Fran Dunphy Reaches 600th Coaching Victory as La Salle Downs Coppin State

La Salle Remains Undefeated at Home in Milestone 81 – 62 Win

November 26, 2023 –

With the victory by the La Salle Explorers it was the 600th coaching win for coach Fran Dunphy. It is a milestone for which Dunphy thinks of the those who he has coached and been associated with that allows him to reach this point. And what is next.

“I’ve been in coaching a lot of years and appreciative of the guys who have played for me, guys who have coached with me. Just thinking about Temple on Wednesday right now, but I appreciate it.”

“He doesn’t like hearing this, but he is one of the greatest coaches in Philadelphia history and of all time,” said guard Anwar Gill, who scored a game-high 21 points, about being part of history. “It’s great to be part of history. Now we’re looking for 601 against Temple.”

La Salle Bounces Back

The Explorers were coming off their first loss of the season which came at Cameron Indoor Arena against nationally ranked Duke. It was important to bounce back and play to earn a home win. The Explorers accomplished that.

I think so for the most part,” said Dunphy. “We still threw it away too much early on. I didn’t think our defense was great at that point. But we started to settle in defensively late in the first half. I thought how much of the second half we were pretty good. That doesn’t necessarily translate into the opposition low shooting percentage in the second half. We’ve got to do a better job.”

The Game Flow

It was a tightly contested game in the first half. With just over five minutes remaining in the first half, and the Explorers trailing the Eagles by 20 – 17, guard Khalil Brantley made a jumper to start a 17 – 7 La Salle run to halftime. This seemed to stabilize the Explorers offense who carried it over to the second half.

“We’ve just got to keep our heads when the games are close or when we’re down,” said Gill. “We’ve got to be the more resilient team. The more resilient team always wins games. That’s what we share.”

In the second half La Salle got the ball inside to forward Rokas Jocius who scored 10 of his career-high tying 12 points in the first six-plus minutes of the second half for a 51 – 37 lead. This seemed to open up the floor for the Explorers who made 7 of 13 three-pointers in the second half. Overall, the hosts set a season-high of 11 made three-pointers in the game.

“I’d like to see us play basketball out of passing it down to the post where we’re getting cutters,” said Dunphy.

The Explorers won the second half 47 – 35.

What the Numbers Say

Gill set a season-high scoring 21 points make 8 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 3 from distance. The senior guard reached his campaign-best in made field goals. Gill also took down 9 rebounds, a collegiate-high. He netted 17 points against Duke. Gill explained the reason for his scoring outburst.

“I feel confident in my abilities,” Gill said. “My teammates trust me, and that’s the main thing with my scoring output going up. My teammates that gave me the ball in the right spots. I’m shooting the ball, and I’m just being aggressive. That’s what my coach wants from me and that’s what my teammates want from me. And that’s what I did today.”

La Salle outrebounded Coppin State by a 41 – 18 margin, and 20 – 4 off the offensive glass. It gave the Explorers 23 second chance points compared to 2 for the Eagles. Jocius took down 10 rebounds to post his first career double-double.

Brantley contributed 15 points while fellow guard Jhamir Brickus added 14 counters.

Coppin State shot a consistent 46.7% from the field (21 of 45) and 5 of 11 from beyond the arc over the course of the game. Three Eagles scored in double figures with Greg Spurlock leading the way with a career-best 15 points. He was efficient from the field making 5 of 7 shots, and was perfect from the lines draining both three-pointers and 3 free throws. Guard Zahree Harrison from Philadelphia added a season-best 14 points. Camaren Sparrow also scored 14 points.

Up Next

La Salle takes on Temple in its final Big Five pod game. Both teams have a 1 – 0 record in pod play. The winner advances to the title game of the Big Five Classic.

“It’s a big week for us, to get that win over Coppin was great,” Dunphy said. “And then Wednesday at Temple and then Saturday whoever that may be. It’s just a very challenging week.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Fran Dunphy

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