Nicholas Signoretta, Editor
Courtesy of doms.pov
La Salle University Men’s Basketball had a decent rebound week to kick off their post-Thanksgiving stretch. After a tough trip two weeks ago in the Jamaica Classic, the Explorers got the benefit of staying home in the City Of Brotherly Love for all three of their most recent contests.
The Explorers opened the week with a home contest at the ever-cozy Tom Gola Arena against the Binghamton Bearcats on Saturday, Nov. 26th. A narrow 65-62 victory almost slipped through the Explorers’ grasp as the Bearcats rallied back from multiple second-half deficits to take a lead with just under five minutes to play. Luckily, the boys from 20th and Olney rallied to bring home that sweet Thanksgiving break W.
The next contest the Explorers played was at the pinnacle of all Philadelphia basketball venues, the Palestra. In the first leg of a Philly Big 5 doubleheader, the Explorers tipped off against the second best university north of Market Street, the Temple Owls. While Temple may be a subpar university off the court, the Owls were the dominant squad on the hardwood. Temple guard Khalif Battle had a big night at the Cathedral of Basketball, leading all scorers with 22 points and guiding his squad to a 67-51 victory. The Explorers had a lead with under nine minutes left in the game, but Fran Dunphy’s first game back against his former employer was spoiled as La Salle was outscored 28-7 down the stretch, and the Owls improved their record against the Explorers to 25-7 this millennium.
La Salle closed out the weekend with another game at the Palestra. Their foe was a Big 5 team that also formerly employed Coach Dunphy, the Penn Quakers. Despite the Quakers’ home court advantage, that subpar excuse for a basketball team was no match for the mighty Explorers, led by guards Anwar Gill and Jhamir Brickus, who dropped career highs of 26 and 25 points, respectively. Penn guard Jordan Dingle(berry) scored a career high 37 points, including a three point heave at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, but the Quakers never had a chance to top the overpowering force of the Explorers.
Courtesy of shotsbycornely
With those three games in the books, La Salle now sits at a nice and even 4-4. Home matchups against the Bucknell Bison (6-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 6th, and the Drexel Dragons (4-5) on Saturday, Dec.10th, await the Explorers. With the rest of the out of conference slate looking rather winnable besides an away date with the Cincinnati Bearcats (6-3) on Saturday, Dec. 17th, La Salle has a solid chance to enter conference play with a winning record and a reason to exist come mid-February. Quite the ask.