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Villanova vs. La Salle: Big 5 play kicks off today

Philadelphia's Big 5 play begins Sunday when the La Salle Explorers host the Villanova Wildcats at Tom Gola Arena.


The first Philadelphia Big Five men's college basketball game of the season will be played Sunday, as the Villanova Wildcats visit the La Salle Explorers at Tom Gola Arena (1 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network). This will be the 61st meeting between the Wildcats (3-2) and Explorers (2-1), who are a part of Philly's Big Five along with the Penn Quakers, St. Joseph's Hawks and Temple Owls.

Villanova (3-2) is currently on a two-game losing streak, with the latest loss coming to the hands of the visiting Columbia Lions. The Lions became the first non-conference opponent to defeat the Wildcats at the Pavilion since the Drexel Dragons in December of 2006.

Columbia scored eight of the game's last 11 points en route to an unexpected 75-57 victory. Villanova committed 12 turnovers and shot just 3-for-9 from the free throw line in the losing effort, which followed a 77-55 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Nov. 16 in the 2K Sports Classic.

Meanwhile, the Explorers (2-1) are coming off a 64-51 victory over the Hartford Hawks on Tuesday. Junior Tyreek Duren paced La Salle with 15 points, including 13 in the second half, while freshman Rohan Brown added a double-double (10 points and 12 rebounds).

Last season, Villanova defeated La Salle, 76-69. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 35-26.