With its victory over Kansas State, La Salle has now won back-to-back games in the NCAA tournament. (Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As La Salle’s Ramon Galloway and Jerrell Wright walked to the locker room after having stunned fourth-seeded Kansas State 63-61, they were abuzz with congratulatory messages they had received on their cell phones.
“Mine is blowing up,” Galloway said.
And so are many folks’ NCAA tournament brackets after the 13th-seeded Explorers (23-9) stormed to a first-half lead of as many as 19 points and actually trailed with 2:25 left before scoring the games final four points.
Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but his off-balance shot over the backboard was an airball. La Salle players rushed the court and some celebrated their victory by popping the front of their jerseys towards the crowd.
“They’re very talented,” said an emotional Kansas State coach Bruce Weber after the game. “They come at you in a lot of different ways. Obviously, they jumped on us.”
La Salle, an at-large selection from A-10, have now won back-to-back games in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1955 after beating Boise State in a first Four Game on Wednesday. The Explorers will face Ole Miss -- who upset No. 5 Wisconsin -- on Saturday.
“I’m just very, very proud,” former La Salle star Lionel Simmons said in the locker room after the game. “We’re back. There’s no question we’re back."