La Salle at Rhode Island
|Date & Time||Thursday March 14, 2019, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
Rhode Island Rams -5 -- Over/Under: 137.5
The La Salle Explorers and the Rhode Island Rams meet in an A-10 second round tournament matchup in college basketball action from the Barclays Center on Thursday afternoon.
The La Salle Explorers come into the tournament as the #9 seed after finishing the regular season with a 10-20 overall record, including 8-10 in A-10 conference play. La Salle got off to a rough start, dropping their first 10 games of the season with losses to Temple, Florida, Miami, Northwestern and Villanova mixed in there. La Salle got a win in their first conference game but proceeded to lose 4 in a row followed by 4 victories in a row. The Explorers never really found their footing down the stretch, losing 6 of their last 9 games to finish below .500 in conference at the end of the season. Pookie Powell leads La Salle in scoring with 15.4 points per game while Isiah Deas is 2nd with 12.1 points per game. Saul Phiri is 3rd in scoring for the Explorers with 11.4 points per game while Traci Carter is averaging a team-high 3.2 assists per game and Ed Croswell is averaging a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game this season. As a team, La Salle is averaging 67.8 points per game on 40.3% shooting from the field, 33.7% from behind the arc and 76.6% from the foul line this season.
The Rhode Island Rams enter the conference tournament as the #8 seed after finishing the regular season with a 16-14 overall record, including a 9-9 mark in A-10 conference play. Rhode Island played some quality opposition of their own in the non-conference part of their schedule, with a loss to Providence as well as a win over West Virginia. Rhode Island started conference play at 4-2 before losing 7 of their next 8 games to fall to 5-9, but responded with 4 straight victories to finish the regular season. Jeff Dowtin led Rhode Island in scoring and assists with 15.3 points and 3.9 assists per game while Cyril Langevine and Fatts Russell each had 14.6 points per game, with Langevine adding a team-high 9.9 rebounds per game while Russell dished out 3.7 assists per game this season. As a team, Rhode Island is averaging 69.7 points per game on 43% shooting from the field, 27.5% from behind the arc and 67% from the foul line this season.
La Salle is 2-11 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games and 18-37-1 ATS in their last 56 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. Rhode Island is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a losing record while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 neutral site games. La Salle is 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
Anything can happen in these early round tournament games, but I’m simply not liking La Salle’s chances here. The Explorers have struggled ATS on a neutral floor for quite some time now, while Rhode Island is trending in the right direction and won the only meeting this season by 11 points on the road. Home court couldn’t help La Salle in the last meeting, so on a neutral floor, I don’t expect the result to change. I’ll lay the points with Rhode Island in this one.