Tony Washington scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds as La Salle overcame a slow start to beat George Mason 69-62 on Saturday afternoon to halt a three-game losing skid.
George Mason, looking for its third straight Atlantic 10 Conference victory, shot 62 percent from the floor in the first half, sprinting to a 45-32 halftime advantage.
The Explorers picked up the pace as Washington scored six straight points to open the second half, while George Mason opened that period shooting 2-of-15 from the floor. La Salle opened the second period on a 21-7 surge to take a 53-52 lead with 8:58 remaining in the game.
The Patriots battled back to retake the lead 58-57. Washington pulled down his 13th rebound and followed with a layup at the other end for a 61-60 lead with 1:20 remaining. The Explorers made six straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Washington was 9 of 11 from the floor. B.J. Johnson added 18 points with nine boards and Amar Stukes had 12 points for La Salle (11-16, 5-9).
Justin Kier led George Mason (12-15, 6-8) with 19 points and seven rebounds.
After 14 years as the head coach, Dr. John Giannini is out at La Salle.
The university and head coach "mutually agreed to part ways," the school said in a statement.
Giannini will be best remembered for leading the Explorers to the Sweet 16 in the 2012-13 Cinderella season.
He compiled a record of 212-226 at La Salle.
"I am truly blessed to have the relationships, challenges, and achievements that come from 29 years of being a head coach. In my time, I have witnessed hundreds of coaching changes involving many terrific coaches and schools," Giannini said in a statement. "Today, (athletic director) Bill Bradshaw and I mutually agreed that La Salle University could benefit from a new voice in leading the program. It is difficult to admit this but I have been given every effort possible for success and I have received nothing but support and encouragement from Bill and President (Colleen) Hanycz.
"Greater things may be accomplished for this storied program and great university with the approach of a new coach. I am forever grateful, especially to my loyal staff and dedicated student-athletes. I look forward to my next challenge and La Salle's future success."
WASHINGTON -- C.J. Anderson scored 21 points and Massachusetts held off La Salle 69-67 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
No. 13 seed UMass (13-19) will face fifth-seeded George Mason (15-16) in a Thursday quarterfinal.
Pookie Powell's 3-point play gave La Salle its last lead, 62-61, before UMass pushed ahead to 68-67 with 44 seconds to play. La Salle's B.J. Johnson blocked Unique McLean's jumper with 14 seconds remaining, but Powell missed a jumper and a 3-pointer in the final eight seconds.
Luwane Pipkins added 15 points, Malik Hines had 14 and Carl Pierre 11 for the Minutemen. Anderson and Pipkens both shot 4 of 7 from long range.
Tony Washington scored 20 points to lead No. 12 seed La Salle (13-19). Johnson and Powell chipped in 18 points apiece.