Fight on! La Salle clips Ole Miss to gain Sweet 16
Kansas City, MO – Tyrone Garland called it the "Southwest Philly Floater."
His layup with 2.5 seconds remaining lifted La Salle to a 76-74 win over Ole Miss in the third-round of the NCAA Tournament.
Garland had the ball along the left wing, dribbled into paint and hop-stepped before sneaking his layup on the other side of the backboard and past the outstretched arm of Reginald Buckner to send the 13th-seeded Explorers to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1995 when they reached the title game.
"Time was running out, and I felt like I could get the drive," Garland said. "When I cut, I just saw an opening and took the ball up ... He blocked my shot a couple times during the game, but I ain't scared of nobody."
Ramon Galloway nailed six 3-pointers and netted 19 of his 24 points in the first half for La Salle (24-9), which became the second first-four team to advance to the Sweet 16. The Explorers downed Boise State in the first round before dispatching No. 4 seed Kansas State in the second round.
"I've always said that winning teams make winning plays, and to La Salle's credit, they made the winning plays down the stretch," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said.
VCU also accomplished the feat in 2011 and advanced all of the way to the Final Four.
La Salle will face fellow surprise Sweet-16 entrant Wichita State Thursday at Staples Center for a coveted spot in the West Regional final.
Marshall Henderson had 21 points to lead the 12th-seeded Rebels (27-9), who were unable to reach their first Sweet 16 since 2001. The jaunty Henderson was 8-of-21 from the field and 4-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Back-to-back layups by Nick Williams and Buckner gave Ole Miss a 69-64 lead with 4:19 to play before the Explorers tied it on their next touch.
Sam Mills was fouled after making a 3-pointer, but missed the ensuing free throw. Jerrell Wright, though, fought his way through for the offensive rebound and putback to deadlock things at 69-69.
Jarvis Summers sunk a short jumper in the paint to give the Rebels the lead right back, but Tyreek Duren answered with a triple at the other end to give the Explorers a 72-71 edge with 3:05 to play.
Buckner had an offensive rebound putback and Ladarius White split a pair from the charity stripe to give Ole Miss a 74-72 margin with 1:58 to go.
Crisp ball movement on Ole Miss' next touch led to an open Summers triple, but he was off the mark. Duren was fouled on the defensive rebound and sunk two clutch free throws with 1:07 left to tie it.
Henderson got the ball along the left baseline and drove before having his bank shot attempt hit off the side of the backboard. He got his own miss but was stripped, resulting in a shot clock violation.
The Explorers took the clock down before Garland's layup was the game's 11th lead change.
Galloway's 19th-point of the opening half was a triple and gave La Salle a 38-31 cushion with 2:03 in the stanza. Ole Miss, though, closed on a 7-2 spurt, capped on a Henderson trey to cut the deficit to 40-38 entering the break.
Back-to-back buckets by Holloway gave the Rebels a 56-55 lead with 10:42 left for their first advantage since the 9:39 mark of the first period. Henderson then hit a three a possession later for a four-point margin.
Ole Miss fell a win shy of breaking the school record for most in a season ... Holloway finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds ... Ole Miss was 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.