La Salle (12-4) at Xavier (10-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cintas Center (10,250) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: CBSSN Regional. Home Record: La Salle 8-1, Xavier 6-2. Away Record: La Salle 4-3, Xavier 2-2. Neutral Record: La Salle 0-0, Xavier 2-2. Conference Record: La Salle 2-1, Xavier 3-0. Series Record: Xavier leads, 31-7.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers trek west to Cincinnati to take on the Xavier Musketeers in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at the Cintas Center.
The Explorers come into this contest having won two straight and six of their last eight overall, the most recent being a 72-70 decision over Dayton at home on Wednesday night. The Explorers (12-4) are off to their best start since the 1990-91 team started 13-3.
Not to be outdone, Xavier comes in on a hot streak of its own, winning its last three decisions, most recently taking down the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure in a 66-64 final on Wednesday. Prior to the winning streak, the Musketeers had lost five of six.
Xavier leads the series, 31-7, including wins in five of the last six meetings. La Salle snapped Xavier's five-game win streak in the series last season on January 4, 2012, with an 80-70 triumph in Philadelphia.
La Salle edged Dayton behind a game-high 18 points from Ramon Galloway, who added five assists and four steals to his stat line. Tyreek Duren dropped 14 points and logged a season-high six steals. Duren registered his 1,000th career point on a layup in the first half, becoming the 51st Explorer to accomplish the feat. Jerrell Wright added 16 points and five rebounds, while Tyrone Garland also hit double figures with 11 points.
Galloway is second in the A-10 in scoring at 17.1 ppg, while Duren ranks eighth at 15.1 ppg. They are the only teammates in the league to rank in the top-10 in scoring. Galloway is among the conference leaders in several categories, including 3-pointers per game (third), 3-point field goal percentage (eighth) and steals (fourth). Duren is fifth in the conference in steals. As a team, the Explorers lead the A-10 in free-throw percentage (.729) and are second in both scoring (73.4 ppg) and turnover margin (+4.06).
The Musketeers' strength is at the defensive end, as they rank second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (.302), third in scoring defense (60.6 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.404). Freshman guard Semaj Christon, a three-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week selection, paces the Musketeers in scoring at 14.5 ppg, good enough for 13th overall and first among freshmen in the league. He one of top players in the conference in assists (third overall and first among freshmen in the A-10 at 5.1 apt). Senior center Travis Taylor adds 11.3 ppg while pulling down 7.8 rpg, the latter being fourth-most in the conference.
While the Musketeers pride themselves on their defensive prowess, the Explorers bring one of the A-10's top scoring lineups to Ohio. Expect La Salle to turn up the heat on offense and hand Xavier its first conference loss of the season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 72, Xavier 65
01/19 10:59:09 ET