PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Hurricanes are having a strong season, gradually making their way up the Top 25.
No. 13 Miami (Fla.) faces its next-to-last test before beginning ACC play when it visits La Salle at Philadelphia’s historic Palestra on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes are riding a four-game winning streak while the Explorers have lost three in a row.
Charleston made things interesting against Miami on Saturday, trailing just 43-40 early in the second half before the Hurricanes upped the tempo to outscore the Cougars 42-23 down the stretch for an 85-63 win.
As has been the case all season, Miami’s depth paid dividends with reserve sophomore point guard Ja’Quan Newton recording a career-high 20 points and 6-7 freshman forward Anthony Lawrence going 3-for-3 on 3-point shots while scoring 11.
You can bet Newton will be ready for this game as he attended Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti High School, leading his team to the Catholic League title as a senior and finishing his career as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 1,972 points.
La Salle will be facing its second straight ranked foe, having lost its most recent game 76-47 to Villanova, which was ranked No. 6 at the time and is currently No. 17.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
ABOUT MIAMI (9-1): Defending the Hurricanes is no easy task with all 10 scholarship players having reached double figures at least once and with six of them, paced by leading scorer Sheldon McClellan (16.5 points a game) at 57.6 percent, shooting at least 50 percent from the floor.
With two outstanding point guards in Angel Rodriguez (12.5 points, 4.1 assists) and Newton (11.9, 2.9), who often are on the floor together, the team is assured of offensive continuity for 40 minutes.
Since 6-8 redshirt junior forward Kamari Murphy has joined 7-footer Tonye Jekiri as a starter in the front court, getting to the rim has been more difficult for Miami’s foes.
ABOUT LA SALLE (4-4): The Explorers’ offense revolves around 6-5 redshirt junior guard Jordan Price, who is one of the nation’s top scorers at 24.6 per game.
LaSalle’s top three scorers – Price, who is shooting 50.8 percent from the floor including 47.5 percent from 3-point range, 6-6 junior Cleon Roberts (11.9 points) and 5-11 Johnnie Shuler (10.5) – are all guards and have combined for 44 steals on the defensive end of the floor.
The team’s fourth-leading scorer, 6-10 sophomore forward Tony Washington (6.8), also has contributed on defense with 2.5 blocks per contest.
- La Salle is 6-0 against Miami at home (9-6 overall), but the last time the teams met in Philadelphia was in 1970.
- Although Newton’s high school team won the Catholic League title his senior year, La Salle sophomore Amar Stukes scored 19 points to help LaSalle College High end Newton’s Neumann-Goretti’s four-year league winning streak.
- In Jim Larranaga’s 150 games as Miami coach, his team has scored 85 or more points 18 times with seven of those coming already this season.
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