La Salle (6-6) at Penn (2-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television:
None. Home Record: La Salle 4-1, Penn 1-3. Away Record: La Salle 0-3, Penn
1-6. Neutral Record: La Salle 2-2, Penn 0-0. Conference Record: La Salle 0-0,
Penn 0-0. Series Record: Penn leads, 38-28.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers will head across town to take on their Big
5 rival Penn Quakers at The Palestra on Saturday.
The Explorers have been out of action since their 71-58 loss to Miami-Florida
at the Bank United Center last Sunday. The setback dropped La Salle to the
.500 mark at 6-6. After the Explorers battle their crosstown rival, they will
return home to host George Washington to begin their Atlantic 10 Conference
season. Coach John Giannini's team is one of the weakest on the offensive end
in its conference with just 69.5 ppg. La Salle has allowed its opposition to
net 69.2 ppg, giving it the ninth best scoring defense in the A-10.
Penn came up just short of an upset on Thursday as it dropped an 80-77
decision at George Mason. The Quakers have lost their last six games to fall
to 2-9 on the season. During their current losing slide, three of the games
were decided by one possession and another went into overtime. Coach Jerome
Allen's team has had no trouble scoring points en route to its 71.7 ppg
average, but it is second-to-last in the Ivy League in scoring defense with
its allowance of 78.4 ppg. Penn will begin its conference schedule next week
La Salle has won the last six meetings versus Penn but the Quakers own a 38-28
advantage in the all-time series. The Explorers coasted to a 74-57 victory
Although the Explorers were dispatched by the Hurricanes, three players had
strong showings in the setback. Sam Mills had 15 points and three steals,
Tyreek Duren tallied 18 points and five rebounds in the contest. Steve Zack
registered his sixth double-double in seven games with 11 points and 11
rebounds. Duren could make history against Penn as he enters needing only two
more steals to join Doug Overton as the only Explorer with 1,400 points, 400
assists and 200 steals. He has averaged 22 ppg in his last four games at The
Palestra. La Salle also relies heavily on Jerrell Wright (13.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
and Tyrone Garland (13.8 ppg).
Tony Hicks led Penn versus GMU with 23 points, six assists and three steals.
Fran Dougherty scored 17 while collecting nine rebounds and Miles Jackson-
Cartwright attempted just seven shots from the floor but scored 16. Despite
their poor record, the Quakers have tremendous balance on offense this season
with four players averaging double figures, led by Hicks (14.6 ppg) and
Jackson-Cartwright (12.8 ppg). Dougherty (11.8 ppg) and starting center Darien
Nelson-Henry (12.8 ppg) are also in double figures, but Nelson-Henry has
missed the past three games due to a concussion.
Penn has collapsed in the second half in each of its last two outings. The
Quakers will need to put together a full 40 minute performance to outlast the
Explorers. La Salle is a scrappy team that can be frustrating to defend due to
its athletic backcourt. The Explorers should be able to overcome the home
court advantage and leave this Big 5 battle triumphant.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 67, Penn 61
01/04 10:39:32 ET
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