B.J. Johnson

La Salle tests No. 11 Miami but falls to 3rd straight loss

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La Salle tests No. 11 Miami but falls to 3rd straight loss

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READING, Pa. — Prized freshman Lonnie Walker IV struggled in his return home, but Dewan Huell scored 16 points and No. 11 Miami did just enough to get by La Salle 57-46 on Wednesday night and remain unbeaten.

Part of Miami's recruiting pitch for the projected NBA lottery pick was a game in his hometown. Walker was held to five points and 2-of-8 shooting, and his woes were contagious. Miami (4-0) shot 37 percent from the field and the Explorers were 0 of 15 from 3-point range.

B.J. Johnson scored 16 points on 6-of-20 shooting and Pookie Powell added 15 on 5-of-15 from the field for La Salle (3-3) in its third straight loss.

La Salle traveled about 60 miles from campus, but it was a Miami home game and the crowd was solidly behind their local hero's team. Walker has provided a needed boost to a struggling city northwest of Philadelphia.

Once a bustling railroad and mill town of 120,000, Reading has been in a steady decline for decades. It ranked as the poorest city in the nation in the 2010 Census based on median household income. Population has plummeted to under 88,000.

Walker and his Reading High School team had given the city something to be proud of in March, winning its first state title.

Many in the crowd wore red Reading High state champion T-shirts and sweatshirts, with sprinkles of Miami orange and La Salle blue and gold sprinkled in.

Walker didn't start — he hasn't yet this season — but the crowd roared as he got off the bench and walked to the scorer's table 4 minutes in.

While Walker didn't appear to have any issue with the left ankle he turned in a win over Florida A&M last week, it was a struggle. He missed his first three shots before finally bringing the crowd to its feet with a nifty crossover dribble and bank shot in the lane in the final seconds of an ugly first half that made it 19-19.

Walker couldn't get it going in the second half, either. But he fed Bruce Brown Jr. for a 3-pointer with 3:23 left to put Miami up 49-39 during an 8-0 run.

Huell hit 8 of10 shots and added seven rebounds.

Big picture
La Salle: The Explorers dropped their third straight game to a Power 5 team (Northwestern, Boston College), but this was one they could have won with a decent shooting performance. They shot 29 percent from the field.

Miami: It was tough to tell if Walker was 100 percent with his ankle. He likely had some nerves. It was far from the performance he would have liked. Walker has been held to single digits in three straight games.

Up next
La Salle hosts Big 5 rival Temple on Sunday before departing for a two-game tournament in Northern Ireland next week.

Miami returns home to face North Florida on Saturday before traveling to No. 14 Minnesota next Wednesday.

La Salle suffers 1st loss to No. 20 Northwestern

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La Salle suffers 1st loss to No. 20 Northwestern

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Bryant McIntosh scored 21 points and Scottie Lindsey added 20 to lead No. 20 Northwestern to an 82-74 win over La Salle in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday.

The Wildcats (3-1) advance to play Texas Tech in Sunday's championship. Northwestern has not won an in-season tournament since the 2013 South Padre Island Invitational.

Derek Pardon added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats. Aaron Falzon chipped in 11 points.

Northwestern made 12 of 21 3-point attempts and shot 56 percent from the field.

After suffering its first loss of the season to Creighton, 92-88 on Wednesday, Northwestern struggled early against the Explorers (3-1). Tied 13-13, the Wildcats loosened up with a 9-1 run that was capped by Lindsey's layup at 9:38 to make it 22-14.

Northwestern dominated inside and out in the first half on the way to a 46-24 lead.

B.J. Johnson led La Salle with 22 points.

B.J. Johnson's big night helps La Salle avoid collapse to South Alabama

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B.J. Johnson's big night helps La Salle avoid collapse to South Alabama

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B.J. Johnson had 30 points and 10 rebounds to help La Salle beat South Alabama 81-73 on Thursday night.

La Salle led 65-44 midway through the second half until South Alabama scored 14 straight. Johnson ended the run with a put-back basket to make it 67-58 with 7:03 left.

Rodrick Sikes pulled South Alabama within 78-73 but Amar Stukes answered with a 3-pointer with 1:04 left.

La Salle (3-0) opened the game with 10 unanswered points and led 47-27 at halftime. Johnson scored nine of La Salle's first 18 points as it held a 10-point lead. He had 22 points and six rebounds at the break.

Johnson, coming off a 20-point and career-high 14-rebound performance, had his third straight double-double. Isiah Deas added 15 points, and Saul Phiri had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Explorers held their previous two opponents to below 35 percent shooting but the Jaguars were 26-of-55 shooting.

Jordan Andrews made four 3-pointers and scored 20 points for South Alabama (1-2), which played La Salle for the first time in program history. Sikes added 17 points, Herb McGee had 12, and Josh Ajayi 10.