By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After opening Atlantic-10 play on Wednesday night with an impressive win over Xavier, the La Salle Explorers will host another top conference team on Sunday afternoon as they welcome UMass to Gola Arena.
The victory over Xavier improved the Explorers to 11-4 on the season and head coach Dr. John Giannini says it was indeed a big victory.
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Dr. John Giannini in this CBS Philly Sports podcast:
“For us here, to have success against a team that tends to be playing at the highest level, is very important to us. But the A-10 is as balanced as any league possibly can be. I really think there are 14 good teams in this league and every night’s a battle, and now we have a 12-3 team coming in in UMass, so there is no time to feel good about ourselves. We got to get right back to work.”
UMass picked up a win in their conference opener on Thursday, beating Fordham 80-76. Giannini says they are a difficult match-up, especially on defense, where they try and force the issue.
“They’ll press you, but they don’t give up a whole lot of easy baskets against it. We’ll have to play twice on offense. First to get the ball up the court and then secondly to try and score it.”
La Salle is built pretty well to handle a press, however. The Explorers four-guard attack gives them ball handlers all over the floor, and in fact in the win over Xavier, La Salle turned the ball over just seven times.
The Explorers will also be trying to continue their home court dominance. La Salle has won ten straight at home, eight of those victories coming this season.
Tip-off on Sunday at Gola Arena is set for 2:00 p.m.