NCAA Tournament 2013 Recap: La Salle Upsets K-State, 63-61

Mar 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; La Salle Explorers forward Jerrell Wright (25) shoots a layup as Kansas State Wildcats forward Thomas Gipson (42) defends in the first half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After blowing a 18-point halftime lead and despite being held without a field goal for nearly eight minutes, the 13th-seeded La Salle Explorers overcame a dismal 2nd half performance and upset the 4th-seeded Kansas State Wildcats, 63-61.

The Explorers raced out to a 44-26 lead before the break–thanks to some hot shooting from beyond the arc, shooting 6-11 from three in the opening half. K-State had no answers and looked as if they would go quietly in front of a virtual home crowd in Kansas City, Missouri, only a two-hour drive down I-70 from their Manhattan campus.

But the favorite fought their way back into it in the second half.

The Wildcats opened with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 44-34, ended by Wright’s layup with 15:40 left. That would be the only field goal in a nearly five-minute stretch for the Explorers, which allowed K-State to cut it to 49-46 with 11:26 to go. After a Sam Mills three pointer to get it back up to 6, the Wildcats opened up a 11-4 run–capped by a Rodney McGruder putback–to go up 57-56, their first lead of the game, with 7:05 to go.

That would set up Wright’s late game performance. The sophomore hit seven straight free throws the rest of the way and scored all nine La Salle points over the final 7:55; meanwhile, the Explorers failed to hit a single field goal in that time frame; in fact, they went a awful 3-18 (16.7%) in the 2nd half. But K-State didn’t do much better; they only scored five points after McGruder’s tally.

However, this one would come down to the wire. Down two and with the basketball, a ugly possession resulting in a off-balance jumper by Angel Rodriguez missed badly, and the Explorers found themselves celebrating.

Wright led La Salle in scoring with a nearly flawless 21 (a perfect 6-6 from the floor and 9-10 from the line). Ramon Galloway tallied 19 behind 3-7 shooting form beyond the arc. For K-State, Henriquez and Shane Southend each scored 17 to lead the way (a combined 14-20 from the field); McGruder scored 13.

The Explorers will take on Ole Miss on Sunday, with the winner headed to the Sweet 16.

Topics: College Basketball, Kansas State Wildcats, La Salle Explorers, March Madness, Ncaa Tournament

Want more from Busting Brackets?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

Comments are closed.

TEAMFeed More Busting Brackets news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From