The La Salle Explorers will travel to the William D. Mullins Center to take on the UMass Minutemen this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The La Salle Explorers won their 2nd straight game and improved to 2-10 (0-0 A-10) on the season after defeating the Towson Tigers, 57-51, on December 22nd. La Salle was able to overcome a poor shooting performance with a solid performance on the FT line and held on late for the victory. La Salle shot just 29.8% from the field & 20.8% from beyond the arc, however, went 18-22 from the FT-line in the victory. Leading the way for the Explorers was Pookie Powell who had 18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals, and an assist.
On the season, La Salle is averaging 70.7 ppg on 40.6% shooting from the field. The Explorers are averaging 7.4 three-pointers per game on 31.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, La Salle has been led by Pookie Powell (18.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.7 spg), Isiah Deas (12.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg), Jack Clark (11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg), and Saul Phiri (11.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg).
Defensively, La Salle is allowing their opponents to average 79.1 ppg on 48.3% shooting from the field. The Explorers have a rebound margin of -4.3 and a turnover margin of 0.8.
The UMass Minutemen dropped to 7-6 (0-0 A-10) on the season after being defeated by the Georgia Bulldogs, 91-72, this past Sunday. UMass had no answers on the defensive end for the Bulldogs and couldn’t fight back after Georgia went into halftime with a 43-32 lead. UMass allowed Georgia to shoot 53.8% from the field and was outrebounded by the Bulldogs by a 43-27 margin. Leading the way for the Minutemen was Luwane Pipkins who had 22 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal.
On the season, UMass is averaging 79.2 ppg on 47.3% shooting from the field. The Minutemen are averaging 8.8 three-pointers per game on 36.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UMass has been led by Luwane Pipkins (19.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.4 spg), Jonathan Laurent (12.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 apg), Curtis Cobb (10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg), and Carl Pierre (10.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.4 apg).
Defensively, UMass is allowing their opponents to average 75.8 ppg on 44.5% shooting from the field. The Minutemen have a rebound margin of 1.3 and a turnover margin of 0.2.
The Explorers are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 road games and 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games vs. A-10 opponents. The Minutemen are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
La Salle opened up the season with 10 consecutive losses, however, have know won 2 straight and have started to play better recently after getting three of their biggest contributors back in the lineup in Powell, Clark, and Phiri. La Salle has the ability to put up some offense, however, if they are going to be successful in A-10 play this season, they’ll need to improve a defense that currently ranks 313th in scoring defense & 333rd in defensive FG%. UMass keeps alternating wins & losses and although they have a solid offense that ranks 71st in scoring offense & 78th in FG%, the Minutemen have struggled defensively as they rank just 267th in scoring defense & 248th in defensive FG%. La Salle is a better team than their record indicates and as UMass hasn’t anything special at home ATS, I like the Explorers and the points and the Over in this one. Good Luck!