La Salle 70, Lafayette 66
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Freshman guard Gary Neal scored 24 points, including two crucial free throws with 7 seconds left, as La Salle defeated Lafayette 70-66 Tuesday night.
Jermaine Thomas added 15 points for La Salle (2-0) while Winston Davis had 18 points and Justin DeBerry added 15 for Lafayette (0-2).
La Salle led 37-28 with 18:23 to play, but the Leopards went on a 12-2 spurt to move ahead, 40-39. The teams then battled evenly with five lead changes and four ties, neither gaining more than a four-point lead after the 16 minute mark.
Four straight points by David Bell gave the Explorers a 67-63 edge with 1:37 left, but a 3-point shot by Andrew Pleick cut the lead to 67-66. Mike Cleaves hit one free throw with 17 seconds remaining before Neal’s shots clinched the victory.
Lafayette led 14-6 eight minutes into the first half, but Neal scored eight points during a 22-4 La Salle run and capped the rally with a steal and layup.
The Explorers led 33-26 at the half, sparked by Neal’s 14 points and an aggressive man-to-man defense that forced 14 Lafayette turnovers.