La Salle Explorers (0-2) at Florida Gators (1-1)
College Basketball: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm (Stephen O'Connell Center)
The Line: Florida Gators -18.5 -- Over/Under: 142 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The La Salle Explorers will travel to Exactech Arena to take on the Florida Gators this Wednesday night in College Basketball action
The La Salle Explorers dropped to 0-2 on the young season after being defeated by the Lafayette Leopards, 77-76, this past Saturday. In a tight back and forth game, Lafayette was able to take the late lead on a 3-point play with just 10 seconds left in regulation and the Explorers game-winning attempt by Pookie Powell game up short as time expired. La Salle struggled from the floor as they shot just 37.7% from the field and 35.5% from beyond the arc while the Explorers allowed Lafayette to shoot 47.2% from the field. La Salle was able to keep it close as they won the turnover battle by a 17-7 margin, however, they were outrebounded by a 42-30 margin. Leading the way for the Explorers was Pookie Powell who had 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal.
On the season, La Salle is averaging 71.5 ppg on 36.6% shooting from the field. The Explorers are averaging 9.5 three-pointers per game on 3.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Explorers has been Pookie Powell (20.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg), Isiah Deas (19.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 spg), and Traci Carter (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.5 spg). Defensively, La Salle is allowing their opponents to average 76.0 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Explorers have struggled on the boards early on as they currently have a rebound margin of -17.5 however, they have done a nice job creating turnovers as they currently have a turnover margin of 6.5.
The Florida Gators bounced back after their tough season opening loss to Florida State to improve to 1-1 on the season after defeating the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 76-46, this past Friday. Florida was outstanding on the defensive end throughout the entire game and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 36-20 halftime lead. Florida shot 46.4% from the field while holding the Buccaneers to just 25.5% shooting from the field and 17.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Florida was outrebounded by a 39-38 margin however, won the turnover battle by a 19-8 margin. Leading the way for the Gators was KeVaughn Allen who had 14 points on 6-11 shooting while also chipping in with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 5 steals.
On the season, Florida is averaging 68.0 ppg on 41.8% shooting from the field. The Gators are averaging 7.0 three-pointers per game on 26.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Florida has been led by Deaundrae Ballard (12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg), Jalen Hudson (10.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg), Andrew Nembhard (9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.5 spg), and KeVaughn Allen (7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 spg). Defensively, Florida is holding their opponents to an average of 63.5 ppg on 35.9% shooting from the field. The Gators currently have a rebound margin of -2.0 and a turnover margin of 5.5.
The Explorers are 16-35-1 ATS in their last 52 road games and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 Wednesday games. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
La Salle has a solid backcourt with Pookie Powell & Traci Carter however, it’s going to be hard for the La Salle to find success this season as they just lack shooting and just don’t have an impact player in the frontcourt. Florida lost two key pieces from last year’s 21-13 team in Chris Chiozza & Egor Koulachev, however, this is still a very dangerous team as they return Judson & Wright and have a talented freshman point guard in Andrew Nembhard who has looked good in his first two college games. The opening season loss to Florida State was disappointing, however, the Gators have talent on both ends of the floor and as I think their defense is going to give an already poor shooting team in La Salle trouble, I’m taking the Gators to win big and cover this spread.