By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are just three games left in the regular season for the La Salle Explorers, and the first of those is Saturday afternoon at Gola Arena against Duquesne.
The last time we saw the Explorers, they were rallying in the second half at Rhode Island, eventually pulling out a 72-65 win on Sunday. That improved La Salle to 19-7 (tied for third in A-10 with a 9-4 mark) as they continue to try to build up a resume to get them into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1991-92 season.
“It’s no surprise that trying to make the post-season is much like winning a game,” La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini tells KYW Newsradio. “It comes down to small things and you can’t let up. When you’re playing a good opponent, if often comes down to one play, a few points. Making the NCAA Tournament will probably come down to a game here or there. It’s very hard to separate good teams, not much will separate them and you really have to try to win as many games as possible.”
Now Duquesne is 8-19 on the season and just 1-13 in Atlantic 10 action. However, the Dukes got the attention of college basketball fans in Philadelphia back on Valentine’s Day. That’s when they picked up their only conference win of the season at the Liacouras Center against Temple.
“They shoot threes, and if they make them you’re in trouble,” Giannini says. “They are small, they’re quick, they’re aggressive, they play fearlessly. I just think if they get confident and they start making shots, you could really have a hard time. They scored 84 points against Temple, and scoring 84 points is a lot for anyone. So I just think you really have to defend and realize you’re playing good guards and you have play them for the three-point shot and hope to limit them.”
The Dukes are shooting 33% from three as a team, and they average more than eight made threes a game.
La Salle and Duquesne will tip-off at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.