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La Salle (12-12) at Dayton (17-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (13.455) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: La Salle 8-4, Dayton 10-4. Away Record: La Salle 2-6, Dayton 5-3. Neutral Record: La Salle 2-2, Dayton 2-1. Conference Record: La Salle 4-6, Dayton 5-5. Series Record: Dayton leads, 24-14.
GAME NOTES: The last time the La Salle Explorers played at UD Arena they were in the NCAA Tournament. While the aspirations are high for Dr. John Giannini's team, they'll first need to stop a couple of streaks tonight when they take on the Dayton Flyers in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash.
The Explorers, who have lost three in a row, will try to end Dayton's four- game victory string. La Salle's last trip to Dayton resulted in a 2013 NCAA First Four victory over Boise State. It was the start of an amazing run to the Sweet 16 for the Explorers.
This season hasn't panned out as well, and with their current skid, the Explorers are in danger of falling below .500 for the first time since Nov. 25 (3-4) when they lost to Northern Iowa. La Salle, which has lost six of its last seven contests, is coming off a 75-64 home setback to Philadelphia rival Saint Joseph's on Saturday. Jerrell Wright posted 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland each had 15 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Explorers, who shot just 38.1 percent from the field. Steve Zack, who leads the A-10 in double-doubles with 13, was limited to four points and eight boards.
Zack (9.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg), who paces the conference in rebounding, is trying to become the first La Salle player to lead the A-10 in any category since Steven Smith averaged 20.3 ppg in 2004-05. Duren (14.5 ppg), Garland (13.6 ppg) and Wright (12.8 ppg) leads the way offensively for a team that nets just 69.1 ppg, which is next-to-last in the conference. Duren, who has scored in double figures in 14 straight games, is shooting 39.3 percent from 3-point range. Sam Mills (7.1 ppg) is 45 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
While La Salle is struggling of late, the Flyers are surging and have evened their record in the A-10 (5-5). Dayton hasn't played since last Wednesday's 76-69 home triumph over Rhode Island. Dyshawn Pierre had 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Devin Oliver and Jordan Sibert each added 10 points. Dayton hasn't lost since Jan. 29 at home against Saint Joseph's.
The defense has stepped up big for the Flyers of late. They haven't let a team score 70 points over the last five games and are forcing an average of 14 turnovers in that span. Oliver leads his team in scoring (12.2 ppg), rebounds (6.6 rpg), assists (2.2 apg) and steals (22/season). Sibert (12.1 ppg) and Pierre (11.7 ppg) are part of a team that is shooting 47.3 percent from the field, including 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. Vee Sanford (9.8 ppg) is the top contributor off the bench.
Dayton had won four straight meetings until La Salle broke the spell with a 72-70 victory at home on Jan. 16, 2013. La Salle's last victory over the Flyers in Dayton came Feb. 27, 1999. Since then the Flyers have won nine in a row on their home court against the Explorers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 76, La Salle 66
02/19 10:33:57 ET
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