Ahead by 17 points at halftime, La Salle seemed to be in a perfect position yesterday afternoon to capture the title of the Hawk Holiday Classic in West Long Branch, N.J.

It was not to be: Monmouth outscored the Explorers (4-9) by 39-14 in the second half to post a 57-49 victory.

The Hawks (5-6) had runs of 18-4 and 11-3 as they blew past La Salle.

Morgan Robertson led La Salle with 17 points and 10 rebounds; Gabby Singer had 17 points for the Hawks.

Delaware 57, Massachusetts 55 - Freshman star Elena Delle Donne hit a layup with five seconds left to propel the Blue Hens past the Minutewomen in Newark, Del.

The win was the sixth in a row for Delaware (8-3).

Delle Donne finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Tesia Harris added 17 points and 8 rebounds.

UMass (6-7) has lost all five games its has played against the Blue Hens.

Louisiana State 56, Xavier 47 - The No. 11 Tigers earned coach Van Chancellor his 500th win, topping the No. 15 Musketeers in Cincinnati.

Allison Hightower scored 18 points and had six steals to lead the Tigers (11-1).

LSU forced Xavier to turn it over 11 times while building a 35-25 halftime lead. It was the lowest-scoring half of the season for Xavier (9-3) until that point - but the Musketeers only managed 22 points in the second half.

Tennessee 102, Old Dominion 62 - Angie Bjorklund scored all but three of her 19 points in the first half as the No. 4 Vols (11-1) beat the Monarchs (2-8) in Knoxville, Tenn.

It was the 43d meeting between the traditional powerhouses, but the Vols have won 14 straight and now hold a 34-9 lead over the Monarchs dating back to 1977.

Elsewhere: Staying undefeated, No. 9 Georgia overpowered Savannah State, 80-45, in Savannah, Ga. . . . No. 12 Florida State used a balanced attack to top Western Carolina, 80-47, at home. . . . Behind 22 points from Sade Morris, No. 21 Kansas posted a 82-63 home win over Pepperdine. . . . Kelsey Griffin had 27 points to propel No. 13 Nebraska to a 88-41 home rout of Albany. . . . Dawn Evans scored 28 points and added eight assists to lead No. 25 James Madison to a 74-65 win over Western Michigan in Harrisonburg, Va. . . . Georgetown won its 10th straight, beating Clemson, 72-57, in Washington.