La Salle led from start to finish, and often by a lot, in a 74-60 rout of Wagner on Wednesday at Tom Gola Arena.
The Explorers (7-3) jumped out to a 13-4 lead within the first five minutes, led 37-21 at halftime, and kept the margin there or higher for most of the second half.
It wasn’t too surprising of a result: Wagner (2-7) entered the night No. 330 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, out of 353 teams in Division I. (La Salle was No. 148.)
Keys to the game
La Salle held Wagner to 7-of-23 shooting from three-point range, including 0-for-11 in the first half.
The Explorers weren’t great from the field either, though: 20-of-53 overall and 9-of-29 from beyond the arc.
Scott Spencer led La Salle with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Sherif Kenney and Isiah Deas each added 13 points, and Christian Ray grabbed 10 rebounds. Alex Morales was Wagner’s top scorer with 17 points.
“I don’t know how good this team can be. I don’t think anybody does. The one thing I do know is that we’re not even close to being as good as we can be.” — La Salle coach Ashley Howard
“Coach Howard talks a lot about human nature. When you get a lead, a lot of times it’s human nature to ease off. … When we get in timeouts, Coach Howard tells us that we’ve just got to keep going.” — Explorers guard Christian Ray on the players’ mentality during the second half.
After not playing in Saturday’s win over Morgan State due to a sprained ankle, leading big man Ed Croswell returned to action and played just over 16 minutes. He recorded six points and five rebounds.
This was believed to be the first time two former Drexel players faced each other as Division I head coaches: Howard and Wagner’s Bashir Mason, a Dragons star from 2003-07. The two men were roommates when Mason was a freshman and Howard was a senior.
The Explorers have two nonconference games left: Saturday vs. Fairleigh Dickinson at home and Dec. 28 against Bucknell at the Palestra. Atlantic 10 play begins with a bang on Jan. 2: a home game against Dayton, currently ranked No. 13 in the AP top 25.