La Salle beats Boise State in NCAA tournament

La Salle's Jerrell Wright prepares to shoot against Boise State's Anthony Drmic. The Explorers move on to play Kansas State on Friday in Kansas City. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
La Salle's Jerrell Wright prepares to shoot against Boise State's Anthony Drmic. The Explorers move on to play Kansas State on Friday in Kansas City. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Posted: March 22, 2013

DAYTON, Ohio - Tyrone Garland is unflappable, providing instant offense off the bench, reveling in taking the big shots.

Garland took plenty and made most of them Wednesday night, helping La Salle defeat Boise State, 80-71, in a first-round NCAA tournament game at the University of Dayton Arena.

La Salle (22-9) will play Kansas State in a second-round game Friday at 3:10 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo. It was La Salle's first NCAA win since the Explorers beat Southern Mississippi, 79-63, in the first round of the 1990 tournament.

Garland had 22 points, shooting 9 for 11 from the field, hurting the Broncos from the perimeter and driving to the basket.

"I was actually nervous coming in, but once the ball went in, I thought I should be OK," said Garland, who hit 2 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Like his team, Garland hit several shots early and continued throughout the game. La Salle made 31 of 49 shots from the field, including 11 of 21 from three-point range.

"I was feeling good; I hadn't been shooting the three-ball that good," Garland said. "Toward the end of the year I have been shooting it, and I am happy at this time of the year my shot is going in for me."

Before the game, the Boise State players and coach Leon Rice said they thought La Salle was the more athletic team. That certainly played out, with the Explorers often beating Boise State down the court in transition.

"We had a quickness advantage, and that was the difference in the game," coach John Giannini said.

Ramon Galloway, who shot a combined 4 for 22 in his previous two games - losses to St. Louis and Butler - broke out of his slump with 21 points, shooting 8 for 13 from the field and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

"In the Butler and St. Louis games, I was forcing things," Galloway said. "Coach G said to get back in the flow of the game, relax, and let the game come to me."

La Salle also received 15 points from defensive specialist Sam Mills, who shot 5 for 6 from beyond the arc and nearly doubled his scoring average of 7.7 points.

"Seeing the first shot go in, I started getting more comfortable, and I was able to get more looks and knock them down in the course of the game," Mills said.

The Explorers won despite the efforts of Boise State's 6-foot-6 sophomore Anthony Drmic, the Australian sharpshooter who entered the game averaging 17.3 points. He scored 28, while point guard Derrick Marks added 14.

After scoring just two first-half points, La Salle's Jerrell Wright set the tone in the second half by scoring eight points in the first five minutes. He wound up with 13 points and six rebounds.

Boise State (21-11) cut the La Salle lead to 76-70 with 50 seconds left on a tip-in by Marks, but Galloway sealed the win on a driving layup with 40 seconds remaining.


Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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