Game Preview: Siena At LaSalle

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Siena travels to Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday to take on A-10 opponent LaSalle, in the 2nd of 9 games away from home over a 10-game, 44-day span. The game, which is part of homecoming weekend, sold out on Thursday and will be played in front of a raucous Tom Gola Arena crowd (capacity 3,400). Tip-off is scheduled for 3 pm.

LaSalle leads the series 5-3 and turned in a dominant performance when the teams met last season at the Times Union Center. The Explorers ran away winning 80-52 led by senior star Ramone Galloway who scored 22 points, including six 3-pointers.

The Saints will be looking to avoid their first 0-3 start in 10 years when they began the 2004-05 season 0-7. They are coming off a 77-66 loss at Vermont on Tuesday. In that game, junior Rob Poole tied a career high with 22 points, shooting 9-10 from the foul line and adding 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

The Saints will need to improve their outside shooting as they have struggled from deep in their first two games hitting just 6-34 (17.6%) and 1-23 (4.3%) in the second half.

Siena has 3 players averaging in double figures led by Poole (18.5 ppg.) along with freshmen Maurice White (12.5ppg.) and Lavon Long (11.5ppg.) Freshman point guard Marquis Wright leads the team with 12 assists and just 6 turnovers in the first 2 games.

Sophomore reserve guard Rich Audu will miss his 3rd straight game with an ankle injury. Coach Jimmy Patsos said on Friday he may be out for another week.

LaSalle enters the game with a record of 1-1 following a 99-90 double-overtime loss to Manhattan and a 73-67 win over Quinnipiac on Tuesday morning. They were led in the opener by 6-1 senior guard Tyrone Garland who poured in a career-high 28 points. The reserve is averaging 20 points over the first two games. 6-0 senior guard Tyreek Duren scored 17 points in each game and has been impressive with the ball averaging 7.5 assists per game with just 3 total turnovers.

The Explorers are led in the frontcourt by 6-8 junior forward Jerrell Wright, averaging 13.5 points and eight rebounds per game and 6-11 junior center Steve Zack who leads the team, shooting 64.3% from the field (9-of-14), while averaging ten points and six rebounds per game.

The Explorers finished 24-10 last season with NCAA wins over Boise State, Kansas State and Ole Miss while advancing to the Sweet 16 where they eventually lost to Wichita State 72-58. They return most of their team from last season with the exception of Galloway who averaged 17.2 ppg.

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