The La Salle Explorers defeated the Xavier Musketeers 80-70 in an A-10 matchup on Wednesday at Tom Gola Arena.
La Salle trailed the Musketeers early, 11-6, but used a 13-5 run to take a lead which they would hold onto as they built a 46-30 halftime lead. With 12:43 to play in the second half, La Salle had a 58-42 lead but couldn't keep Xavier from threatening.
The Musketeers made a furious comeback attempt in the final ten minutes but La Salle was able to make enough shots from the floor and their free throw attempts (19-24 for the game) to hold them off. La Salle was outrebounded but very careful with the ball. The Explorers dished out 20 assists on the night while only turning it over 7 times. Their defense was able to generate 14 Musketeer turnovers.
Earl Pettis led the way for La Salle with a game-high 23 points. Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills also scored in double figures for La Salle. Despite shooting 2-12 from the floor (0-6 from behind the arc), Terrell Holloway led Xavier with 15 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Dezmine Wells also pitched in 15 points for the struggling Musketeers.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Explorers. Xavier have lost five of their last six games after defeating rival Cincinnati, a game which ended in a brawl with 9.4 seconds left to play.