HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Jordan Price pumped his fist toward the crowd and took off his trademark headband. His work on Long Island was done for the day. Soon he'll be tasked with leading La Salle through the treacherous Atlantic 10 schedule.
Price scored 28 points and tied his season high with seven assists, Cleon Roberts added 18 points and La Salle earned an 83-74 win at Hofstra yesterday.
The Explorers (7-5), who shot a season-high 59 percent from the field, have won three of their last four - with all three wins coming on the road - after a four-game losing streak.
"For us to get wins out of our state and out of our gym, it's just great for us and our chemistry," said Price, a redshirt sophomore who is in his first season with La Salle after transferring from Auburn.
Price shot 10-for-17 from the field and 5-for-9 from three-point range, and he has scored at least 20 points in six games this season, including three straight. But head coach John Giannini thinks the best part of his game is his defense.
"The last thing I talk about is his scoring," Giannini said. "I leave that up to you guys [the media]. Because scoring is talent, and he's a very talented guy. But if you score on one end and give up a basket on the other end, it doesn't matter at all. What he's doing is becoming a better player - he's playing defense, he's passing the ball."
Roberts reached his season high in points by shooting 4-for-6 from three-point range. The Georgia Southern transfer was making his third straight start in place of senior D.J. Peterson, who's out with an ankle injury.
Imhotep Charter product Ameen Tanksley, who transferred from Niagara when Mihalich left the school to coach at Hofstra, led the Pride (7-4) with 23 points. His three-pointer with 16 minutes, 40 seconds left in the second half closed La Salle's lead to 50-49, but Jerrell Wright (13 points, 10 rebounds) had layups on three straight possessions to make it 56-49.
Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich is a 1978 La Salle alumnus and served as an Explorers assistant coach from 1981-98. He helped the team to two NCAA Tournaments as a player and five as a coach.
La Salle wraps up the nonconference portion of its schedule Tuesday night with a home game against Big 5 rival Penn.
Asked whether his team is ready for the A-10 slate, Price replied, "I feel like we're getting into the mode."