Tyrone Garland Impresses In First Gola Arena Game
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/20/2012 – It was as wild and frenetic a game as seen, especially in the first half. The teams ran up and down the floor, put up shots, and just kept it going. Miss a shot, no problem, another one was coming in a few seconds. It was reminiscent of the Paul Westhead Go Philosophy. Maybe it was fitting that it happened at LaSalle where Westhead once coached. Once the game settled in the second half, the LaSalle Explorers established control. At the end the Explorers got an 88 – 74 victory over the Iona Gaels at the Gola Arena.
In the first half both teams put up a total of 80 shots. Iona led at halftime 49 – 45. Senior guard Ramon Galloway did most of the scoring getting 21 points which was his game total. Once the second half began LaSalle and Iona were moving back and forth, but LaSalle seemed to gain some semblance of order.
“I was uncomfortable early in the second half,” said LaSalle Coach John Giannini. “They were letting us shoot, and it’s hard to tell players not to shoot. We missed and were tempted to play at their pace. I told the team we’ll take quick layups, not quick threes.”
As the latter stanza progressed Junior transfer guard Tyrone Garland, who was making his Gola Arena debut, began to make his mark. With thirteen minutes to play and LaSalle leading 59 – 56 Garland made a steal and layup to give his team a five point cushion. That basket started a run of 14 consecutive Explorer points scored by Garland over a four plus minute span. Garland had two three-pointers in the run. Once his run was completed LaSalle was in front by a 73 – 66 margin.
“It was good being back home in front of friends and family,” Garland said of his homecoming. “I want to thank my teammates for being there for me today. Obviously I started of making a house (of bricks), but they told me to keep shooting and the nerves calmed down.”
As the game progressed the pace seemed to take more of a toll on Iona. The Gaels scored 6 more points over the last 7:25 of the game. Meanwhile LaSalle put up 14 points. Garland finished the game with a game and career-high 26 points, 19 in the second half. Galloway posted a double-double with a career-high in assists with 10.
“In the second half I didn’t want to force anything,” said Galloway. “I felt the shots in the first half were all in the flow. In the second half I was looking for my teammates and they were wide open. They were doing a great job of cutting and getting open.”
For the game each team hoisted 71 shots each, LaSalle made 36 (50.7%) while Iona converted 31 of their attempts (43.7%). LaSalle out rebounded Iona 43 – 39 with Sophomore center Steve Zack pulling down 10. Sophomore forward Jerrell Wright and Senior guard Tyreek Duren each scored 13 points.
The 1,402 in attendance saw a blistering fast game. The crowd also saw a new player come to the floor which can make 7 – 2 LaSalle deeper, more versatile, and better. The Explorers withstood the challenge, withstood the fatigue, and came out ahead.
“We took their best shot in the first half, and they took our best shot in the second half,” said Galloway.
Written By: Glenn Papazian