Rapid Reaction: La Salle 63, Kansas State 61
March, 22, 2013
By Jason King | ESPN.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jerrell Wright scored 21 points and Ramon Galloway added 19 to lead No. 13 seed La Salle to a 63-61 victory over No. 4 seed Kansas State on Friday at the Sprint Center.
Overview: La Salle led by as many as 19 points in the first half and was up by 18 points (44-26) at intermission before the Wildcats used a 31-12 run to storm back and take the lead. Jordan Henriquez put Kansas State ahead 61-60 on a foul shot with 2:25 remaining.
The score remained the same until the final seconds. K-State's Rodney McGruder missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining and Henriquez was called for fouling Wright as the two battled for the rebound. Wright made both free throws to make it 62-61.
Kansas State's next two possessions were brutal.
Henriquez, a 7-footer, ended up with the ball about 15 feet away from the basket and tried to penetrate. Henriquez attempted a spinning jumper in the lane that missed badly. Wright grabbed the rebound and was again fouled. He made the first free throw and missed the second, making it 63-61 with 9 seconds remaining.
K-State point guard Angel Rodriguez brought the ball up the court and attempted to penetrate but never could get past his defender. He ended in the corner and attempted an off-balance, low-percentage shot from the baseline that didn't have a chance as time expired.
Wildcats coach Bruce Weber was screaming for a timeout during the play but his voice apparently wasn't heard.
The NCAA tournament win is the second in a row for La Salle, which beat Boise State in a First Four game on Wednesday. The Explorers are 23-9. Kansas State -- which won a share of its conference title for the first time since 1977 -- ends its season at 27-8.
Turning point: McGruder's missed 3-pointer with 30 seconds left -- and the foul by Henriquez during the fight for the rebound -- caused the momentum to shift. McGruder's shot was halfway through the rim but then popped back out. Instead of having a four-point lead, the Wildcats found themselves trailing after Wright made two free throws on the other end.
Key player: Wright (21 points), Galloway (19) and Sam Mills (10) all reached double figures for La Salle. Henriquez had 17 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for K-State, which also got 17 points from Shane Southwell and 13 from McGruder.
Key stat: La Salle shot 58.1 percent in the first half and only 16.7 percent after intermission.
Next: La Salle plays No. 12 seed Ole Miss on Sunday for a chance to go to the Sweet 16.