La Salle 62, St. Louis 52

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Steven Smith scored 26 points, grabbed 16
rebounds and moved into seventh place on La Salle's all-time
scoring list with 1,951 points as he led the Explorers to a 62-52
victory over Saint Louis on Saturday.

With the win, the Explorers were assured of a first-round bye in
the Atlantic 10 playoffs, which begin Wednesday in Cincinnati.

Sherman Diaz had 11 points and Jermaine Thomas 10 for La Salle
(18-9, 10-6), which posted a 10-19 record last year.

Ian Vouyoukas had 13 points and Anthony Drejaj and Tommie
Liddell each had 11 points for the Billikens (16-12, 10-6), who
have already secured a bye in the first round.

The Explorers never trailed and led 40-30 with eight minutes
left to play. After Saint Louis scored five straight points, Smith
had a 3-point shot, sparking a 7-1 run.

When a trey by Danny Brown cut the lead to 47-39, Smith hit
another jumper at 2:24, securing the win.

La Salle now leads in the series 4-3, but the meeting was the
first for the teams since 1963.