Rhode Island leads early, beats La Salle 59-47

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) Gilvydas Biruta scored 16 points and Hassan Martin added 14 as Rhode Island took an early lead in the first half to beat La Salle 59-47 on Thursday night.

The Rams (12-5, 4-2 Atlantic 10) held La Salle to just seven points over a 13:38 stretch in the opening half, and led by 11 points at the break. While Rhode Island outscored the Explorers by just one point in the second half, La Salle was unable to recover from the early deficit and Rhode Island never gave up its double-digit lead.

Biruta was a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the floor and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line. E.C. Matthews added 13 points, including all of the Rams’ three 3-pointers.

Jerrell Wright scored 18 points to lead La Salle (10-9, 2-4) and Steve Zack added 10 rebounds.