With the win, Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich earned his 300th career win - beating his alma mater, where he was an assistant for 17 years. He previously was head coach at Niagara for 15 seasons.
Hofstra's lead was as many as 15 in the second half, but La Salle chipped away, drawing to within one point on Cleon Roberts' layup with 1:37 left.
Hofstra's Juan'ya Green made four free throws to bump it back to five. Roberts made a free throw and Jordan Price hit a jumper to make it a two-point game with six seconds left. After a foul, Bernardi made a pair from the line and La Salle lost the ball on a turnover.
Hofstra (5-2) used a 17-2 run through the middle portion of the first half to forge a 44-31 lead at intermission.
Price paced La Salle (4-2) with a career-high 37 points with seven 3-pointers.