La Salle Upsets No. 4 Kansas St. 63-61

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By Joseph Santoliquito

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS) — March Madness is geared toward the unexpected. Those surprises. The upsets. The kind of magic that La Salle seems to be spinning right before our very eyes.

It looked like the Explorers would blow out No. 4 seed Kansas State, then just like that it looked as if La Salle would blow a huge first-half lead. But the Explorers found a way to win, 63-61, to advance to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament against No. 12 seed Mississippi on Sunday.

La Salle’s Jerrell Wright supplied the magic for the Explorers at the Sprint Center Friday afternoon. He finished with a game-high 21 points, including hitting three of four free throws in the last :30 of the game.

Wright was 6-for-6 from the floor and 9 of 10 on the line. Ramon Galloway closed with 19 points, while La Salle’s defense held Kansas State to 37-percent shooting in the first half (11 for 29).

“As good as we were in the first half, Kansas State was that good in the second half,” La Salle coach John Giannini said. “We didn’t turn it over. We got some decent shots. Their big man blocked a lot of them. It was tough to get a good look, but at least we didn’t turn it over. The other thing that was huge was Jerrell Wright. He made some gigantic free throws.”

La Salle burst out to an early 6-0 lead and anything the Explorers wanted to do, they did. La Salle opened the lead to 28-13 on 11 of 20 shooting.

Kansas State didn’t reach double figures until about 10 minutes left in the half. K-State made a mere 37-percent from the floor and a horrid 12-percent from three-point range in the first half (1-for-8).

Then it was hang on time.

“Sometimes our quickness takes people by surprise, and we had just enough cushion to last,” Giannini said.

Wright was transcendent. He averaged 10.4 points a game this season and had that by halftime.

“There was a lot of pressure, but Jerrell’s poise and focus carried the day,” Giannini said. “We just kept challenging our guys defensively and kept saying that we’d be all right, and just get out defense back, we’d win this game.”

With 7:12 left in the game, Rodney McGruder’s layup gave K-State its first lead of the game, 57-56. The Wildcats converted 12 of their first 17 shots in the second half—a complete turnaround from the first half.

It was Wright that tied the game at 60-60 of a pair of free throws with 4:18 on the clock. Kansas State never scored a basket in the final 4:51.

Giannini refused to say this is gravy time, considering many didn’t think they would get this far.

“We’re not playing with house money,” Giannini said. “We’re playing to win every game. We wanted to be one of those teams do well. People want o be where we are right now, and I’m telling you, everyone is good.”

La Salle is showing the rest of the country that they are—and they are.

2nd Teen Gets Jail Time For Murder Of Detroit Church Security Guard

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The second of two teenagers convicted of murdering an 84-year-old Detroit church guard has been sentenced to 17 to 32 years in prison. Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Callahan sentenced 18-year-old Alandre Boone on Wednesday for second-degree murder and felony firearm in the May shooting of Joseph Lewis. Court records show that Boone had a juvenile record for domestic violence and incorrigibility. Fifteen-year-old co-defendant Anthony Williams was sentenced Sept. 26 to 14 to 32 years for the same offenses. He was tried and convicted as an adult. Police say Lewis was working at Victory Way Assembly Church of God in Christ on May 9 when he was killed. The teens reportedly approached Lewis around 8:30 p.m. in the church parking lot on Tireman, between Livernois and I-96. That’s when investigators say a struggle ensued and one of the attackers fired shots, hitting Lewis. Police say robbery may have been the motive. Investigators say Lewis was armed, but his gun was found in his holster as a Detroit police officer performed CPR at the scene. Emergency crews took Lewis to a local hospital where he died. Lewis’s son, Anthony, said his father was a Korean War veteran and worked 55 years as a guard at various Detroit churches. Deacon Jimmy Jones said the church hired security about three years ago due to concerns about crime. Lewis's son-in-law Gary Melvin has said the family has no animosity toward the teens and says Lewis taught forgiveness. TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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