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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stukes Makes It Official

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

Zack and Wright Lead La Salle Over Delaware 73-66

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

Explorers edge Carleton 61-58

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.