LEWISBURG - Bucknell's big men were too much for La Salle on Saturday night.
Center Mike Muscala and forward Joe Willman each scored 18 points as the host Bison beat the Explorers, 74-66, in a nonconference game at Sojka Pavilion. The loss snapped La Salle's five-game winning streak.
"We lost to a very good team," said La Salle coach John Giannini, whose team beat the Bison last season. "We pressured them hard. [But] the pressure didn't bother them."
Ramon Galloway scored a game-high 21 points for the Explorers (6-2). Tyreek Duren had 14 points and Jerrell Wright added 10.
The Bison (9-1), who still have the nucleus of the team that won the Patriot League title in 2011, went on a 14-0 run midway through the first half to turn an 8-6 deficit into a 20-8 lead. Bucknell never lost the lead from there, as La Salle never got closer than three the rest of the way.
The 6-foot-11 Muscala and the 6-7 Willman dominated in the paint. Once La Salle center Steve Zack went to the bench with his second foul early in the first half, Muscala and Willman were able to get putbacks for easy points.
"Their big guys are where they won the game," Giannini said. "[Zack] got in foul trouble, and that didn't help."
Galloway scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half. The senior guard hit a pair of three-pointers after the break and was able to beat his man off the dribble for some points inside.
"The pick-and-roll was working the whole game," Galloway said. "All the guards had great looks in the mid-range and could not hit. . . . Everybody was saying to keep shooting, don't worry about it. And then, I started making some."