Saint Joseph's (14-9) at La Salle (17-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Saint Joseph's 8-3, La Salle 10-2. Away Record: Saint Joseph's 5-5, La Salle 7-4. Neutral Record: Saint Joseph's 1-1. La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: Saint Joseph's 5-5, La Salle 7-3. Series Record: Saint Joseph's leads, 63-53.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers go for a fourth straight win when they tangle with the Saint Joseph's Hawks in a Big 5 battle from The Palestra.
La Salle enters the day a game behind front-runner VCU in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings. Dr. John Giannini's team was pushed to overtime on Wednesday before winning at St. Bonaventure, 69-66. Ramon Galloway finished with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists. Tyrone Garland added 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor off the bench. Steve Zack led the Explorers on the glass with 10 boards.
La Salle boasts the third-best offense in the conference at 72.1 points per game, and is led by Galloway (17.3 ppg), who is one of four double-digit scorers on the team. Tyreek Duren (13.9 ppg), Garland (12.6 ppg) and Jerrell Wright (10.0 ppg) are also averaging double figures. Zack (6.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg) leads in rebounding for the Explorers, who have struggled defensively on the interior. La Salle is allowing teams to shoot 44.3 percent from the field, which is third-worst in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers, however, own the best defensive mark guarding the 3-point line, as opponents are making just 30.3 percent of their attempts. Galloway has made 41.8 percent of his 3-point shots, which ranks among the top-10 in the conference. He is the third-leading scorer in the A-10.
The Hawks snapped their two-game losing streak with a 61-55 home win over Richmond on Wednesday. Ronald Roberts recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Carl Jones contributed a game-high 17 points and four boards for the Hawks. C.J. Aiken added 10 points and four blocks and was one rebound shy of a double-double. The Hawks dialed up the defense in the second half by limiting Richmond to 24 percent shooting.
Like the Explorers, the Hawks also sport four players averaging double figures in scoring. Jones (15.0 ppg) leads the way, followed by Langston Galloway (13.3 ppg), Roberts (11.3 ppg) and Aiken (11.2 ppg). Roberts paces Phil Martelli's squad with 8.7 rebounds a game, which is tops in the Atlantic 10.
Saint Joseph's has won two of the last three and 10 of the last 13 against La Salle. The magic number for the Hawks seems to be 70, as they are 15-1 when reaching that mark this season. La Salle has limited opponents to 64.7 points a game, and hasn't given up 70 or more in five of its last six contests.
The winner of this game can clinch at least a share of the Big 5 title. This promises to be another tight battle, just like last season when the Hawks beat the Explorers, 70-66, before a sellout crowd at The Palestra. Halil Kanacevic led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He could be a big factor again today. Kanacevic missed three games last month due to a death in his family that caused him to travel to Europe. Since his return, the 6-foot-8 junior forward has averaged 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists and is shooting 50 percent from the field.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 70, Saint Joseph's 68
02/16 10:44:02 ET