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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It will be Big 5 basketball at the Palestra on Saturday as La Salle takes on St. Joe’s.

This will also be a critical game in the Atlantic 10 standings. The Explorers are 17-6 on the season and they lead the conference with a 6-2 record in A-10 action. The Hawks are 14-9 this season and 4-4 in the A-10.  In Big 5 action, St. Joe’s and La Salle are both 1-1.

La Salle has proven to be a tough match-up for opponents this season because of the success of their four-guard attack (Tyreek Duren, Ramon Galloway, Sam Mills and Earl Pettis) and that group has impressed St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli.

“They play so calmly. They play so efficiently. They know their strengths, they know each other’s strengths.  They hold each other accountable defensively.”

The Hawks are coming off a nice road win on Wednesday night down at Richmond and Martelli talks about what his squad needs to do to make it two straight victories.

“Number one, we are going to have to defend the three-point line. (La Salle’s) shooting over forty-percent (40.8) from the three. They are comfortable shooting the ball. We are all going to have to guard. This is not a one-on-one game, this is going to have to be a five-on-one game. I believe that we have to take advantage of our size. At any one time, Ron Roberts, Halil Kanacevic and C.J. Aiken, they could play together. Two of them are always going to be in the game.”

Listen to KYW Matt Leon’s interview with Phil Martelli:

La Salle has won four in a row coming into this one, including a Wednesday night victory over Charlotte.

St. Joe’s and La Salle will tip-off at the Palestra at noon.  Note this is a time change from what was originally on the schedule.

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