La Salle Explorers (11-5 SU, 6-6 ATS, 9-3 O/U) vs VCU Rams (14-5 SU, 6-9 ATS, 9-6 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 22, 2:00 PM ET, Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, VA
Line: VCU -7.5
La Salle looks to stay atop of the Atlantic 10 when it travels to VCU on Sunday afternoon. The Explorers have won five straight with their most recent victory coming against Davidson last Thursday. The Rams suffered their second straight defeat against Fordham in overtime one night prior. Both teams have split the last four meetings since being in the same conference with the away side winning all of them.
Jordan Price’s efficiency against lifts La Salle
After losing their first game of conference play, La Salle has skyrocketed to the top of the Atlantic-10 along with Dayton and Richmond entering Saturday. Their recent victim was Davidson in a 91-83 victory. The Explorers took control late in the first half with a nine-point lead at the break and never looked back. La Salle thrived with 57.4 percent shooting from the field, going 7-of-15 from 3-point range, and owning a huge 35-27 rebounding advantage in the contest.
Senior guard Jordan Price (17.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg) had his second straight game above 20 points, netting 29 and also picking up 6 rebounds. Similar to the game against George Washington, Price shot the ball well making 9-of-14 from the field and went 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Leading average scorer B.J. Johnson (18.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) wasn’t as efficient only making 46.7 percent of his shots, but still finished with 19 points and 5 boards.
VCU loses second straight on the road
VCU had a rough road trip, losing their first two games in conference play against Davidson and Fordham by single digits. The latter was a 69-67 defeat that was controlled by the home Rams until the very end. The away Rams shot better from the field at 47.2 percent, as well as hit 8-of-18 from downtown, but were hammered on the glass with a 37-30 rebounding deficit and had 22 total turnovers. Fordham had seven more attempts from the field and one more field goal make, which was the ultimate difference.
Junior forward Justin Tillman (11.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) was the team’s top scorer by a large margin with 20 points and picked up 5 boards. Leading average scorer JeQuan Lewis (14.8 ppg, 4.8 apg) put more of a focus on passing the ball with 10 assists to 4 turnovers. He went just 2-for-7 from the field and missed all three 3-pointers, finishing with just 4 points in 39 minutes of play.
La Salle is:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 against conference opponents
- The home team, which are 0-6 ATS in the last 6 meetings of this matchup
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games
VCU has the advantage at home with a defense that holds teams to 66.1 points per contest (54th nationally). However, La Salle is trending in the right direction with a red hot offense that’s averaging 84 points in the last five games. It’s hard to pass on the points given to the Explorers in this matchup.