La Salle Explorers

La Salle's B.J. Johnson will return for senior season

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La Salle's B.J. Johnson will return for senior season

La Salle forward B.J. Johnson will return for his senior season with the Explorers. 

Johnson had previously declared for the NBA draft, but did not hire an agent, which allowed him to test the process and return. 

"B.J. received great feedback from exploring his NBA potential," head coach Dr. John Giannini said in a release from the team. 

"He is extremely focused and motivated to improve himself and our team to reach his highest goals. He had interest to workout for several teams. However, he has some minor health issues from last season that would be best to take care of now to maximize his preparations for next season. He has decided to take that route and it bodes well for him and our team."

Johnson was a first-team Big 5 selection last season after leading the Explorers in points (17.6 per game) and rebounds (6.3). He became the 30th player in school history to score 500-plus points in a single season. 

"My goal is to play the game I love professionally," Johnson said in a statement on March 23, when he declared for the draft. "This decision will give me the opportunity to test myself, better myself and receive important feedback in pursuit of this goal."

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.

La Salle falls apart down stretch in loss to Towson in Ireland

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La Salle falls apart down stretch in loss to Towson in Ireland

BOX SCORE

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Zane Martin scored 20 points, Mike Morsell added 17 and Towson outscored La Salle 9-2 in the last 2 minutes on Friday for a 67-60 win in the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.

The Tigers (7-1), who have won seven straight, face Manhattan in Saturday's championship game while the Explorers (4-4) meet Holy Cross. This is the first time regular season college games have been played in Europe.

There were 11 ties and 13 lead changes and neither team had a double figure lead.

Pookie Powell, who had 13 points, pulled La Salle into a tie at 58 with a free throw with 3:01 to play. Eddie Keith II answered with a reverse layup for the Tigers and then Brian Starr had a shot-clock beating deep 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 63-58 with 1:13 to play.

B.J. Johnson, who led the Explorers with 24 points and nine rebounds, hit a baseline jumper with 54.3 seconds to play but that was La Salle's only basket in six attempts in the final 2:21. Martin sealed the game with four free throws in the final 22 seconds.

The Sport Changes Life Foundation and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference partnered with the Hall of Fame to put the tournament together.