La Salle (14-6) at George Washington (10-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles E. Smith Center (4,338) -- Washington, D.C. Television: None. Home Record: La Salle 9-2,GW 5-4. Away Record: La Salle 5-4, GW 4-5. Neutral Record: La Salle 0-0, GW 1-0. Conference Record: La Salle 4-3, GW 4-2. Series Record: George Washington leads, 20-12.
GAME NOTES: Two teams hoping to gain a little separation in the Atlantic 10 Conference meet on Saturday afternoon, as the La Salle Explorers head to the nation's capital to take on the George Washington Colonials at the Charles E. Smith Center.
On Wednesday night, the Explorers lost a close one at home to UMass, 61-60. That loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for La Salle, with both wins coming over ranked teams, the first being Butler at home, and the second VCU on the road. Overall, the Explorers have taken four of their last six decisions, and they are off to their best start since the 1990-91 team ran out to a record of 16-4.
George Washington beat up on A-10 co-leader Charlotte at home last Saturday, 82-54. The victory was the Colonials' third straight conference win, and their seventh consecutive home victory over Charlotte.
GW leads the all-time series with La Salle, 20-12, and is 13-3 versus the Explorers at the Smith Center. La Salle has won the last two meetings in the rivalry by sweeping the season series last year. Prior to that, it was the Colonials winning three straight.
Massachusetts' Chaz Williams put the Minutemen ahead 61-60 with a layup with eight seconds left, and the Explorers failed to convert at the other end, sealing La Salle's first home loss since Nov. 18, on Wednesday night. Ramon Galloway and Jerrell Wright each had 16 points to lead the Explorers.
At the offensive end, the Explorers score 71.0 ppg while shooting 44.0 percent from the floor. La Salle has been rather weak on the boards (32.8 pg), ranking among the bottom four teams in the league. La Salle has had success on defense, the team permitting 64.8 ppg on 44.6 percent shooting. Galloway (17.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Tyreek Duren (14.3 ppg, 3.2 apg) have been a great backcourt tandem for La Salle with their ability to score and find open teammates. The pair are also disruptive at the defensive end as they each collect more than two steals a game. Wright (10.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is the club's best interior threat, while Tyrone Garland (13.1 ppg) provides a spark off the bench.
The Colonials cruised to an easy win over Charlotte at home last Saturday. Freshman Patricio Garino made all six of his field goal attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers, as he led the team with 16 points and a game-high four steals. Senior reserves Lasan Kromah and Bryan Bynes each netted 12 points. Senior Isaiah Armwood matched the game-high with eight rebounds. The Colonials limited the 49ers to 31.6 percent shooting, including an 0-of-11 effort from 3-point range in the second half, and just six assists while forcing 17 turnovers. GW also torched the A-10's leading field goal percentage defense for 53.2 percent shooting, marking the first time this season a Charlotte opponent shot better than 50 percent.
Senior forward Isaiah Armwood is tops on the team in scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounding (8.3 rpg, third in A-10), field goal percentage (.527), and blocks (2.7 bpg, second in A-10). No other Colonial averages double figures, but Garino (9.9 ppg) and Kromah (9.5) are close. GW excels defensively and on the glass, posting the league's third-best scoring defense (61.8 ppg) and second- best rebounding margin (+5.1).
The loss to UMass took some magic away from the Explorers after their upsets last week. The Colonials play better defense but have limited scoring potential. Expect La Salle to bounce back and take down the Colonials on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 70, George Washington 65
02/02 10:41:13 ET