La Salle's Tyreek Duren has been playing at a high level during the early portion of the schedule. That pattern continued with a career performance during Wednesday night's 82-57 win over visiting Penn State in a nonconference game at the Palestra.
Duren scored a career-high 29 points, shooting 9 of 13 from the field, 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, and 7 of 8 from the foul line.
"It felt good and felt like every shot was falling," the junior point guard said.
Duren's previous career high was 24 points last year against Villanova.
"We expect that from him and will continue to expect that from him," La Salle coach John Giannini said. "He is a wonderful player and is one of the best guards in America, and we like our guards as a group."
Guards Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills each scored 14 points for the Explorers. Galloway said it was the team's best performance of the season.
"Everybody was contributing, and we even had more emotion on the bench," Galloway said. "I guess it was the atmosphere, but as far as all-around play this was it."
La Salle is 5-1, while Penn State fell to 4-4.
This was a highly competitive game for more than a half.
Leading by 43-41 early in the second half, La Salle went on a 25-5 run, taking a 68-46 lead on D.J. Peterson's three-point field goal with 7 minutes, 34 seconds remaining.
For the game, La Salle shot 16 for 31 from three-point range (51.6 percent).
"At some point you just hoped they would stop making threes," said Penn State coach Pat Chambers, an Episcopal Academy and Philadelphia University graduate. "Give them credit, they hit their threes."
It was also a homecoming for Nittany Lions point guard D.J. Newbill, the product of Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion who is in his first season at Penn State after beginning his career at Southern Mississippi.
Newbill, a natural off-guard, has taken over at the point after all-Big Ten choice Tim Frazier suffered a season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon last month.
After going scoreless in the first half, Newbill scored 12 points in the second half.
He was one of the few effective players in the second half, when Penn State shot 9 for 27 form the field and 0 for 6 from beyond the arc.