"We had guys play more the way we're used to seeing them play. More the way we want to see them play," Giannini said. "We were much better."
Giannini's list of those playing better began with Tyrone Garland, who was back in a role he excelled at last season: coming off the bench.
Garland, who entered 4 minutes, 13 seconds into the first half, led La Salle with 17 points.
"I think Tyrone has played a little better off the bench," Giannini said. "We give the other team more headaches by bringing some talented, really explosive guys off the bench."
Wednesday, that included Khalid Lewis, who had nine points.
Garland had started six of the team's seven games this season, and he came in leading the Explorers in scoring at 16.9 points per game. He started just once last year during La Salle's run to the Sweet 16.
"Whatever works for the team, I'm in," Garland said. "I'm pretty comfortable with that [substitute] role."
What worked early in the second half was the inside game.
La Salle's first 13 points of the half came from forwards either inside or at the line. Steve Zack scored eight of his 15 points during the stretch, and the Explorers opened up a 12-point lead.
"You do whatever's working," Zack said. "And both Jerrell [Wright] and I felt we had an advantage down there early, so we really attacked it."
Mark Nwakamma led Hartford with 23 points.