Saturday, January 17, 2015

La Salle beats Fordham as L-Train & Co. honored at halftime

Courtesy of La Salle athletics
Philadelphia, PA -- Sophomore Jordan Price finished with 15 points to lead the La Salle Explorers to a 60-49 victory over the Fordham Rams in an Atlantic 10 Conference battle at Tom Gola Arena.

It was a fortuitous result for a program which decided to dip into its glorious past on Saturday afternoon, honoring the mythical 1989-90 team which saw its memorable season come to a swift halt early in the NCAA Tournament. 

For the Explorers (10-8, 2-3 A-10), Cleon Roberts added 12 points with six rebounds and Jerrell Wright chipped in with 11 points. The hosts' defensive prowess can't be overlooked, as the 49 points marked the fewest La Salle has allowed since giving up 44 in a win over UMass in February of 2006.

Eric Paschall led all scorers with 25 points to pace the Rams (5-11, 0-5), while Ryan Rhoomes finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Explorers opened the game on a 17-2 run thanks to eight points from Price, and went into halftime holding a 30-21 advantage. They hit on 44 percent of their shots from the field, including 3-of-9 from beyond the arc. The Rams shot just 32 percent from the field, including 2-of-10 from 3-point range.

In the break, the school paused to recognize former head coach William "Speedy" Morris along with Lionel Simmons, Doug Overton, Randy Woods and the rest of the team which took the MAAC playoff title against the current squad's Saturday opponent.

Morris' team, playing out of the now-demolished Convention Hall, went 30-1 in the regular season with their sole loss coming to Loyola Marymount by a 121-116 count. The Explorers were a #4 seed in the East Regional but fell in the second round, 79-75, to Clemson after beating Southern Miss by 13 in their first contest.

The Rams scored the first two baskets of the second half to cut the deficit to just five points but never got closer than that, as the Explorers held them off to secure the win and keep the Rams winless in league play. La Salle connected on 36.8 percent of its shots in the period, but made 14-of-19 from the free-throw line to stay ahead. Fordham hit 31.4 percent of its attempts in the frame.

The Explorers finished the game with a 19-8 scoring advantage at the free- throw line. The Rams did have a slight rebounding edge, 38-36.
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