It's been a disappointing season for the La Salle basketball program, that much was evident from an empty Tom Gola Arena tonight. With seemingly everything that could go wrong for the Explorers doing just that as of late, La Salle (13-14, 5-8 A-10) dug deep and found themselves able to gut out a win over St. Bonaventure tonight.
Behind 18 point performances by Jerrell Wright and Tyreek Duren, the Explorers were able to withstand the Bonnies, winning by a final score of 75-67.
Racking up 12 assists on 15 made shots in the first half, the Explorers shot 68.2 percent from the field, including 6-of-6 from beyond the arc. Sam Mills led the way for La Salle in the half, going 4-of-4 from the field for a total of 12 points.
"Just to finally see a couple of shots go in was good, and I actually fed off Sam and D.J. when they started making shots," said Tyrone Garland. "That's how we basically played last year. When everyone made shots, that's when we'd get rolling and I haven't seen us play like that in a long time."
While La Salle did damage from deep, the Bonnie's made their money down low, scoring 24 first half points in the paint, as center Youssou Ndoye led a St. Bonaventure rally to close the half and head to the locker room trailing just 40-38. Ndoye surpassed his season average of 9.2 points per game in just 17 minutes, as he tallied 14 first half points for the Bonnies.
La Salle emerged from the half firing on all cylinders, as an 11-4 run extended their lead to 51-42. St. Bonaventure would respond with a run of their own however, tying the game at 55 apiece before taking a 57-55 lead.
The teams would begin to trade leads, but with 2:07 remaining and the score tied at 67, the Explorers began to bare down. La Salle would hold St. Bonaventure scoreless over those final two minutes, sealing the 75-67 win at the foul line.
"Everybody just started buckling down," said Tyreek Duren. "Two minutes of stops and we get out of here with a win and get back on track. Just try to build on this win."
Wright and Duren led four La Salle players who finished in double figures with 18 apiece, while Sam Mills and Tyrone Garland added 12 apiece for the Explorers.
"Any win in the A-10 is a great win," said La Salle coach John Giannini. "We got stops down the stretch. We made free throws down the stretch. We played pretty smart down the stretch in terms of not turning the ball over, so I'm really pleased."
Up Next: La Salle will head to Fordham for a matchup with the Rams Saturday at 5 p.m.
By: Kyle Babcock
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