Impressive Explorers Deal Bison Men 78-52 Setback
Dec. 3, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Bucknell men's basketball team suffered a rare one-sided loss on Saturday, succumbing to red-hot La Salle 78-52 at Tom Gola Arena. Ramon Gallaway scored 20 points and hit five of his team's dozen 3-pointers, helping the Explorers win their third straight game and avenge an 89-77 home loss to Bucknell from a year ago.
Joe Willman scored a team-high 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the floor, but the rest of the starting lineup went just 5-for-28 against a much-improved La Salle defense. The Bison (5-4) have now lost two straight to George Mason and La Salle on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
La Salle (5-3) was impressive from start to finish, shooting 49.2 percent from the field while placing four players in double figures. Earl Pettis scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half, while Tyreek Duren and Devon White added 11 each.
Freshman Joshea Singleton had a nice game off the bench for the Bison, totaling eight points, eight rebounds and two assists. Cameron Ayers also had eight points. Bucknell continued its strong rebounding, finishing with a 38-33 edge on the glass, including 14 offensive boards.
It was all La Salle right from the start, as the Explorers hit seven first-half 3-pointers - matching their per-game average for the season - en route to a 43-23 halftime lead. La Salle was equally solid on the defensive end, pressuring the Bison into seven first-half turnovers and 32-percent shooting from the field.
Willman scored 12 of Bucknell's 23 first-half points, but Pettis countered with 16 by halftime for La Salle.
Jerrell Wright scored La Salle's first six points of the day on layups, and by the time Pettis the team's first 3-pointer of the day it was already 11-2 Explorers just 2:43 in. In one stretch six of La Salle's seven baskets were threes, and back-to-back treys by Gallaway stretched a 10-point lead up to 16 at 28-12.
A quick 7-2 run by the Bison, keyed by a Bryan Cohen 3-pointer, cut an 18-point deficit down to 13, but La Salle closed the half on a 9-2 spurt, with the final six points coming from Pettis.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Bison trailed by at least 17 and by as many as 30 down the stretch.
Of La Salle's three losses on the season, one came at Villanova in overtime and another was by just four at Pittsburgh. The Explorers also have one-sided wins over Lafayette, James Madison, Rider and Northeastern.
Bucknell is back in action on Tuesday at Binghamton at 7 p.m.