Courtesy of La Salle University Athletics

La Salle heads to AC this weekend in search of first win

December 19, 2018 - 5:53 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The La Salle Explorers will play their first game in nearly two weeks on Friday night when they open a weekend in Atlantic City by taking on Alabama A & M as part of the Boardwalk Battle at Boardwalk Hall.

La Salle's last game was back on Saturday, December 8 when the Explorers lost at Gola Arena to Penn, 83-65.  

Head coach Ashley Howard talks about how they've utilized this extended break between games.

"We've gotten some quality practice time in," he said. "We've really been able to hone in on some of the things that we identified as things that we really need to improve upon."

That loss to the Quakers dropped the Explorers to 0-10 in Howard's first season as head coach. While they haven't gotten the results yet, Howard says they are working hard.

"We're sitting here now at 0-10 and our intensity for practice every day is the same way it's been, pretty much, since the first day of practice," he said. "It's upbeat, guys are positive, guys are continuing to believe in the process and we're getting better."

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The Explorers have been without leading scorer Pookie Powell the last three games because of an injury. But it looks like the graduate student guard's absence is coming to an end.

"He's practiced this week," Howard said. "So looking forward to having him back in the lineup. We're anticipating that we have Pookie at full strength heading down to Atlantic City."

Alabama A & M will also be searching for its first win on Friday night. The Bulldogs are 0-9.

"They are an athletic team that really plays hard and they really get after you on defense," Howard said. "They are a team that can make you look bad offensively because they get out and they overplay passing lanes and they are athletic so they can get up (on) you defensively and pressure the ball."

This will be one of two games Friday at Boardwalk Hall. The other will feature Tulane taking on Towson. The winners on Friday meet on Saturday in the championship game. Friday's losers will also meet on Saturday to battle for third place.

La Salle and Alabama A&M tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.