South Alabama (1-1; 1-0 ATS: 0-1 O/U) vs. La Salle Explorers (2-0; 2-0 ATS: 1-1 O/U)
NCAAB: Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7:00pm EST
Line: La Salle -14
The La Salle Explorers will host the South Alabama Jaguars in inter-conference action Thursday night from the Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia. The Jaguars are coming off a 71-49 home win over Mobile, and the Explorers recorded a 75-71 double overtime win against Pennsylvania in their previous contest.
South Alabama Defeats NAIA Division Mobile
The South Alabama Jaguars tallied their first win of the season by a 71-49 score over a small Mobile school that plays in the NAIA. Sophomore Jordan Andrews led the way offensively in the win, collecting 18 points on 4 for 10 shooting after scoring 15 points in the Jaguars 75-50 road loss to Texas Tech in their season opener. Andrews transferred over from Youngstown State after averaging 7.9 points last season and will be one of the leaders on this team. Josh Ajayi chipped in with 12 points in the win over Mobile. The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward is the Jaguars leading returning scorer from last season and will be relied on offensively after posting 10.6 points last year. The Jaguars brought in Rozelle Nix on a transfer from the Pittsburgh Panthers. The senior forward saw limited action last season, posting an average of only 1.4 points in 6.1 minutes of playing time.
South Alabama lost three out of their top four scorers from last season and are hoping some transfers can help fill the scoring void left behind. They were ranked ninth out of the 12-team Sun Belt Conference in the preseason media poll after going 14-18 last season. Last season they averaged 71.4 points, ranking them 223rd overall. The Jaguars allowed an average of 72.6 points, placing them 289th overall.
La Salle Notches Double OT Win Over Penn
The La Salle Explorers played terrific defense in their thrilling 75-71 double overtime road win against Pennsylvania on Monday night to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Explorers converted on 42% of their shots and limited Penn to a 33% shooting. B.J. Johnson led the offensive charge with 20 points on 9 for 20 shooting and collected 14 rebounds. The senior guard has was outstanding in the Explorers 61-40 season-opening win against St. Peters as well, scoring 15 points with 11 boards in that one. Johnson is poised for a big season after leading the Explorers 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds last season, and was named to the A10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team. Pookie Powell went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc in Monday’s win, however he still finished with 17 points after collecting 18 points in the season opener. The junior guard will look to build on his stellar sophomore season that saw him average 13.7 points per game.
La Salle was ranked to finish ninth out of the 14 teams in the A10 conference in the preseason poll. LaSalle is averaging 68 points through two games and averaged 75.5 points last season. They are allowing only 55 points through two games, and allowed 76.6 points per game last season.
The South Alabama Jaguars are:
- 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
The La Salle Explorers are:
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 home games against a team with a road winning percentage below .400.
- 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 home games against a team with a losing road record.
I am going with La Salle in this matchup. La Salle returns three of their top four scorers from last season and they are off to a solid 2-0 start. They only allowed 40 points in their season opener, and 50 points in their win over Penn before the game went to double overtime, plus they are holding opponents to 32.5% shooting in two games. South Alabama only managed 50 points in a 75-50 loss to Texas Tech in their season opener, and are only shooting 41% in their first two games, plus they lost a bulk of their scoring from last season.