Philadelphia: As 2017 comes to a close, most college basketball teams will begin conference play. The same was true for many Philadelphia teams including the LaSalle Explorers as they took on the Saint Louis Billikens in the Atlantic 10 Conference Opener from Tom Gola Arena at TruMark Financial Center on the campus of LaSalle University. LaSalle has a 6-6 record while Saint Louis has a 5-6 record. LaSalle comes into the game off a loss to Bucknell back on December 22. Before the game, LaSalle would announce the BJ Johnson would miss his 2nd straight game with an ankle injury.
Saint Louis would open the scoring on a basket from Javon Bess, but LaSalle would get on board with 4 straight points from Pookie Powell. The Explorers would make things hard for Saint Louis as they would take it to them with 18 points in the paint. At one point in the first half, Saint Louis would go on a 4-minute scoring drought. LaSalle would get the lead up to 26 at 42-16 with 45 seconds left. Powell would hit the shot at the first half buzzer as LaSalle would lead 44-19.
Both teams would score to start the 2nd half and LaSalle Powell would take over and the Explorers would keep the pressure on Saint Louis. Each time Saint Louis would try to go on a Run, LaSalle would have the answer. Amar Stukes would join Powell in the scoring drive as they both would make Saint Louis pay. The Explorers managed to open up Conference play with an 83-60 win. With the win, LaSalle goes to 7-7 (1-0 in A10 Play) and now prepare for battle with Rhode Island on January 3.
Pookie Powell: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Amar Stukes: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Tony Washington & Miles Brookins each had 10 points
Saint Louis Billikens:
Jordan Goodwin: 16 points, 13 rebounds,
Javon Bess: 15 points, 3 rebounds,
Jalen Johnson: 10 points, 5 rebounds