By Matt Leon

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (CBS) — After beating James Madison over the weekend, 92-83 (see game story), the La Salle Explorers are on the road tonight, taking on #17 Pittsburgh.

That win over the Dukes improved the Explorers to 2-1 on the young season, and head coach Dr. John Giannini says it was another positive step.

“Our defense was pretty good for a lot of the game.  It got away from us a little bit late,” he says, “but we have to be pleased with a win against a quality opponent, with ten people really contributing.”

Now the Explorers are in Western Pennsylvania, to match up with the perennial Big East power, the University of Pittsburgh.   The Panthers are coming off an upset loss at the hands of Long Beach State, but Giannini says they are loaded with talent.

“They have one of the best backcourts in the country.  They have two seniors in (guard Tray) Woodall and (guard Ashton) Gibbs, that are as good a combination as there is.  (Senior forward) Nasir Robinson is an ultimate winner and another veteran player.”

But Giannini says his team is ready for the challenge.

“We think we have one of the best young backcourts in the country with Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills, and I think there’s going to be some serious individual battles.  They are going to bring Gibbs off screens with Sam guarding him and Tyreek will be on Woodall, and those matchups are just going to be really important.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with John Giannini in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Click to download podcast

Duren is fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, at 21.7 points per game.  Mills is eight for 12 from behind the three-point arc, through three games.

This will be only the second meeting, all time, between these two schools.  The first was back in the 1984 NIT.  Pitt won that one, 95-91, at the Palestra.


SportsPod Bonus: KYW’s Matt Leon interviews Kale Beers, the radio voice of the La Salle Explorers, about the upcoming Pitt game…

Click to download Kale Beers interview

Tipoff tonight is set for 7:00pm at the Pederson Events Center.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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