As Ramon Galloway goes, so do La Salle Explorers

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La Salle's Ramon Galloway is the team's lone senior and he is playing like winning really matters. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

AROUND THE CITY

LA SALLE STILL ROLLING

La Salle (9-2) went to Albany, N.Y., led all the way and crushed Siena, 80-52. Siena (2-11) is not very good, but La Salle has been playing against itself lately and winning that game as well.

The Explorers were 13-for-28 from the arc. They had nine steals and eight blocks. And they got 22 from the sizzling Ramon Galloway. In his last five games, Galloway is 19-for-34 from the three-point line.

Can La Salle be a factor in a loaded Atlantic 10? Absolutely.

When they put four guards on the floor, which they will do often, they will be a matchup nightmare for defenses.

Galloway is the team's lone senior and he is playing like winning really matters. Whatever the game demands is what he is doing. Yes, he can score in a variety of ways, but a pretty good case could be made that he is the best on-ball defender in the city.

PENN PLAYERS BACK, RESULT UNCHANGED

Five Penn players were suspended for the game at Delaware on Dec. 21. They had been practicing. They dressed for the game and sat on the bench. All five were back for the game at Wagner, a 68-63 overtime loss.

The players were Miles Cartwright, Henry Brooks, Steve Rennard, Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry. The suspensions were termed a "violation of team rules."

Everybody knew this was going to be a rebuilding year for Penn, but still 2-9 is never going to be acceptable on 33rd Street.

Cartwright had 19 points against Wagner (6-5). Freshman guard Jamal Lewis had 16. Penn's leading scorer and rebounder Fran Dougherty did not play due to mononucleosis.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY

THE STORY IN KENTUCKY

Louisville was supposed to beat Kentucky. It was not easy, but there was little doubt about the better team even though the 'Ville won by only three points. The Cardinals led, 51-34, with 14 minutes left before UK made a nice run late that never really looked like it was going to get there.

Louisville got a combined 60 points from its three stars, Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Chane Behanan.

Kentucky's play suggested its freshmen are indeed getting better. The Wildcats shot 10-for-21 from the arc, which was great, but just 11-for-23 from the foul line, which was not great.

If there is a concern for Louisville, it is erratic long-range shooting. Not an issue against Kentucky as the Cards took just seven treys, making three.

NUMBERS THAT WON'T LOSE

In its win over Central Michigan, Michigan shot 51.5 percent, made 11 threes, had 21 assists and three turnovers.

THE DUKE NUMBERS

Duke shot 33 free throws to 15 for Santa Clara. Where was Steve Nash? Even Nash wasn't getting to the line at Cameron.

QUOTABLE

After Santa Clara gave his unbeaten team a good run, Mike Krzyzewski said: "We're going to keep playing teams where our game is their season. That's something that most people never, ever compete against, where you're always competing against somebody's best. At Duke, a lot of teams have free money against us because the story is not us winning, the story is us losing, and that's the way it's been for 25 years."

THE GONZAGA STORY

Mark Few's team is 112-8 at McCarthey Athletic Center. This season, Gonzaga is 4-0 against the Big 12 with a game Monday at Oklahoma State.

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

You saw a great one if you stayed up past midnight Friday into Saturday, when UCLA beat Missouri, 97-94, in overtime at Pauley Pavilion.

It was wonderful to hear Bill Walton back on ESPN. Love his enthusiasm, his reverence for history and his rapport with the modern player.

Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad had 27 points and is looking every bit the star he was touted to be.

THE THIEVES

VCU had a crazy 20 steals in 96-67 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The Rams have 172 steals in 13 games. Get ready for the swarm, Atlantic 10.

THE UPSET

Towson, a 16-point underdog, trailed by 19 points with 15 minutes left at Oregon State, which was unbeaten at home and had lost by just six to Kansas. Towson won the game in OT, 67-66, on a very late jumper by Marcus Damas. Towson, 1-31 last season, is now 5-8.

MOST EFFICIENT PLAYER

Has to be Creighton's Doug McDermott, who got 29 points on just 15 shots against Evansville. He also had 10 rebounds.

RIGHT TIME FOR A BIG ONE

Illinois sophomore Tracy Abrams had two 20-point games in 1 1/2 seasons. He got a career-best 27 in his team's two-point win over Auburn.

DJ'S TOP 15

1. Duke (12-0): Seth Curry had 31 points as Blue Devils eased away from Santa Clara, 90-77.

2. Louisville (12-1): Beat Kentucky by a-not-as-close-as-it-sounds 80-77.

3. Michigan (12-0): Point guard Trey Burke had 22 points 11 assists and 1 turnover in 88-73 win over Central Michigan.

4. Kansas (11-1): Never gave American a chance in 89-57 win. Made 13 of first 18 threes and shot 63 percent for the game. Temple will be at Allen Field House on Sunday.

5. Indiana (12-1): Crushed Jacksonville Friday night, 93-59. Very interesting Big Ten opener Monday at dangerous Iowa.

6. Arizona (12-0): Won the Diamond Head Classic with a 68-67 win over San Diego State in last Tuesday's championship game.

7. Missouri (10-2): Lost a classic Friday night at UCLA, 97-94, in overtime. The amazing Phil Pressey had 19 points and 19 assists in defeat. Really, 19 and 19? Who does that? I remember nobody.

8.Illinois (13-1): Held on to beat Auburn, 81-79, at the United Center. Been a revelation in nonconference, but wonder if style will hold up in brutal Big Ten.

9.Butler (10-2): Went to Vanderbilt's venerable Memorial Gym and suffocated the Commodores, 68-49. Bulldogs are going to be a nightmare in their first Atlantic 10 season.

10.Gonzaga (12-1): Beat Baylor, 94-87, on Friday night. Both teams shot better than 50 percent. The Zags' Kevin Pangos made seven threes and scored 31 points.

11.Pittsburgh (12-1): Starts the Big East season Monday at noon against Cincinnati, which finally lost its first game, a one pointer to one-loss New Mexico on Thursday.

12.Ohio State (10-2): Could not make a shot against Kansas. Hardly missed in 87-44 win over Chicago State.

13.Minnesota (12-1): Nice Big Ten home opener against Michigan State Monday afternoon.

14.Creighton (12-1): Overwhelmed Evansville, 87-70. Shot 12-for-24 from the arc.

15.Florida (9-2): Shot nearly 54 percent to get back on track with 78-61 over a pretty solid Air Force team.