La Salle Explorers

La Salle releases full 2017-18 schedule

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La Salle releases full 2017-18 schedule

La Salle's full 2017-18 schedule is out and the Explorers are ready to travel.

The Atlantic 10 slate features tough road games at Rhode Island, Richmond and Davidson, while John Giannini's club will play a tip-off tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut, a December tournament in Northern Ireland and a home game in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The good thing: La Salle doesn't have to visit VCU or Dayton, two of the more difficult road stops in the conference.

The Explorers will also play all five of their City 6 foes.

La Salle, which finished 15-15 (9-9 A-10) last season, will be led by 6-foot-7 senior wing B.J. Johnson, a Syracuse transfer who averaged 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his first year with the Explorers.

Here's a look at La Salle's full schedule, which was released Wednesday:

Nov. 11: Saint Peter's

Nov. 13: at Penn

Nov. 16: vs. South Alabama

Nov. 18: vs. Northwestern*

Nov. 19: vs. Texas Tech/Boston College*

Nov. 22: vs. Miami**

Nov. 26: Temple

Dec. 1: vs. Towson***

Dec. 2: vs. Manhattan/Holy Cross***

Dec. 7: Drexel

Dec. 10: at Villanova (Wells Fargo Center)

Dec. 17: Mercer

Dec. 22: at Bucknell

Dec. 30: Saint Louis

Jan. 3: at Rhode Island

Jan. 6: vs. VCU

Jan. 10: at UMass

Jan. 13: at Duquesne

Jan. 17: Fordham

Jan. 20: at Richmond

Jan. 24: UMass

Jan. 31: at Davidson

Feb. 3: Saint Joseph's

Feb. 7: at George Washington

Feb. 10: at Saint Louis

Feb. 13: St. Bonaventure

Feb. 17: George Mason

Feb. 20: Rhode Island

Feb. 24: at Fordham

Feb. 28: Dayton

March 3: at Saint Joseph's

Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament*

Home game in Reading, Pennsylvania**

Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic***

Strong 1st half powers La Salle past Mercer

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Strong 1st half powers La Salle past Mercer

BOX SCORE

B.J. Johnson scored 25 points, Pookie Powell scored 24 and La Salle beat Mercer 95-85 on Sunday.

La Salle (6-6) made 16 of 29 3-pointers (55 percent) and were two made 3s away from the school record set on three occasions. The Explorers finished shooting 54 percent (31 of 57) overall.

Isiah Deas made back-to-back 3s, Johnnie Schuler added a 3 and Johnson scored the next seven points with a 3 and four free throws as the Explorers built an early 24-13 lead.

Ria'n Holland countered with back-to-back 3s and Stephon Jelks added one to reduce Mercer's deficit to 27-22, but La Salle broke it open with a 22-7 run to close the half and never looked back.

Johnnie Shuler scored 13 points and Saul Phiri and Isiah Deas each scored 11 for La Salle. Amar Stukes had 10 assists.

Holland scored a career-high 33 points -- was 6 of 9 from 3-point range -- and Jelks scored 22 for the Bears (6-5).

B.J. Johnson comes through in the clutch for La Salle

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B.J. Johnson comes through in the clutch for La Salle

BOX SCORE

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — B.J. Johnson scored 15 points, including two free throws with 1.7 seconds left, and La Salle held off Holy Cross 58-54 on Saturday in the consolation game of the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.

Pookie Powell, who had 13 points, hit two 3-pointers during an early 8-0 in the second half to give the Explorers (5-4) a 42-26 lead. But in the final 15 minutes, La Salle made just four more baskets and the Crusaders (2-5) charged back.

A 15-2 run, capped by a jumper by Jehyve Floyd with 2:25 to play, tied the game at 50. Johnson responded with his only 3-pointer in seven attempts to quickly put La Salle, which went 4 of 12, back on top. The Crusaders got a pair of free throws with 1:18 to go but Isiah Deas hit another La Salle 3 with 58 seconds remaining. Both teams missed opportunities before Patrick Benzan made a layup for Holy Cross with 3.2 seconds left before Johnson sealed the win.

Floyd led Holy Cross with 15 points and Benzan had 13, 11 in the second half.