FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (3,400) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 4-4, La Salle 9-2. Away Record: Fordham 0-11, La Salle 6-4. Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: Fordham 2-6, La Salle 5-3. Series Record: La Salle leads, 32-13.
GAME NOTES: Winners of three of their last four games, the La Salle Explorers play host to a struggling Fordham squad on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic 10 Conference action.
The Explorers, who are coming off an 80-71 win at George Washington a week ago, have logged back-to-back victories over Top-25 teams during their current 3-1 stretch. Despite a 61-60 home loss to Massachusetts on Jan. 30, the Explorers have taken seven of their last eight at Tom Gola Arena and 24 of their last 29 in the building overall.
Ramon Galloway and D.J. Peterson each scored 15 points to pace six players in double figures for La Salle in the recent win at GW. The Explorers, who are off to their best start since the 1990-91 season, also received 12 points apiece from Jerrell Wright and Sam Mills. Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland each scored 11.
La Salle, which made 11 three-pointers at GW, is firing at 35 percent from beyond the arc. That's sixth-best in the A-10 for the team that's averaging 71.4 points, third-best in the conference. The downfall for La Salle has been its defense in the interior. The Explorers are allowing teams to shoot 44.8 percent, which is the second-worst mark defensively in the A-10. Conversely, teams are making just 31.6 percent from 3-point range, which is the second- best mark defensively in the conference.
Galloway is averaging a team-best 17.0 ppg, while Duren comes in at 14.1 ppg and Garland at 12.1 ppg. Jerrell Wright is the fourth player averaging double figures at 10.5 ppg, while Steve Zack is the top rebounder at 6.6 rpg.
The Rams have lost 20 straight road games, including all 11 this season. The last time Fordham won a road contest was Dec. 12, 2011 at Siena. The overall skid is at three games, including a 90-73 setback at home against Saint Louis on Wednesday. Mandell Thomas led Fordham with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor. Travion Leonard scored 12 points while Branden Frazier contributed 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Frazier leads the team with 15.7 ppg and also paces the Rams with 5.3 apg, which is second-best in the A-10. Bryan Smith, who leads the Rams with 40 3- pointers, comes in at 8.7 ppg, while backcourt mate Thomas (8.2 ppg) is coming off a season-high point total. Sophomore center Ryan Canty, who is shooting 59.6 percent from the field, is also in the starting lineup.
The Rams won last year's matchup, 67-62, at Rose Hill Gym as Gaston exploded for a career-high 35 points and 16 rebounds. The problem for the Rams this season has been their defense, as they're allowing a league-worst 76 ppg. Expect Galloway to have a big game, and for the Explorers to continue their season success at home with a comfortable win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 75, Fordham 60
02/09 10:54:24 ET
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