La Salle (3-1) at Rider (4-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 29, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gymnasium (1,650) -- Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: La Salle 2-1, Rider 2-1. Away Record: La Salle 1-0, Rider 0-2. Neutral Record: La Salle 0-0, Rider 2-0. Conference Record: La Salle 0-0, Rider 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 24-7.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers will make the short trip to Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Thursday for a non-conference clash with the Rider Broncs.
La Salle is coming off a huge game, as the Explorers knocked off Big 5 foe Villanova in a classic overtime battle in Philadelphia, 77-74. The victory was the third in four games to start the season for La Salle. The Explorers will have the weekend off following this contest and won't get back to work until Dec. 5 against Penn State at home.
The Broncs have moved over .500 on the season with a successful run in Puerto Vallarta, where the team beat both Jacksonville (86-71) and Milwaukee (74-60) as part of the Hoops for Hope Classic. Rider will take on Drexel on the road this weekend before beginning MAAC action next Friday at Siena.
La Salle has dominated this series with wins in 24 of the 31 all-time meetings, including an 82-70 victory in last year's Philly Hoops Group Classic at the Palestra.
Ramon Galloway and Tyreek Duren combined for 49 points, leading the Explorers to a thrilling overtime win against the Wildcats last time out. Galloway was 9-of-22 from the floor and drained four 3-pointers to lead all scorers with 26 points. Duren added three treys of his own and poured in 23 points. Jerrell Wright played a complementary role with 10 points, while Steve Zack did the dirty work inside, finishing with eight points and 14 rebounds.
The offensive numbers are a bit subdued for La Salle this season, with the team averaging just 72.0 ppg, on .416 shooting. Still, the team has a potent trio of scorers in Duren, Galloway and Wright. Duren holds a slight lead in the scoring column at 15.5 ppg, followed by Galloway's 15.3 ppg. Wright has delivered on half his shots this season and puts up 14.0 ppg. Sam Mills and Zack provide further depth at 9.3 and 8.5 ppg, respectively.
The Broncs were able to finish out play in Puerto Vallarta with a win over the Panthers, thanks in large part to a 23-11 advantage in points from the free- throw line. Rider, which converted 45.1 percent of its shots in the game, placed three players in double figure scoring. Anthony Myles netted a team- high 14 points, while Daniel Stewart and Junior Fortunat added 11 points apiece.
The Broncs aren't putting up gaudy offensive numbers this season, averaging just 70.9 ppg. Still, there is some scoring balance, led by Nurideen Lindsey's 15.6 ppg. Myles, who was named to the Hoops for Hope All-Tournament team, is a close second in the scoring column at 14.3 ppg. Jonathon Thompson rounds out the top scorers with 11.0 ppg. Stewart is the only other significant offensive contributor at 9.0 ppg, while pacing the team on the boards (5.4 rpg).
The Explorers have owned the Broncs in this series and that isn't likely to change here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 68, Rider 64
11/29 10:38:36 ET