La Salle 73, Delaware 56

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Mike Cleaves had 14 points and Steven Smith and David Bell each added 13 as La Salle defeated Delaware 73-56 in the opening game for both teams on Friday.

Mike Ames had 14 points and Ryan Iversen 12 for Delaware (0-1), which committed 26 turnovers in the game.

La Salle (1-0) led 30-25 at halftime, but two free throws by Iversen gave the Blue Hens a 43-40 edge with 13:57 left to play.

The Explorers then ran off 10 straight points, including five by Gary Neal, to take a 50-43 lead. After a Delaware free throw by Robin Wentt, a 3-point play by La Salle’s Jermaine Thomas pushed the lead to 53-44 with nine minutes remaining.

La Salle, which now has a 19-2 edge in the series, took its biggest lead, at 67-53 on two free throws by Bell at the 2:16 mark.

The Explorers played without leading rebounder Chukwunike Okosa, who was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

La Salle was 19-for-25 from the foul line, while Delaware was only 4 of 10.

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