PHILADELPHIA — B.J. Johnson had 30 points and 10 rebounds to help La Salle beat South Alabama 81-73 on Thursday night.
La Salle led 65-44 midway through the second half until South Alabama scored 14 straight. Johnson ended the run with a put-back basket to make it 67-58 with 7:03 left.
Rodrick Sikes pulled South Alabama within 78-73 but Amar Stukes answered with a 3-pointer with 1:04 left.
La Salle (3-0) opened the game with 10 unanswered points and led 47-27 at halftime. Johnson scored nine of La Salle’s first 18 points as they held a 10-point lead. He had 22 points and six rebounds at the break.
Johnson, coming off a 20-point and career-high 14-rebound performance, had his third straight double-double. Isiah Deas added 15 points, and Saul Phiri had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Explorers held their previous two opponents to below 35 percent shooting but the Jaguars were 26-of-55 shooting.
Jordan Andrews made four 3-pointers and scored 20 points for South Alabama (1-2), which played La Salle for the first time in program history. Sikes added 17 points, Herb McGee had 12, and Josh Ajayi 10.