TOWSON, Md. - It's been a very long time since La Salle played this well. Just how good were the Explorers last night?
They won by 38 points - their widest margin since Feb. 22, 1990, the night Lionel Simmons eclipsed 3,000 points. And they didn't allow their overmatched opponent a shot - let alone a point - for nearly the first 3 minutes of the game.
The Explorers' fourth straight win, 89-51, in front of 648 at Towson Center, was certainly an easy one. Now, La Salle (6-3) gets to host Army on Saturday before taking 8 days off for exams.
It's the longest winning streak for the Explorers since they won five straight from Feb. 13-27, 2008.
The 401st career win for coach John Giannini was even easier than his 400th, a 26-point victory over Bucknell last Saturday.
"I don't like the word 'dominant,' " Giannini said. "I thought we played really hard and played really well. Our defensive effort was great, and our players were very unselfish."
Sam Mills led La Salle with 18 points, one off his career high. He was 5-for-7 from three-point range. Earl Pettis had 15, all in the first half. The five starters scored in double figures for the first time all season.
The Explorers scored the first 13 points, and built a 17-2 lead in the first 6 minutes. Towson (0-8) never made it closer than 34-23 the rest of the half. The Explorers led at halftime, 48-28. By then, Pettis and Mills had combined for one more than the Tigers.
"It starts with pressure," Pettis said. "A lot of teams don't like pressure, and they get rattled."
In the second half, Ramon Galloway, who had three points at halftime, hit two layups in the first minute and two three-pointers for a 66-39 lead with 13:27 to play.
Galloway finished with 15 points. Tyreek Duren added 12. Freshman forward Jerrell Wright had 11, 10 in the second half.
The biggest second-half cheer came when senior walk-on forward Matt Sheehan scored La Salle's final two points - his only career points - with 1:34 to play.
La Salle made a season-high 14 three-pointers and shot 53.2 percent, 51.9 percent on threes, both season bests.
"If you're going to be a good team, you've got to be good all the time," Giannini said. "We think that every opponent should be treated like they're the No. 1 team in the country."
The sad-sack Tigers are much closer to the worst team in the nation than the best. They lost their 27th straight. Their last win came nearly a year ago, on Dec. 29, when they defeated La Salle, 93-90, in overtime at Tom Gola Arena.
The Explorers play at Delaware on Dec. 19, and begin Atlantic 10 play on Jan. 4 against Xavier.