PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/28/2018 – It was Senior Night for the La Salle Explorers, always an emotional night. One of the honorees was Explorers forward B.J. Johnson. In his last game at the Gola Arena Johnson had a remarkable 29 point and 23 rebound performance against nationally ranked Rhode Island. In this game Johnson scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the Explorers 71 – 55 win over the Dayton Flyers in a real team win.
“Our team played great,” said La Salle Coach Dr. John Giannini. “I know these guys like each other, they care about each other and they played for each other tonight, and it showed from the beginning.”
Also celebrated before the game was guard Amar Stukes, Tony Washington, and Johnnie Shuler. The foursome combined for 46 points, 19 rebounds, and 29 assists. Shuler did not score, but contributed to the offense by handing out a career-high 11 assists in a career-best 29 minutes. Stukes had 5 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals, giving a bit of everything. Washington posted 14 points and 5 rebounds. Underclassman Jamir Moultrie had 13 points.
“All of the seniors played well,” Giannini said. “Amar had a typical Amar Stukes game and played great defense. Tony had a great game, B.J. had a great game. Johnnie had 11 assists. Everyone contributed.”
La Salle made 28 of 51 field goal attempts, 8 of 21 from beyond the arc. Inside the home team had a 34 – 22 edge in points in the paint.
The guards got the assists, the forwards got the points. It was balanced.
“That is the balance that the coaches want,” said Shuler. “Move the ball around, and if you’re open, take the shot. Keep it simple.”
The Explorers established themselves on defense in the game holding Dayton to 19 of 48 shooting and 5 of 23 from deep.
With the win La Salle improves 13 – 17 overall, and are 7 – 10 in the Atlantic 10, same as Dayton. The Explorers are in a mix of teams with similar records. They can climb ahead of a few teams and go right to the conference quarterfinal round. But Coach is thinking one game at a time.
“I couldn’t care less as we just want to win every game, who we play, whenever we play,” said Giannini.
Written By: Glenn Papazian