Siena (0-2) at La Salle (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (4,000) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: none. Home Record: Siena 0-1, La Salle 1-1. Away Record: Siena 0-1, La Salle 0-0. Neutral Record: Siena 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: Siena 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 5-3.
GAME NOTES: This season figures to be one of growing pains for Siena, which was clearly evident in the Saints' last contest. Today, they try to avoid their first 0-3 start in nine years when they take on the La Salle Explorers at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia.
The Saints, who lost their first seven games of the 2004-05 campaign, are coming off a 77-66 loss at Vermont on Tuesday. That followed a 74-62 home defeat at the hands of Albany. Siena started four freshmen against the Catamounts. It was the most freshmen the school has started in the 73-year history of the program. Siena committed 37 fouls in the clash, the most in regulation in school history. Additionally, the Saints have shot a paltry 6- of-34 from 3-point range thus far, including a horrific 1-of-23 in the second half of both games.
Rob Poole equaled a career-best with 22 points in the game against Vermont, and Lavon Long (12 points) was the only other double-digit scorer. Siena shot 20-of-60 (.333) from the floor and only made the final score respectable thanks to a 24-of-29 showing at the foul line, combined with 21 turnovers from Vermont.
The Saints have seven freshmen on their 16-man roster. Guard Marquis Wright, who leads the team with 12 assists, forwards Lavon Long and Javion Ogunyemi are the rookies in the starting lineup. Poole, Maurice White and Long are the top scorers, combining to average nearly 43 of the team's 64 points per game.
On the other side, the Explorers come into today's game with a strong history of recent success at Tom Gola Arena. They've won 15 of their last 17 non- conference regular season home games. The Explorers outlasted Quinnipiac, 73-67, this past Tuesday morning. Tyreek Duren scored 17 points. Steve Zack was among four La Salle players in double figures, registering 15 points to go along with six rebounds. Tyrone Garland had 12 points and Jerrell Wright totaled 11 points and 12 boards for the Explorers, who lost in two overtimes to Manhattan in their season opener a week ago. La Salle committed just four turnovers.
Duren tied a career-high with nine assists in the loss to Manhattan to start the season. The Explorers have five players averaging double figures, led by Garland at 20 ppg. Sam Mills, who has made a 3-pointer in 13 straight games dating back to last season, is averaging 10.5 points per contest.
With his next win, La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini (144) can tie Ken Loeffler for second place on the school's all-time victories list, behind only Speedy Morris (238). Last year, La Salle dealt Siena a 28-point defeat. It was Siena's worst loss at Times Union Center since the school made the full-time move to downtown Albany in 1997-98. Expect another dominating win for the Explorers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 83, Siena 64
11/16 10:39:51 ET