By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After losing two of three out in the Virgin Islands during the Paradise Jam, the La Salle Explorers are set to return home on Wednesday night to host Hartford.
La Salle is 3-4 on the season. Their last game in the Virgin Islands was a 65-50 loss to Northern Iowa back on November 25th.
“We’re happy November is over,” La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini tells KYW Newsradio. “We didn’t play well, we’ve struggled. The most frustrating part of it is, we haven’t looked like ourselves. There’s a lot of reasons for that, all of them I think are fixable. When teams struggle for long periods of time, often they don’t have experience, they may have catastrophic injuries or they may have horrible chemistry. We have none of those types of problems. So hopefully we get better.”
One issue for La Salle simply has been they haven’t been making shots. For the season, the Explorers are shooting just 40% from the field and in the Northern Iowa loss they hit on just 31% of their attempts.
“Our last time out, we really lost some confidence,” Giannini says. “We started turning down good shots, which means you are going to end up taking bad ones and that is really a bad formula.”
Hartford is just 2-6 as they come to Gola Arena, and last time out they lost to Yale on Saturday, 54-49.
“They have a very good scorer inside and they surround him with shooters,” Giannini says. “So that’s always a challenge to defend those kind of teams. They are a veteran team, they have pretty much everyone back from a team that had a good year last year. Like us, they are struggling a little bit, but they remain dangerous.”
Junior forward Mark Nwakamma leads Hartford in scoring this season. He is averaging 16 points a game.
La Salle is a perfect 5-0 against Hartford, all-time. That includes a 64-51 win last year on the road.
Wednesday night’s game at Gola Arena will tip-off at 7:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.