Duquesne (10-9) at La Salle (11-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (3,400) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: TCN, SNY. Home Record: Duquesne 6-5, La Salle 7-2. Away Record: Duquesne 4-3, La Salle 2-5. Neutral Record: Duquesne 0-1, La Salle 2-2. Conference Record: Duquesne 2-4, La Salle 3-3. Series Record: La Salle leads, 39-30.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to snap their recent losing streak, the La Salle Explorers host the Duquesne Dukes in an Atlantic-10 Conference battle at Tom Gola Arena.
The Dukes come into the contest with a modest two-game win streak. Last time out, they beat NJIT on the road, 71-64. Duquesne has been a streaky team of late, with the current win streak preceded by a four straight losses, and that was on the heels of five consecutive victories.
La Salle has lost its last three games, but prior to that they had won five straight. On Wednesday night, La Salle fell to George Washington on the road, 69-47. The Explorers also lost all-time great player, coach and arena namesake Tom Gola, as the Hall of Famer passed away last weekend.
La Salle won the first matchup between the two earlier this season, taking a 75-56 decision in Pittsburgh on Jan. 12. This is the 70th meeting in a series that La Salle leads by a 39-30 margin, which includes a 23-10 advantage in Philadelphia.
The Explorers have won five of the last six in Pittsburgh, and Duquesne has won four of the last five in Philly.
Ovie Soko scored a game-high 25 points and Derrick Colter tallied all 11 of his points in the final five minutes as Duquesne erased a 10-point, second- half deficit to secure a 71-64 win over NJIT.
The team's top scorer is Soko, as he is netting 18.2 ppg while pulling down 7.5 rpg. The Dukes rank second in the league in scoring (76.8 ppg). Colter (10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg) runs the point and Dominique McKoy (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is reliable down low. As a unit, the Dukes are putting up a healthy 76.8 ppg, second-best in the A-10, but are giving almost all of that back, as they allow 75.5 ppg, which is the second-worst yield in the league.
Tyreek Duren scored a game-high 22 points in the Explorers' recent loss to George Washington. No other La Salle players reached double digits in the defeat. The Explorers shot just 31 percent from the field and went into halftime trailing, 38-23. Nothing changed after the break, as La Salle shot a dismal 23.1 percent with just six field goals, as the Colonials' lead swelled to as many as 24 points.
Steve Zack (9.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg) paces the A-10 and ranks fifth nationally in double-doubles with 11. It is the most double-doubles by a La Salle player since Rasual Butler had 12 in 2001-02. Tyrone Garland (14.3 ppg), Tyreek Duren (14.7 ppg) and Jerrell Wright (12.1 ppg) all contribute to a team that averages 69.7 ppg, but gives up only 68.9 ppg.
After an emotional week, expect the Explorers to shake off their recent spate of losses and exploit the suspect defense of the visiting Dukes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 73, Duquesne 68
02/01 11:52:15 ET