Explorers ease past Fordham
La Salle's basketball team showed no rust after a week off from action. In fact, the Explorers were in record-tying form when it came to shooting.
The Explorers equaled a school record for three-point field goals in a game with 18 during Saturday's 89-53 Atlantic Ten rout of Fordham at Tom Gola Arena.
O.J. Lewis tied the record, hitting the Explorers' 18th three-pointer with 5 minutes, 6 seconds left in the game. The Explorers (16-6, 6-3 A-10), who were 18 for 33 from beyond the arc, missed two three-point attempts after that.
"Things are contagious in life," said La Salle coach John Giannini, whose team continued a run at its first NCAA tournament appearance since the 1991-92 season.
In this case, the players all caught the shooting bug. La Salle made its first eight threes. The ringleader was junior guard Sam Mills, known more as one of the defensive leaders.
Mills entered the game shooting 28.4 percent from beyond the arc, but he hit a career-high seven three-pointers in eight attempts while scoring a career-high 21 points.
"I have been struggling a little bit, and it's good to see the ball go in," Mills said.
The Explorers previous hit 18 threes in a game vs. Loyola Marymount on Dec. 31, 1990, and against Oregon on Dec. 28, 1991.
Point guard Tyreek Duren scored 16 points and was 5 for 5 from the field, while sinking all four three-point attempts. Fellow guard Ramon Galloway had 19 points and hit 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Tyrone Garland scored 17 points off the bench.
La Salle had not played since last Saturday's 80-71 win at George Washington.
"The time off gave us the opportunity to get in the gym and shoot, and we took advantage of it," Galloway said.
Fordham (6-18, 2-7) fell to 0-12 on the road.
La Salle had all its starters out of the game before the midway point of the second half. With one final chance to break the three-point mark, the Explorers purposely ran out the shot clock on their last offensive possession.
"The record was not a big deal, clearly; I didn't even know about it," Giannini said. "I don't think anybody else did either."
They know now.
"It feels great," Mills said. "I feel as long as we keep shooting the ball like that and keep playing like a team, they will continue to go in."
Contact Marc Narducci at email@example.com or @sjnard on Twitter.