PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Steven Smith scored 19 of his 25 points in
the second half and Jermaine Thomas had 17 as La Salle beat Dayton
74-71 on Saturday for its seventh straight win.
Darnell Harris added 16 points for the Explorers (17-4, 9-4
Atlantic 10). The win assured La Salle of its first winning season
in the A-10 since joining the conference in 1995-96.Brian Roberts had 24 points for Dayton (12-14, 4-8), including
21 in the second half. Warren Williams added 11 for the Flyers, who
had defeated La Salle in the last 11 meetings.The Explorers led 34-33 at the half in a game which saw 20 lead
changes -- including 15 after the break.A long 3-point turnaround shot by Smith as the shot clock
expired gave the Explorers a 62-55 lead with 6:25 left in the game,
and a jumper by Sherman Diaz made it 71-63 with four minutes to go.
Roberts then scored eight of the game's next nine points, cutting
the lead to 72-71, but Smith's two free throws at 1:28 ended the
scoring.The Flyers had three chances to tie the score in the last 30
seconds, but could not convert.