La Salle Explorers at Fordham Rams
La Salle and Fordham are not going to the NCAA Tournament, unless they win the A-10 tournament. That’s doesn’t seem likely with La Salle sitting at 5-10 in the league, while the Rams are 4-11 (tied with UMass for last place). The Explorers are coming off a 95-93 overtime loss to Rhode Island at home on Tuesday. The Rams have lost three straight games, including a 76-52 defeat at Davidson on Wednesday.
La Salle nearly does unthinkable
La Salle was ready to play against Rhode Island on Wednesday in Philadelphia. They jumped out to a 30-18 lead in the first half but the Rams went on a 14-0 run before taking a two-point halftime lead. URI never trailed in the second half and led the Explorers, 81-78 with three seconds left. Down three, the Rams fouled Pookie Powell on purpose. He made the first free throw and missed the second intentionally. Tony Washington grabbed the long rebound and made the putback to tie the game. Amazingly, La Salle still couldn’t grab the lead and were in the same situation, down three with 3.2 seconds left. This time, Powell made the first and the second, despite trying to miss. The Rams wound up winning by two in one of the best games played in the Atlantic 10 this season.
B.J. Johnson had an incredible game for La Salle with 29 points and a career-high 23 rebounds. Saul Phiri added 16 points and six boards. The Explorers shot 46.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded URI by 17, but they also turned the ball over 18 times (Rams had just seven). Johnson leads the Explorers with 20.8 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting. On the season, the Explorers average 73.3 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting (33.3% 3pt). They allow 75 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting (38.8% 3pt).
Rams trying to turn things around
In late February, things started to look good for Fordham. They beat UMass at home and wound up winning three of four games. But since beating Duquesne by 23 on the road, they’ve lost three straight. They were crushed by Davidson on the road on Wednesday by 24 points as the Wildcats shot an insane 68.9 percent from the field and outrebounded the Rams by 17. Joseph Chartouny led the Rams with 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting, while Prokop Slanina added 12 points for the Rams. Fordham shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and 7-of-34 from beyond the arc. The Rams trailed by 14 at the half and were outscored, 37-27 in the second half.
Will Tavares leads the Rams with 13.5 points per game, while Chartouny adds 4.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 steals. On the season, Fordham averages just 62.4 points per game (347th), 41.4 percent shooting from the field (321st) and 29.5 percent from beyond the arc (345th). They allow 69.4 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting (33.9% 3pt).
La Salle is:
- 12-4 ATS last 16 road games after three or more straight home games.
- 4-11 ATS last 15 vs. Atlantic 10.
- 1-5 ATS last 6 home games.
La Salle is the better team and it’s not even close. But they need to win on the road and that’s not easy. They’ll recover from the Rhode Island loss to beat one of the worst offensive teams in the nation.