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.

Thief Drives Away With Charity's Mobile Kitchen

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter SUNRISE (CBSMiami) - Kids from South Florida, and the world, have a good time at a tough time of their lives while battling cancer, thanks to the group "My Wish 4 U," but someone stole a key element to that happiness Monday morning. The trailer, according to Sunrise Police, was stolen from 10130 NW 47th Street in Sunrise on Monday at 6 AM. Joe Zevuloni runs the charity. He's stunned that someone could steal the group's mobile kitchen which is used to prepare special meals for kids and their families while the group takes them on a trip of a lifetime in Orlando. "I don't even think an animal can do that," Zevuloni said. "This is a personal attack against children that are the most vulnerable state of their life, they're battling a disease that is, in some cases, terminal." A black/gray newer model truck with a possible light bar on the roof was seen towing the trailer from the location of the incident. Sky Randall saw the trailer being driven away--but had no idea she was witnessing a crime. "It was just driving," Randall said. "I never would imagine someone stealing the trailer." Yoval Rosenzveig, battling cancer since he was 2-months-old, recalls eating from the food truck. His family came from Israel and the mobile ktichen was crucial for their trip. "For somebody to make the decision to take it, you can't, you really can't imagine what would go through somebody's head to make the decision to take something like that," said Jackie Rosenzveig, Yoval's mother. Just by looking at the trailer, which has the non-profit's name and cartoons painted on the outside, there's no question that it's used to help sick children. Now, some kids are using signs, urging whoever took the trailer to bring it back. Zevuloni is offering a $5000 reward. Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.  
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