The La Salle Explorers won their fifth straight game and moved to 2-0 in Atlantic 10 play on Sunday when they defeated the UMass Minutemen, 82-75, at Tom Gola Arena. The Explorers have won 11 straight games at Tom Gola Arena going back to last season. La Salle has not been 2-0 in A-10 play since the 2005-2006 season.
La Salle started the game on an 11-2 run and cruised out to a 51-25 lead at the half. UMass clawed back in the second half. Their zone defense slowed down the torrid scoring pace the Explorers had in the first half, including a 10-16 start from behind the arc. At the halfway point of the second half, La Salle's lead was just 59-46. La Salle struggled making their free throws and that gave UMass some hope but they couldn't close the gap in time.
Earl Pettis led La Salle with 19 points (4-6 from behind the arc). Ramon Galloway had 18 points for the Explorers. Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills also reached double figures in scoring for La Salle. UMass' comeback attempt was led by 24 points from Chaz Williams, 22 points from Jesse Morgan and 18 points from Sean Carter.
La Salle's next game is a Big 5 matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 10 (7 p.m.), at The Palestra against Penn.