La Salle

La Salle names Ashley Howard as new basketball coach

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Photo: La Salle University

La Salle names Ashley Howard as new basketball coach

La Salle didn't have to venture outside of the Big 5 to find its new basketball coach.

The university Sunday announced Villanova top assistant Ashley Howard has been hired as the Explorers' next head coach. Howard will be formally introduced in a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. 

"It's an honor and a privilege to be named the head coach at La Salle University," Howard said in a press release from the university. "I chose to coach at La Salle early in my career because of its incredible tradition in the Big 5, its dedication to athletic excellence and its commitment to its student-athletes.  To have the opportunity to return to campus and lead this storied basketball program — a program defined by greats such as Gola, Durrett, Brooks, Simmons and Butler — is one for which I'm deeply appreciative."

Howard, who attended Monsignor Bonner High and graduated from Drexel, began his coaching career in 2004 at La Salle as an assistant to Dr. John Giannini.

"As a former assistant coach here, we know firsthand that Ashley Howard is an exceptional coaching talent who has a deep understanding of both La Salle's basketball tradition and its important student-focused mission," La Salle director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation Bill Bradshaw said. "This is a university that holds character, integrity and commitment to that mission in the highest esteem, and our men's basketball coach has the unique responsibility of reflecting that on and off the court."

After four years with the Explorers, Howard returned to his alma mater in 2008 as an assistant coach for the Dragons until 2012, when he moved over to Xavier as an assistant. 

Following one season with Xavier, Howard returned to Philadelphia as an assistant on Jay Wright's staff, where he experienced two national championships.

"Ashley is an outstanding coach who made a great impact on our program and University in his five years with us," Wright said. "His passion for mentoring young men and teaching skill has been invaluable in our team's development. La Salle has made a terrific selection and all of us at Villanova are thrilled for Ashley, Ariana and Journey as they embark on this new phase of Ash's career."

Giannini's 14-year tenure with La Salle ended in late March when he and the university "mutually agreed to part ways."

La Salle gets quick hook in A-10 tourney

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La Salle gets quick hook in A-10 tourney

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON -- C.J. Anderson scored 21 points and Massachusetts held off La Salle 69-67 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.

No. 13 seed UMass (13-19) will face fifth-seeded George Mason (15-16) in a Thursday quarterfinal.

Pookie Powell's 3-point play gave La Salle its last lead, 62-61, before UMass pushed ahead to 68-67 with 44 seconds to play. La Salle's B.J. Johnson blocked Unique McLean's jumper with 14 seconds remaining, but Powell missed a jumper and a 3-pointer in the final eight seconds.

Luwane Pipkins added 15 points, Malik Hines had 14 and Carl Pierre 11 for the Minutemen. Anderson and Pipkens both shot 4 of 7 from long range.

Tony Washington scored 20 points to lead No. 12 seed La Salle (13-19). Johnson and Powell chipped in 18 points apiece.

B.J. Johnson goes out with bang in home finale

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B.J. Johnson goes out with bang in home finale

BOX SCORE

B.J. Johnson made his final start at home memorable, pumping in 27 points to lead La Salle to a 71-53 frolic over Dayton in the penultimate Atlantic 10 Conference game of the regular season Wednesday night.

The loss knocked the Flyers out of a tie with Richmond for the No. 8 seed and into a tie for the No. 9 seed with George Washington, Duquesne and LaSalle.

The Explorers honored four seniors in their final home game and each played a key role in the win. Tony Washington scored 14 points, Johnnie Shuler dished 11 assists and Amar Stukes added seven assists and made four steals.

La Salle (13-17, 7-10) took a 10-point lead in the first half, holding a 33-23 advantage at intermission, then opened the second half with a 13-5 run.

Trey Landers scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Dayton (13-16, 7-10), with Josh Cunningham and Jalen Crutcher each adding another 10 points.