La Salle (5-1) at Northeastern (4-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (5,066) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: La Salle 3-1, Northeastern 1-3. Away Record: La Salle 2-0, Northeastern 1-0. Neutral Record: La Salle 0-0, Northeastern 2-1. Conference Record: La Salle 0-0, Northeastern 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers head to Boston on Saturday for a non- conference matchup against the Northeastern Huskies.
The Explorers have been red hot this season starting off with a 5-1 record. La Salle heads into this contest with a four-game win streak in tow, including an impressive 82-57 win over Penn State last time out.
The Huskies have not been as successful and have certainly had their ups and downs, sitting at 4-4 overall. Northeastern is in them midst of a three-game losing streak, most recently having lost to Massachusetts (66-52).
La Salle holds a 2-1 series advantage thanks to a 68-51 victory last year.
Behind Guard Tyreek Duren's career-high 29 points, the Explorers cruised to victory over the Nittany Lions last time out. Although the Explorers were out-rebounded 36-27 they shot a sizzling 51.6 percent from the behind the arc, draining 16-of-31 3-point shots. Duren, who was responsible for four of those treys, was joined in double figures by Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills, who netted 14 points apiece in the win.
The Explorers' offensive eruption against PSU has certainly not been the norm this season, as La Salle has modest offensive stats, averaging 72.2 points a game, on .433 shooting. Duren has been the driving force at that end of the floor, averaging a robust 18.5 points per game. Galloway pours in 15.3 ppg and has a team-high 17 3-pointers to his credit. Jerrell Wright adds 10.7 ppg, while Mills is just below double digits at 9.8 ppg.
The Huskies blew a six-point lead late in the second half against Massachusetts and fell to the Minutemen by six last time out. Northeastern shot just .353 from the floor, a number severely hampered by an ugly 3-of-27 effort from long range (.111). Still, the team was able to get four players in double figures in the loss, led by Reggie Spencer's 15 points. Quincy Ford was right behind with 14 points, followed by Demetrius Pollard and Joel Smith, who chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Despite the loss, it was nice to see others step up at the offensive end for Northeastern. Smith as been the top player on the roster, pacing the team in both scoring (17.0 ppg) and assists (26). Ford (13.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Spencer (11.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) are solid contributors as well. The scoring pool dries up quickly after that, as no other player is putting up more than six points per game. The team as a whole needs to prove its shooting, which stands now at a mere .418 overall, which has led to just 65.0 ppg.
The Explorers are on a roll right now and although this game should feature some interesting individual matchups, Northeastern lacks the offensive arsenal to halt La Salle's current run.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 75, Northeastern 66
12/08 10:39:00 ET