Tom Piotrowski scored 23 points and Steve Black 21 as La Salle defeated Bucknell, 81-72, in an East Coast Conference first-round playoff game at La Salle last night.
The victory moves the Explorers into the quarterfinals Wednesday night against host West Chester State. In other ECC playoff games, Derrick Joynes had 12 points as Drexel defeated host Delaware, 49-45, and Eric Harvey scored a game-high 23 points, including seven in overtime, to lead visiting Hofstra to a 71-64 victory over Lafayette.
Drexel advanced to a quarterfinal game Wednesday at Temple, and Hofstra (12-15) plays at St. Joseph's.
Piotrowski, a 7-foot-1 junior, had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the first half as La Salle (15-12) held a 36-32 lead. La Salle outrebounded the Bisons, 30-10, in the half.
The Explorers moved to a 51-39 advantage midway through the second half, but Bucknell (7-20) rallied and closed to 64-60 on two free throws by Cal Purifoy with 4:24 to play. La Salle scored the next six points to ensure the victory.
Drexel (17-10) moved from a 23-23 halftime score to take the lead for good at 29-27 on a jumper by Charles Hickman with 16:16 left.