Jordan Price's 36 points and 12 rebounds were all La Salle needed to knock off Duquesne in opening round of Atlantic 10 tournament, as Explorers won going away, 88-73. (Photo courtesy of City of Basketball Love)
BROOKLYN -- Jordan Price's 36 points and 12 rebounds provided more than enough fuel for La Salle to win their Atlantic 10 tournament opener, as the 14th-seeded Explorers (9-21) pulled away from Duquesne (16-16) for a convincing 88-73 victory on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
With the win, the Explorers will face Davidson at 9 p.m. Thursday evening in the second round, with the winner of that game to meet St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals on Friday.
"We played like a team that wanted to play again tomorrow," said head coach Dr. John Giannini. "We played like a team that did not want to get on a bus and go back home, and I thought, mentally, we were really determined today."
"This week is not for personal goals," said Price whose 36 points rank as the fourth-highest single game total in A-10 tournament history. "It's for the team goal, and that's to go out and win a championship. This week is for my team, that's it. That's all I'm focused on."
At 16-16, Duquesne is left to ponder their postseason options, something that is still very much on the table for a Dukes squad that made strides under fourth-year head coach Jim Ferry.
"If we get invited to a postseason tournament, we're going to play in it," he said. "I think we should. These kids fought hard, they've earned it. It's an opportunity to keep working with your team, an opportunity to reward the seniors for rebuilding a program that was at rock bottom."
Micah Mason led Duquesne with 26 points in the losing effort, while Cleon Roberts supplemented Price with 18 points and four steals for La Salle.