PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/22/2015 – The Miami Hurricanes visited the Palestra and showed why they are ranked #13/16 in the nation as they defeated the La Salle Explorers 95 – 49. It was the fourth straight loss for the La Salle, and the fifth straight win for Miami who just better.
“We did everything we hoped to do and did it at a very high level,” said Miami Coach Jim Larranaga. “I was impressed with my players and how well they focused on the little things. And we caught La Salle on a bad night.”
The Canes established control of the game early. Miami went into the locker room with a 40 – 22 lead. If La Salle had ideas about a comeback, those hopes were squelched as the Hurricanes started the second half scoring the first nine points. Miami shot 53.1% from the floor, had 17 assists on baskets, committed 8 turnovers, and had a 51 – 24 rebound margin. The points in the pain advantage was 50 – 20.
The 46-point defeat for La Salle was the largest loss margin in program history. The previous mark of 42-points came on December 15, 1945 when CCNY beat the Explorers 94 – 52. Coach Dr. John Giannini feels the problem was not in this game, but within the structure of how he built the team.
“I didn’t give them the depth, help, and overall talent it needs,” Giannini said. “When you don’t put together a team properly there is no fixing it.”
Ivan CruzUceda led all scorers with 20 points. Center Tonye Jekiri registered a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Sheldon McClellan led the team with 14 points and 6 assists, and forward Kamari Murphy pulled down 10 boards. Angel Rodriguez added 11 points.
Philadelphian and Neumann-Goretti graduate Ja’Quan Newton returned to the Palestra and scored 10 points while adding 3 assists.
“It was emotional,” said Newton. “When I came out of the game there were a lot of people cheering for me which was emotional.”
La Salle (4 – 5) shot just 29.8% for the game. No player broke double-figures. Johnnie Schuler led the team with 9 points and 5 assists. Tony Washington grabbed 10 boards.
The Explorers will get back in action on December 31 when they visit Florida Gulf Coast University. Atlantic 10 play start on January 3 when La Salle hosts UMass at The Gola Arena.
“We are going to keep fighting and try to get better,” said Giannini.
Written By: Glenn Papazian