Holy cross

Men’s basketball opens three-game homestand against Holy Cross

Men’s basketball | December 3, 2021

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – La Salle’s men’s basketball team return to Tom Gola Arena tomorrow for a midday game against Holy Cross, welcoming visitors to Gola for the first time in two weeks.

The game is scheduled to switch at 2 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on ESPN +, Kale beers and Richard Prendegast on-call for action on both broadcast and audio-only at goexplorers.com/watch.

NEWS AND NOTES

  • A two-game hiatus from the friendly ends of the house sees the Explorers returning to Gola on Saturday afternoon, stints inside the city at the Palestra and Liacouras Center in their final two clashes against Villanova and Temple.
  • Reliving this season’s Big Five clashes, La Salle saw himself on the downside with two losses to the Wildcats and Owls, 0-2 to rivals Philadelphia.
  • The Explorers have just played their second of three non-conference campaign road games against Temple, their final clash just a short trip from Bucknell in mid-December.
  • The Explorers are looking to end a two-game losing streak they hold, defeating Army West Point for the last time on November 20.
  • A slow start to the game against Temple saw the Explorers endure an Owl lead that couldn’t be recovered, Sheriff Kenney’s 23 points, a career high, unable to topple Temple on Wednesday night.
  • Kenney is the team’s leading scorer after his outburst against the Owls with a high of 10.8 points per game, one of seven explorers averaging at least six points.
  • Christian ray proved his rebounding prowess yet again, climbing for 12 rebounds against the Owls, including nine offensive boards. The junior guard now has more offensive rebounds (26) than defensive rebounds (24) over the season, leading the team with 8.3 karoms per game.
  • The Explorers are currently 2-0 on Saturdays and are unbeaten this season when games end at 4 p.m. or earlier.

SCOUTING HOLY CROSS

  • The Crusaders of the Holy Cross enter the weekend seated game at 2-6. Holy Cross opened its season with a 47-point victory over Regis before four straight losses – three in double digits – were offset by another blowout in a 43-point victory over Mount St. Vincent.
  • The Crusaders are on a two-game losing streak, falling to Central Connecticut midweek.
  • Judson Martindale – averaging 12.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game – pace the Crusaders offense and is one of three players entering the game with a double-digit score.
  • Kyrell Luke and Gerrale Gates also score more than 10 points per game, the former adding 12.3 points while the latter totals 12.0 points and leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per game.

SHARE THE BALL

  • Since 2012, the Explorers have only played 13 games with six or fewer assists in a game. With just one assist in the loss to Villanova, the Explorers are now 1-12 in those games. The only win came 75-71 in double overtime against Penn in the 2017-18 season, totaling just six cents in the win.
  • Only one other Division I team has produced just one assist in a game this season – Saturday’s enemies Holy Cross, who tallied a cent on 18 field goals in a 72-53 loss to the Air Force.

REEFY RIPPING NETS

  • Sheriff Kenney found its mark in the defeat of the road to Temple. With 18 in Game 1, Reef scored just 24 combined points in the next five games leading up to the game with the Owls, where he produced a career-high points (23), field goals (8 ) and three pointers (5).
  • Relatively calm in the first 20 minutes, the reigning sixth A-10 man of the year put on a show in the second half against Sacred Heart in Game 1. Kenney took over for a chilling Nickelberry, 16 of his 18 points after the first half break. Kenney went 2-2 in the deep overtime to keep the Explorers at striking distance.

RELIABLE RADIUS

  • For the third time in six games, the Junior Guard posted double-digit rebounds, totaling 12 boards against Temple. After six matches, Christian ray averaged 8.3 rebounds per game and had more offensive (26) than defensive (24) rebounds.

STORY OF THE SERIES

  • In a series dating back to 1949, the Explorers and Crusaders reunite for their 24th rendezvous in the series’ history.
  • The Explorers hold the lead in the game, last met in a 2017 Explorer 58-54 victory in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.
  • The two teams have only met twice in the 21st century, dividing the series 1-1 during that time. The only other encounter in the 2000s was during the 2006-07 campaign where the visitors came to the Tom Gola Arena and claimed victory.
  • This will be Coach Howard’s first time facing the Crusaders.