La Salle (13-14) at Fordham (9-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Rose Hill Gym (3,200) -- New York, New York. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: La Salle 8-4, Fordham 7-6. Away Record: La Salle 2-8, Fordham 2-11. Neutral Record: La Salle 3-2, Fordham 0-0. Conference Record: La Salle 5-8, Fordham 2-11. Series Record: La Salle leads, 33-13.
GAME NOTES: The Fordham Rams will try to end a five-game losing streak as they host the La Salle Explorers for an Atlantic 10 Conference tilt at Rose Hill Gym.
While the Rams will be attempting to end a skid, La Salle is seeking its second consecutive win following its 75-67 decision over St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. The victory improved the Explorers to a 13-14 overall record, including a 5-8 mark in league play. Coach John Giannini's squad had its best shooting performance of the campaign, hitting on 26-of-46 field goal attempts, and scored the final eight points of the contest to notch the decision.
Coach Tom Pecora's Rams put forth a strong effort in the first half of their last outing as they went into the intermission trailing Virginia Commonwealth by only two points. VCU took control after the break, outscoring Fordham by 17 points en route to an 85-66 win. The loss dropped the Rams to a 9-17 overall standing and a 7-6 record at Rose Hill Gym.
La Salle holds a dominant, 33-13 edge in its all-time series with Fordham. The Explorers continued their tradition of success in the rivalry last season with an 89-53 rout of the Rams at Tom Gola Arena.
In the victory over the Bonnies, Tyreek Duren and Jerrell Wright netted 18 points apiece. Tyrone Garland and Sam Mills added 12 points each for La Salle, which made its first seven attempts from beyond the arc to take control. Duren has been the engine for the Explorers' offense with an average of 16.6 ppg in conference play. Duren also paces the team in assists (96), steals (43) and ranks second in the A-10 with 35.9 minutes per game. Wright is scoring 15.3 ppg over his last seven outings, while starting center Steve Zack leads the conference with 9.7 rpg, which is a full board per tilt more than the league's second leading rebounder.
Mandell Thomas and Jon Severe scored 14 points each for Fordham in its loss to VCU, while Branden Frazier chipped in 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor. Frazier and Bryan Smith accounted for nine of the team's 14 turnovers in the setback. Ryan Canty made an impact on the interior with 10 boards and four blocked shots. Severe has not been shy during his rookie campaign, but he has connected on only 34.4 percent of his field goal attempts en route to a team-best average of 18.7 ppg. Severe is more accurate from beyond the arc, where he has sank 36.5 percent of his shots. Frazier, who has handed out 108 assists in 26 games, is adding 17.2 ppg and Thomas is the third option on the offensive end with 12.8 ppg. Fordham clearly has more than a few capable scorers, but it is allowing its opponents to post 79 ppg on 46.1 percent efficiency from the field.
This duel between La Salle and Fordham will be much more competitive than last season's lopsided affair. The Explorers are a defensive-minded unit and their backcourt is filled with athletic and relentless guards capable of slowing down the Rams' trio. Fordham will need to perform at a high level for a full 40 minutes to avoid another setback.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 72, Fordham 68
03/01 11:23:44 ET