Charlotte (10-10) at La Salle (16-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 1st, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (4,000) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Charlotte 5-5, La Salle 11-0. Away Record: Charlotte 5-5, La Salle 4-5. Neutral Record: Charlotte 0-0, La Salle 1-1. Conference Record: Charlotte 2-5, La Salle 5-2. Series Record: Charlotte leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers aim to extend their winning streak and keep pace atop the league standings Wednesday when they play host to the Charlotte 49ers in an Atlantic-10 Conference tilt from Tom Gola Arena.
La Salle picked up its third straight win at Duquesne Saturday, with Ramon Galloway's clutch three-point play just outside a minute to play the difference in a 71-68 final. The Explorers rallied from a nine-point second- half deficit behind a 17-4 run while holding the Dukes without a field goal for more than five minutes. Galloway had 13 of his 15 points in the second half while Earl Pettis paced the effort with 20 points, 12 of those after the break. Galloway added a career-best 10 assists while Jerrell Wright chipped in 10 points as La Salle shot 51.9 percent from the field and improved to 5-2 in conference play.
Charlotte lost its third game in a row and fifth in six games overall at home to Xavier Saturday. Senior Javarris Barnett's career-high 27 points weren't enough to survive the Musketeers in the 74-70 setback. Barnett drained 7-of-8 from beyond the arc but the inside game of Xavier won the day, outscoring Charlotte 46-14 in the paint. The 49ers still had a chance to pull out the win with time winding down but one of only three missed free throws (20-for-23) came from DeMario Mayfield with 12 seconds left and XU's Tu Holloway hit a pair at the stripe on the other end to seal the win, dropping the 49ers to 2-5 in the A-10.
La Salle has captured two of the last three meetings with the 49ers, including last season's 91-86 double-overtime win at Halton Arena. However, Charlotte is a perfect 3-0 at the Tom Gola Arena and leads the overall series 5-2.
The Explorers have a quartet of top-notch contributors on the offensive end with Galloway's 15.5 points per game leading the way. Galloway also paces the club in three-pointers with 52 on 48.1 percent shooting, adds 4.4 boards, 2.7 assists and shoots 50.7 percent overall from the floor. He's just one of a host of well-rounded players for La Salle as Pettis posts 15.0 ppg, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and shoots 47.1 percent from the field with 33 threes. Tyreek Duren follows with a solid 13.5-point average, a team-high 4.3 assists, 3.8 boards and lands 50.0 percent of his field goals. Sam Mills is second to Galloway in three-pointers with 42 on 41.2 percent shooting while adding 2.9 assists and 11.4 ppg overall. Finally, Wright checks in with team-highs of 6.2 rebounds and a 54.4 shooting percentage while adding 8.6 ppg to the mix. Not surprisingly, the Explorers are among the conference's top offensive teams with 74.7 ppg and a 47.5 shooting percentage. The defense does a nice job as well, limiting opponents to a 40.3 shooting percentage and just 64.3 ppg. La Salle has the A-10's top three-point shooting percentage at 40.5 percent and holds its own on the boards with only a small average disadvantage (35.7-34.0).
The 49ers rely on a trio of double-digit scorers to help prop up a mediocre offense. Chris Braswell leads the way at 14.4 ppg and also serves as the team's leading rebounder with 7.4 rpg. Barnett and Mayfield are also significant contributors, the former averaging 12.3 ppg and 6.3 boards while the latter checks in at 10.2 ppg and 6.4 rpg. Overall, the 49ers compile 67.3 ppg but on only 40.4 percent shooting. Opponents average 67.6 ppg and are allowed to shoot 41.9 percent from the floor. Charlotte trails the opposition in the rebounding department by a 37.2-36.4 count on average while struggling to find accuracy from beyond the arc (32.9 percent) despite a healthy number of threes (137). Barnett leads the team with 38 triples on 40.0 percent shooting.
La Salle is on a roll right now, and especially at home, where they have won 13 consecutive games dating back to last season. Charlotte's away mark of 5-5 is respectable enough but the Explorers are soaring right now and figure to stay atop the A-10 standings with another victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 69, Charlotte 62
02/01 10:44:21 ET