Saint Louis tops La Salle 78-71 in A-10 tourney

The Associated Press
Saint Louis tops La Salle 78-71 in A-10 tourney
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Saint Louis' Brian Conklin, right, goes up for a shot past La Salle's Jerrell Wright (25) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 men's tournament in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) Mike McCall Jr. scored 16 points and Kwamain Mitchell had 15 to lead Saint Louis to a 78-71 win over La Salle on Friday night to advance to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament semifinals.

Brian Conklin scored 14 points and Jordair Jett had 13 for the No. 2-seed Billikens (25-6), who have won nine of their last 10 games and are the highest remaining seed left in the tournament. Top-seeded Temple was eliminated by Massachusetts earlier.

Earl Pettis scored 18 points, Ramon Galloway had 14 and Tyreek Duren 13 for the Explorers (21-12).

Saint Louis raced to a 12-point first-half lead and appeared to have the game under control until La Salle got hot late. Pettis hit a pull-up jumper to pull La Salle within two and Jerrell Wright's dunk made it 57-56. That was as close as they would get.

McCall's 3-pointer made it 65-58, helping Saint Louis advance.