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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 12, 9 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (3,400) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Quinnipiac 1-0, La Salle 0-1. Away Record: Quinnipiac 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Neutral Record: Quinnipiac 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: Quinnipiac 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers and Quinnipiac Bobcats will square off early Tuesday morning at the Tom Gola Arena, as part of the 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon.
The Bobcats are 1-0 after getting their 2013-14 season underway last weekend with am 82-77 shootout win over Hartford. It was a good start for a Quinnipiac program that is coming off a disappointing 15-16 overall record last season. The Bobcats did finish their stay in the Northeast Conference on solid footing however, with an 11-7 league ledger. Now, the team steps up in competition with its move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2013-14.
La Salle weren't as fortunate in their season-opener, as they were on the other side of the shootout, falling at home to Manhattan, 99-90 in double- overtime. The Explorers are coming off a solid 24-10 season a year ago, but must replace Ramon Galloway, the team's top performer a year ago. If the season-opener is any indication, John Giannini's squad may just have suitable replacements, at least offensively.
This marks just the second all-time meeting between these two teams. La Salle won the only other matchup, an 82-71 victory in 2002.
Quinnipiac trailed by 11 points at the half, but turned up the heat after intermission, scoring 51 points over the final 20 minutes to earn the season- opening win. Four Bobcats notched double figures in the scoring column, led by Ike Azotam's 20 points. The power forward was also instrumental on the glass, completing a double-double with 13 rebounds, the 27th of his career. Zaid Hearst provided plenty of offensive punch as well from the backcourt, pouring in 17 points, thanks in large part to his perfect 12-of-12 effort from the free-throw line (single-game school record without a miss). Reserves Kasim Chandler and Aj Sumbry got into the act as well, adding 11 and 10 points, respectively. Quinnipiac owned a huge edge on the boards, outrebounding Hartford 47-31, including a 26-12 advantage during the second-half comeback.
Replacing Ramon Galloway was job number one coming into the season and with La Salle's starting backcourt combining for 60 points in the opener, the Explorers may be alright this season. Tyrone Garland led the charge in the loss to the Jaspers, as he poured in 28 points, on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor and 12-of-14 from the charity stripe. Tyreek Duren was next in line, just missing a double-double with 17 points and nine assists. Jerrell Wright and Sam Mills provided plenty of offense as well, tacking on 16 and 15 points, respectively. Still, the Explorers have some things to work on. La Salle shot just .415 from the floor overall and were outrebounded 51-33 in the game.
Giannini had to like what he saw from Garland and company on the offensive end. If the team can find some bangers in the low post and continue to get a balanced effort offensively, La Salle will be able to win its share of games this season, starting with the Bobcats.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 76, Quinnipiac 70
11/11 11:39:06 ET