La Salle 78, Massachusetts 64

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AMHERST, Mass. (AP)—Gary Neal scored 26 points, 23 in the second half, to lead La Salle to a 78-64 victory over Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams Wednesday night.

La Salle (6-7, 1-0 Atlantic 10), which led 33-27 at halftime, fell behind by a point three times early in the second half before pulling ahead for the win.

UMass (5-7, 0-1) used a 9-0 run, featuring six by Anthony Anderson, take a 40-39 lead for the first time in the second half. The Minutemen last led 44-43 before a free throw by Steven Smith, a three-pointer by Neal and a hoop by Rasheed Quadri put the Explorers ahead for good, 50-44.

Smith and Quadri added 13 points each for La Salle.

Anderson had 20 and Rashaun Freeman added 12 for UMass.

La Salle led virtually the entire first half.

With UMass leading 8-7, Quadri hit a three-pointer and Smith followed with a hoop to put the Explorers ahead 13-8. La Salle led by as many as eight points before halftime.

Anderson, with 11 first-half points, kept UMass close in the first half. But he made only 4 of 12 3-point attempts as UMass went 6 for 20 from the 3-point line, including 2 for 10 in the second half.

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