La Salle holds off St. Bonaventure, 70-67

Posted: February 28, 2014

As the losses mounted, the confidence waned, which is why La Salle coach John Giannini couldn't emphasize how important it was for his team to have its recent fortunes change.

Point guard Tyreek Duren and forward Jerrell Wright each scored 18 points as the Explorers snapped a five-game losing streak with Wednesday's 75-67 win over St. Bonaventure in an Atlantic Ten game at Tom Gola Arena.

A season after advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, La Salle is 13-14 overall and 5-8 in the A-10, a scenario that few would have forecast with a team that returned four starters.

"Our confidence has been down," Giannini said. "Losing does that to you."

Conversely, a win against a St. Bonaventure team that earned a 66-51 home victory over La Salle on Jan. 22 can do wonders for that sagging confidence.

"This is a good win to build on, especially since it is near the end of the regular season," Duren said. "I think we can build on this and carry it over to the [A-10] tournament."

The Explorers, who also received 12 points each from guards Tyrone Garland and Sam Mills and nine points and eight rebounds from center Steve Zack, have three regular-season games remaining.

Entering the game shooting 39.9 percent from the field, La Salle shot 26 for 46 (56.5 percent).

La Salle also was 11th in the 13-team A-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.323). The Explorers promptly hit their first seven three-pointers, before cooling off and ending the game 7 for 13.

With La Salle leading by 70-67, Wright went to the foul line to shoot a one-and-one with 29.7 seconds left. The Bonnies (16-12, 6-8) purposely fouled Wright since he had missed five of his first six free throws.

Wright hit 1 of 2 foul shots. The Bonnies finished the game with three missed shots and a turnover, and La Salle had renewed confidence.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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