By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The La Salle Explorers will look to continue a fine start to the 2012-2013 season on Wednesday night, as they take on Penn State at the Palestra.

La Salle is 4-1, but they haven’t played since winning at Rider back on November 29th, 63-52.

Penn State will bring a 4-3 record into this one – last time out they beat Jerome Allen’s Quakers, 58-47, on Saturday.  The Nittany Lions are playing these days without one of the best players in the Big Ten and the country, as senior guard Tim Frazier is our for the season with an Achilles injury.

“The guy who has really emerged in (Frazier’s) absence is Brandon Taylor,” La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini tells KYW Newsradio.  “He’s a freshman three-point shooter.  He’s a big strong kid, but he is a three-point shooter.  If you look at him, the game immediately after losing Frazier, they beat an outstanding Bucknell team with Taylor having 16 points.  So they added another scorer and shooter to the mix.  They are still very tough, but certainly anyone would be better with a player like Frazier on their team.”

LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Dr. John Giannini

La Salle is being led by junior guard Tyreek Duren and his 16.4 points a game.  He had 20 points and six assists in the win over Rider.  Senior guard Ramon Galloway is also playing well, pouring in 15.6 points a contest.

Giannini breaks down what they need to do to pick up that fifth win on the season in this one.

“Matching their toughness, keeping them off the glass I think is really big,” Giannini says. “I think doing what we do well, playing defense with the level of intensity that we normally want is important.  I think that doing ordinary things as well as we can, pressuring and helping on defense, keeping them off the glass I think are the kind of fundamental things that will win and lose this game and many others.”

La Salle and Penn State have met three times, with the Explorers leading the series 2-1.  But the last meeting came back in 1986.

Tip-off for La Salle and Penn State Wednesday night at the Palestra is set for 9:00pm.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.


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