Andrew Albert (@andrewjalbert01)
La Salle could not get over a 12-point halftime deficit, and big games by Bucknell big men Mike Muscala and Joe Willman, as the Explorers fell to the Bison, 74-66, on Saturday night.
Bucknell’s frontcourt was outstanding, as both Muscala and Willman had 18 points on the night, with Muscala adding seven rebounds and Willman contributing 12 boards.
Bucknell (9-1) used a 14-0 run midway through the first half to jump out to a double-digit lead that they carried into halftime. The score at the break was 41-29 in favor of the home team.
La Salle (6-2) opened the second half on a 9-2 run to pull the 12-point halftime deficit back to a reasonable five-point hole with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game. A Tyreek Duren layup with 11:01 left in the game brought the score to 47-44, but Bucknell would respond with its own 16-5 spurt to push the game out of reach for the Explorers.
The Explorers’ leading scorer was Ramon Galloway, who had 21 points on the game, but on just 7-of-19 shooting. He did grab seven rebounds, and converted on all four of his free-throw attempts on the night.
Duren had another solid night for La Salle, totaling 14 points and three rebounds, but had just one assist. He was 5-for-11 from the field, and also made all four of his free-throw attempts. He was joined in the backcourt by Tyrone Garland for the first time this season. Garland had a decent showing for his first game of the season, scoring nine points and converting on two of his six shots on the night.
The Explorers were outmatched on the boards in this game, losing the rebounding battle 37-27. La Salle struggled on the glass in the first half also, much due to to Muscala and Willman, and were out-rebounded by a 23-15 margin.
La Salle’s forwards did not have nearly the good showing that Bucknell’s had. Jerrell Wright had 10 points on 5-of-12 shooting with six rebounds for the game. Steve Zack managed just two points and three rebounds.
Bucknell shot the ball well on the night, converting on exactly half (28-for-56) of its shots from the floor. The Bison also made half of their 3-point attempts, making four of the eight they tried. La Salle did not shoot the ball very well, making just 24 of its 62 shots (38.7 percent). The Explorers’ shots from behind the arc were not dropping nearly as much as usual, making just four of their 14 attempts.
The Bison were led by Muscala in the first half. The senior contributed 10 points, three rebounds and four assists in the first 20 minutes of play. He was joined by his frontcourt partner in crime, Willman, who also had 10 points in the first half. He also added seven rebounds and three assists.
The Explorers struggled offensively in the first half. As a team, they shot just 33.3 percent (11-for-33). They had a tough time from behind the arc, making just one of their seven attempts. Garland made an impact immediately off the bench, scoring six points in the first half for La Salle.
The Explorers next hit the court when they play Iona on December 20. The game will be at Tom Gola Arena on La Salle’s campus, and will tip off at 7p.m.