La Salle 74, Fordham 62

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Gary Neal scored 21 points and Jermaine Thomas added 18 as La Salle advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 74-62 victory over Fordham on Monday night.

La Salle will now play local rival Saint Joseph’s in Dayton, Ohio, on Thursday night.

David Bell added 13 points for La Salle (12-16), which starts four freshmen. Michael Haynes had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Rams, which ended their season at 2-26.

The Explorers led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and by 40-32 with 14:17 left in the game. But Fordham rallied and closed to 44-41 at the 9:36 mark.

Neal then hit a 3-pointer, sparking a 10-2 run at the 7:46 mark, and the lead reached 61-48 with 4:38 to play.

Fordham took an early 9-8 lead on a 3-point shot by Jermaine Anderson, but never led again. Jeff Farmer hit two 3-pointers during an 11-2 La Salle run, and the Explorers built a 33-18 advantage before the Rams scored the final six points of the first half to trail 33-24 at the break.

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