If a casual viewer would have looked at the halftime score of this game, many expletives would have been said, or more likely, shouted. The La Salle Explorers simply outclassed the Kansas State Wildcats in the first half, shooting 58% and leading by 18 going into the locker room.
Kansas State didn't stay shell shocked for long however, as Jordan Henriquez led the Wildcats to a furious comeback, giving KSU the lead with 7:09 left in the game. This was assisted by the Explorers, who shot a dismal 16.7% in the second half, relying on free throws to survive the Wildcat onslaught.
Jerrell Wright kept La Salle in the game, with 11 second half points (of the Explorers 19 total second half points), including the final two points of the game from the charity line to give La Salle the win with nine seconds left.
Even though La Salle was the same team who put up 80 on Boise State on Wednesday, it was Wright, Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills who provided the majority of the Explorers points, scoring 21, 19 and 10 points respectively.
Tyreek Duren, for a second straight game, was a non-factor for La Salle. Tyrone Garland, who led the Explorers in scoring on Wednesday night with 22 points, scored two points in 20 minutes. On the Wildcats side, Henriquez and Shane Southwell both scored 17 points and Rodney McGruder contributed 13 more for Kansas State.
The Explorers, who hadn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1992, now are 2-0 in this tournament, the first time they've won two games since 1955. That 1955 squad ended up losing in the title game to University of San Francisco, the question is now: does this squad have enough gas in them to get that far?