It’s been over two decades since La Salle has sat alone atop the Big 5 throne. Thursday night, the Explorers will have the opportunity to claim that spot for the first time since the 1989-90 season, as they take on Temple at the Liacouras Center:
La Salle (18-6, 8-3 A-10, 3-0 Big 5) at Temple (17-8, 6-5, 2-1)
7 p.m., Liacouras Center, CBS Sports Network
La Salle won its fourth straight game, this one a huge 76-64 victory over St. Joe’s at the Palestra. Tyreek Duren led the way for the Explorers with a career-high 29 points. La Salle shot a lethal 62 percent from the floor, including an unprecedented 10 for 16 (63 percent) from beyond the arc.
In their fifth straight one-point game, the Owls took a much-needed 83-82 road victory at Massachusetts behind 17 second-half points from Khalif Wyatt. Temple’s go-to guy totaled 24 for the game. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson notched a double-double for the Owls with 10 points and 11 boards.
Ramon Galloway, the third-leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 (17.3 ppg), is the conference’s reigning Player of the Week. Duren is also hot. In addition to dropping 29 points on the Hawks, he has reached double-digit points in six of his last seven games.
Wyatt is not only the best player on his team but also arguably the best in his conference, as he leads the way averaging 19.8 points per game. He dishes out an average of 4.0 assists and grabs 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals. And don’t forget about Anthony Lee, who’s constantly a threat to put up a double-double. The 6-foot-9 big man records 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Keep an eye on ...
La Salle’s three-point shooting. The Explorers have drained 48 in their last four contests, shooting 48 for 99 (48 percent) over that span. La Salle is 9-1 this season when making at least nine treys.
Temple holds a large advantage in the series, 72-40. The Owls have won seven in a row over the Explorers.
Drexel (11-15, 7-7 CAA) at Delaware (14-13, 9-5 CAA)
7 p.m., Carpenter Center
Drexel's defense showed up in a big way vs. Hofstra, allowing just five field goals in the first half as the Dragons ended their four-game homestand with a 63-54 victory. Thursday's contest is the start of a three-game road test for the Dragons, who will have to improve their field goal percentage after shooting a measly 38 percent from the floor on Monday.
The Blue Hens have kept it interesting late in their last three games, all decided by a total of five points. They are 2-1 in those games, but are coming off a one-point loss to James Madison on Sunday.
Tonight's matchup could be a dual of dynamic guards as Drexel's Damion Lee and Delaware's Jarvis Threatt are both hot entering this contest.
After a lull that saw him score 16 total points in February's first three games, Lee has found his scoring stroke in his last two games with 16 and 17, respectively.
Threatt is averaging 15.5 points and 8.3 rebounds over his last four starts. The guard scored 20 points and pulled in 10 rebounds in a 76-74 overtime win vs. Northeastern on Feb. 13 and added 12 points in Sunday's loss to JMU.
Keep an eye on ...
Delaware's Devon Saddler needs just 15 points to move into sole possession of fourth place on the Blue Hens' career points list. Saddler powered into fifth place on the list with 20 points vs. JMU Sunday. He has scored in double digits in 33 straight contests.
The Blue Hens lead the all-time series with the Dragons, 75-72, including a 66-64 win on Jan. 28. In that contest, Delaware held a 15-point lead with 4:22 to go when Drexel rallied off nine unanswered points to cut the deficit to six with under three minutes remaining. Delaware would make just enough free throws to force Drexel into a desperation half-court heave with 2.5 seconds remaining, which Frantz Massenat missed as time expired.