon Galloway who will graduate in 2013.
Congratulations and best wishes to Terrence at Immaculata. No word on who is in line to replace Terrence at La Salle.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
La Salle published their 2012-13 men's basketball roster today and as rumored, 6'10", 235 pound Penn transfer Garvin Hunt will be part of the team. Word leaked out a few weeks ago and was finally confirmed today when the roster was posted on GoExplorers.com, the school's official athletic website.
Hunt, a native of the Bahamas, was a highly recruited player out of Sagemont Prep in Florida four years ago, picking Penn over George Mason, South Florida, UMass, Western Kentucky, Duquesne, Fordham, Delaware, and Harvard. He ended up playing sparingly his freshman year and left the team, not wishing to play for previous Penn coach Glen Miller and instead concentrating on academics. Garvin graduated from Penn earlier this month with a degree in Architecture. He plans on pursuing a Master's Degree in Business Administration at La Salle.
It is unclear as to how significant a role Hunt will play for the 2012-13 Explorers, but at worst he should give the team more size and strength on the interior in case Jerrell Wright, Steve Zack, Rohan Brown, or Jermaine Davis run into foul trouble.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Giannini has three open scholarships for next season and the loss of White makes it a priority for him to land another low post player during the spring signing period. No reason was given for White's departure, who is rumored to be heading to play for former Explorer player and coach Joe Mihalich at Niagara University. Good luck and best wishes to Devon wherever he lands.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Playing in front of a sold-out and energized Gola Arena crowd ended up not being enough as the La Salle Explorers fell to Minnesota 80-71 in a first round NIT game. La Salle jumped out to an eight point lead midway through the first half but Minnesota clawed back to take a 40-37 lead into halftime behind a 8-0 run over the last two minutes. The Explorers led for most of the half but could not hold off the Gophers down the stretch.
In the second half, Minnesota kept La Salle at bay early but the Explorers were able to scratch back and take a number of small leads from the fifteen minute mark until there were nine minutes left when the score was knotted at 55. The Gophers went on a mini-run, extending their lead to seven with 1:43 left on a Rodney Williams putback. The Explorers were only able to manage one Earl Pettis basket the rest of the way while Minnesota combined a Julian Welch layup and two foul shots by Joe Coleman to give them the nine point victory.
Pettis finished his La Salle career scoring 19 points to lead three Explorers in double figures. Ramon Galloway added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while Jerrell Wright chipped in with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Williams was one of three Gopher players in double figures, leading them with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Minnesota will advance to play the University of MIami in a second round NIT matchup.
Congratulations and best of luck to La Salle seniors Earl Pettis and Matt Sheehan on fine careers and helping lead the 2011-12 Explorers to the school's first postseason bid in 20 years. Explorer fans are no doubt already waiting for the 2012-13 season to begin as the future looks bright at 20th and Olney with four starters and eight players who averaged double figure minutes returning. They will also add Virginia Tech transfer and former Philadelphia high school star guard Tyrone Garland, redshirt freshman forward Rohan Brown, and true freshman center Jermaine Davis to the roster.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
La Salle's consistent play over the entire season was probably the key factor in the Explorer's first postseason invitation in 20 years as the NIT came calling on Sunday night. La Salle was one of only three teams across the country to never lose a game by double figures. Wins over NCAA tournament participants Xavier and St.Bonaventure along with three total wins over NIT tournament participants UMass and Bucknell helped pave the way to the Explorers not only getting the NIT bid, but also securing a 3 seed and getting a nationally-televised home game against Big 10 member Minnesota. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Wednesday night at 7pm.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Cold first half shooting and some late defensive lapses were the difference in La Salle's 78-71 quarterfinal loss to St.Louis in the Atlantic Ten tournament. The Explorers had to fight uphill all game as they fell behind by a 14-2 score only five minutes into the game. La Salle got numerous open looks against the typically stingy Billiken defense but could only make 37.5% of them in the first half with the majority of them coming in the first five minutes.
Just when it looked like St.Louis might cruise to an easy victory, the Explorers inched their way back, cutting the Billikens lead to one point on three different occasions, the last with just under six minutes to go in the first half. St.Louis responded with a 17-7 run until a late Earl Pettis three brought La Salle within six points at the half.
The Billikens kept the Explorers at bay early in the second half and were able to extend their lead to eleven with ten minutes to play. And once again, La Salle fought back to a 57-56 deficit with just over four minutes left. But the Explorer defense was caught sleeping as St. Louis' Brian Conklin slipped inside for two easy baskets sandwiched around a make by Pettis and the final dagger was a three by the Billiken's Mike McCall which point St.Louis up by seven points 1:34 to go. Pettis gave La Salle some life by making all three free throws after being fouled while shooting from beyond the arc which cut the Billiken lead to four. But the Explorers were forced to foul the rest of the way and St.Louis went 9-9 from the line in the last minute to clinch the win.
In what might be his last game in a La Salle uniform, Earl Pettis hit a number of big shots and led the team with 18 points. Also in double figures for the Explorers were Ramon Galloway, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half, and Tyreek Duren (13). For St.Louis, Mike McCall (16) led four players in double figures.
With the loss, La Salle falls to 21-11 on the season, and will be crossing their fingers hoping for an invitation to either the NIT, CBI, or CIT tournaments. St. Louis improves to 25-6 and will face Xavier in a semifinal matchup on Friday night.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Balanced scoring and an outstanding defensive effort by the Explorers frontline led La Salle to a 80-72 first round A10 tournament win over the Richmond Spiders. After a nip and tuck battle through the first fifteen minutes, La Salle finally took the lead for good with a little over four minutes to go in the first half and extended it to a 40-33 lead at the half.
Richmond kept it close, cutting the Explorers lead to 3 with just over eleven minutes to go in the game, when La Salle went on a 21-7 run giving them a 15 point lead with just under four minutes to play. The Explorers coasted the rest of the way for the eight point win.
Ramon Galloway led the way with 17 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds while Earl Pettis (15), Jerrell Wright (14), and Devon White (13) also scored in double figures. Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills combined for 16 points and 6 assists. Wright and White also did an outstanding job shutting down Richmond's Derrick Williams, holding him to 14 points and 10 rebounds after he dominated the Explorers in the regular season matchup between the two teams.
Darien Brothers singlehandedly kept the Spiders in the game while scoring 22 first half points but was kept in check by the defense of Galloway in the second half. Brothers finished with 31 points.
With the win, the Explorers improve to 21-11 on the season and will advance to an A10 quarterfinal matchup against Saint Louis on Thursday. Richmond finished their season with a 16-16 record.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
La Salle reached the 20 win mark for the first time in two decades and sent a Senior Day crowd home happy with an impressive 71-61 victory over St. Bonaventure. Seniors Earl Pettis and Matt Sheehan were honored before the game and crowd favorite Sheehan was awarded his first start in an Explorer uniform. La Salle came out aggressive early, holding Bonnies star Andrew Nicholson to only four first half points, which allowed the Explorers to go into the break with a comfortable 38-26 lead.
But Nicholson came out hot in the second half and helped St. Bonaventure narrow the deficit to two points with just under ten minutes to play. The Explorers then went on a 9-1 run of their own to put them back up by ten with just over five minutes left and they cruised home the rest of the way behind the hot hand of Tyreek Duren and an outstanding overall team defensive effort. In particular, Ramon Galloway's ability to shut down the Bonnies point guards and the low post defensive efforts of Jerrell Wright, Devon White, and Steve Zack on the ultra-talented Nicholson were the difference in the game.
Duren led the Explorers with 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists while Pettis (16), Wright (10), and White (10) also scored in double figures. Nicholson led St. Bonaventure with 19 points and 8 rebounds while Demetrius Conger added 18 points and 9 rebounds.
La Salle finishes the regular season with a 20-11 record overall and a 9-7 A10 record which allowed them to tie for fifth place. With the loss, St. Bonaventure finishes the regular season with a 17-11 record overall and a 10-6 A10 record which allowed them to finish in a tie for third place. With the tiebreakers, La Salle will be seeded seventh in the A10 tournament and will face tenth-seeded Richmond at Gola Arena on Tuesday night. St. Bonaventure was awarded the fourth seed and will get a first-round bye and proceed direct to Atlantic City for a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
La Salle led from start to finish but had to withstand a late GW rally to hold on for a critical 60-56 road win for the Explorers. The win clinched a first round A10 playoff game that will be held at Tom Gola Arena next Tuesday. La Salle took a five point lead into the half and increased the lead to 57-47 with just over three minutes to go when the Colonials made their last run. A basket by GW's Tony Taylor with twenty-one seconds to go cut the Explorer's lead to one, but Tyreek Duren and Devon White combined to go three for six from the foul line in the last sixteen seconds which was enough to hold off GW.
The star of the game for La Salle was freshman power forward Jerrell Wright who scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, and more importantly, was able to stay on the floor for 30 minutes. Also in double figures for the Explorers were Earl Pettis (14) and Duren (12) while Sam Mills and Ramon Galloway chipped in 9 points each.
GW was led by David Pellom's 16 points and 11 rebounds.
With the win, La Salle improves to 19-11 overall and 8-7 in the A10, while GW falls to 10-19 overall and 5-10 in A10 play.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Ramon Galloway's 14 points led five La Salle players in double figures. Branden Frazier (11) was the only other Fordham player in double figures besides Gaston.
With the loss, La Salle falls to 18-11 overall and 7-7 in A10 play. Fordham improved to 10-17 overall and 3-11 in the A10.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Earl Pettis and Sam Mills missed open three point attempts in the last five seconds, allowing Temple to escape Tom Gola Arena with a hard fought 80-79 overtime win over La Salle. The Explorers played from behind for most of the game and went into halftime trailing 32-29. The Owls led for most of the second half and held a ten point lead with just over four minutes to go but the Explorers chipped away at the lead. With help from a technical foul on Temple's Ramone Moore, they cut the Owl's lead to two points after Pettis made both technical foul shots. La Salle maintained possession and eight seconds into the possession, Tyreek Duren found Pettis open on the perimeter and he drained a three to tie the game with 1:25 to go in regulation. Khalif Wyatt missed a jumper with just over a minute to go and La Salle had a chance to take the lead, but Duren missed a runner with thirty-three seconds to go. Temple worked the ball until there were six seconds left and called a timeout to set up a play, but were unable to get a shot off as Wyatt lost track of time and dribbled out the clock.
The Explorers struck first in OT on a Pettis three, but Temple scored nine straight points to take an 80-74 lead with just over two minutes to go and they would not score again. Duren hit a three and Pettis made a two to cut the Owls lead to one with fifty-five seconds left. La Salle held Temple again and gained possession with thirty-seven seconds left. With five seconds left, Pettis got an open look from three that rimmed out, but DJ Peterson grabbed the offensive rebound and found an open Mills in the corner. His three point attempt with two seconds left bounced off the rim as the final buzzer sounded giving the Owls their eleventh straight win.
Pettis scored a career high 33 points for La Salle and was joined in double figures by Mills (12), Ramon Galloway (12), and Duren (10). Jerrell Wright added 9 points for the Explorers and Galloway handed out 6 assists. For Temple, Wyatt's 25 points led four players in double figures.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Tyreek Duren's short jumper with fifty seconds to go broke a 66-66 tie and the La Salle Explorers held on for a 72-71 win at UMass. The Minutemen's Terrell Vinson hit a shot at the buzzer that looked like it might tie the game, but his foot was over the three point line and the Explorers escaped with the win. The loss by UMass was their first at the Mullins Center in the 2011-12 season.
Duren scored all 15 of his points in the second half and knocked down three of four free throws in the final minute to secure the win for La Salle. Also in double figures for the Explorers were Earl Pettis with 18 and Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills scoring 15 each. UMass had three players in double figures, led by Maxie Esho's 18 points and 6 rebounds.
The win by La Salle broke a three game losing streak as they improved to 18-9 overall and 7-5 in the A10 while UMass fell to 18-8 over and 7-5 in A10 play.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Saint Louis' stifling defense was too much as the Billikens shut down the slumping La Salle Explorers by a 59-51 score. The loss was the third straight for the Explorers whose 14 game home winning streak came to an end. Saint Louis dictated the pace as the teams went back and forth in a low scoring first half, ending with the Billikens holding a 26-23 lead.
The second half was more of the same with the teams exchanging leads until Saint Louis broke a 47-47 tie on a Mike McCall three with just under five minutes to play. The closest La Salle would get after that was 52-49 on a three by Tyreek Duren with 1:16 left in the game. The Explorers got a crucial stop with forty-two seconds left but Dwayne Evans was able to grab the offensive rebound and get the putback to give the Billikens a five point lead with thirty-eight seconds to go. La Salle turned it over on their next possession and Saint Louis went 5-6 from the free throw line in the final twenty seconds to close out the win.
Evans was one of four Billiken players in double figures, leading the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jerrell Wright was the lone Explorer in double figures, scoring 18 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
With the loss, La Salle fell to 17-9 overall and 6-5 in the A10 and Saint Louis improved to 20-5 overall and 8-3 in A10 play.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Richmond's Derrick Williams scored on a putback of a Cedric Lindsay miss with just under six seconds to go to give the Spiders a 78-76 win over La Salle. Williams was unstoppable on the low block in the second half and finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Richmond. La Salle jumped out to an eleven point lead late in the first half but Richmond went on a run of their own to narrow the deficit to two by halftime. Neither team led by more than six points during a closely contested second half.
With just under a minute to go and the score tied at 76, the Explorers had the ball but turned it over on a shot clock violation with twenty-one seconds to go. The Spiders' worked the clock until just under ten seconds to go when Cedric Lindsay penetrated and lofted a floater that bounced off the rim. Williams collared the rebound and scored what turned out to be the winning basket with just under six seconds left. After a La Salle timeout, the Explorers ran the ball up the floor but Ramon Galloway was unable to get off a contested three point shot before the buzzer sounded.
In addition to Williams, Darien Brothers (13) and Wayne Sparrow (10) scored in double figures for the Spiders. Darrius Garrett also chipped in with 11 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Tyreek Duren (17), Sam Mills (16), Ramon Galloway (15) and Jerrell Wright (11) scored in double figures for the Explorers. Galloway also contributed 9 assists and 7 rebounds.
La Salle lost their second straight game, falling to 17-8 overall and 6-4 in the A10 while Richmond improved to 13-12 overall and 4-6 in A10 play.