George Washington (12-2) at La Salle (7-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (3,400) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: GW 7-0, La Salle 4-1. Away Record: GW 2-1, La Salle 1-3. Neutral Record: GW 3-1, La Salle 2-2. Conference Record: GW 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Series Record: George Washington leads, 20-14.
GAME NOTES: Atlantic-10 Conference play tips off in Philadelphia on Thursday night, as the George Washington Colonials pay a visit to the La Salle Explorers.
The Colonials certainly made the most of their early season schedule, as they reeled off 12 non-league victories for the first time since joining the A-10 back in 1976.
George Washington capped the impressive run with a thorough 73-55 pasting of Georgia last Friday. Kethan Savage scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting while collecting six rebounds, and Maurice Creek netted 15 points while handing out four assists in the rout.
The defense forced 20 turnovers, which has been the norm so far this season as the Colonials are averaging nearly 15 takeaways a game while only giving the ball away 12.4 times per outing. Five different players have led George Washington in scoring this season, but it's mostly been Creek and Savage carrying the load.
Creek is averaging 16.0 ppg thanks to hitting 42.5 percent from long range, while Savage supplies 14.1 ppg. Isaiah Armwood is the glue in the frontcourt, as the senior donates 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.
The Colonials lead the all-time series, 20-14, but La Salle has won the last four meetings. Hoping to keep that streak going is a group that made last year's Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
La Salle got off to a moderately slow start this season, but has won four of its last six games, including a 76-57 win over Big 5 rival Penn last Saturday.
Jerrell Wright paced the Explorers with a career-high 21 points, shooting 8- of-9 from the field, and Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland both added 14 points in the winning effort.
The Explorers are averaging 70.0 ppg this season, but when they score at least 73 they are 6-1. The triumvirate of Garland, Wright and Duren are all averaging more than 13.0 ppg, while Steve Zack contributes 9.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
La Salle has won nine of its last 10 home games against conference opponents, but it will take one of the Explorers' best efforts of the season to knock off the streaking Colonials. The crowd will certainly benefit La Salle, but against a GW squad looking to make a statement, it won't be enough.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 73, La Salle 68
01/09 10:37:43 ET