Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 29, 2013

Sweet to Elite: Shockers win again, beat La Salle

LOS ANGELES — Malcolm Armstead and his Wichita State teammates told each other they could be a Final Four team last summer.

Now the Shockers are one win away from a place the program hasn't been since 1965.

They rolled past La Salle 72-58 in the West Regional semifinals on Thursday night. Next up is No. 2 seed Ohio State in Saturday's regional final.

"It's a big game and I am feeling another upset," reserve guard Nick Wiggins said. "We belong here."

Armstead scored 18 points, Carl Hall added 16 and freshman Ron Baker had 13 for the ninth-seeded Shockers in their latest win, proving their upset of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the third round was no fluke.

"To see we're one game away from it, it's like a dream come true," Armstead said. "But you still have to stay focused on this next game. You can't bypass it and look forward to the Final Four yet."

Wichita State overwhelmed La Salle from the opening tip on its way to the school's first final eight appearance since 1981.

"It's like I'm in a dream still with this whole Elite Eight situation," Hall said.

The Shockers opened the game on a 14-2 run and ended the first half with a 9-1 spurt. They started the second half by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers for a 22-point lead.

La Salle never got closer than 11 points in the second half, when the Explorers outscored the Shockers 36-34.

"It took us a half to kind of adjust to the level they were playing at," La Salle coach John Giannini said. "The second half was pretty evenly played, but we were in just too deep of a hole."

Ninth-seeded Wichita State (29-8) tied the school's 2010-11 team for most victories. That group won the NIT title. These Shockers want much more.

"We need one more win to seal this deal and go back home and get ready for the Final Four," Baker said. "We're just going to grab this opportunity the best we can."

The Shockers beat Kansas by two points to get to the final eight in 1981. They didn't need to take down a giant this time, just a 6,500-student school from Philadelphia that scrapped its way 2,754 miles from an at-large berth in Dayton, Ohio, to Los Angeles.

"That was the game plan early on, try to wear them down, pound it inside, and get inside-out shots, and that's what we came up," Armstead said.

Jerrell Wright and Tyrone Garland led the Explorers with 16 points each. Ramon Galloway, who averages a team-leading 17.4 points, was held to 11 for a program that won the 1954 NCAA championship and reached the 1955 national title game.

La Salle (24-10) didn't have the depth to hold its own against Wichita State, which owned a 47-29 rebounding edge and outscored the Explorers 40-26 in the paint, helped by Hall, who had 14 points in the first half.

"It was kind of an easy night for us on the inside because they only really have one post player," Hall said.

The Shockers limited La Salle to 36 percent shooting — the same as Gonzaga shot in its third-round loss.

"They were all over the place. They came to play," Galloway said.

Hall sat down with his third foul while La Salle was busy whittling its deficit to 11 points by attacking the rim. But the Explorers never got within single digits, and Armstead scored nine straight points to push Wichita State's lead to 62-47. Another 6-0 spurt, capped by Cleanthony Early's dunk, made it 68-48.

"Armstead was huge at that point," Giannini said. "He had three, four big buckets in a row and we were scoring. But if we get the stops, that 10, 11, 12-point game is a four- to eight-point game, and then you really have a chance. But Armstead wouldn't allow it. When we threatened, he was the one that really responded."

The Shockers hit two straight 3-pointers to open the second half and push their lead to 22 points.

La Salle turned aggressive, answering with a 10-0 run to close to 44-32, with Wright scoring the first seven points and Galloway making a 3-pointer.

The Explorers got shocked to start the game, with Wichita State outscoring them 14-2. The Shockers ended the half on a 9-1 run, including five by Baker, to lead 38-22 at the break. La Salle was held to 27 percent shooting, while Wichita State shot 53 percent and dominated the paint 24-10.

Hall's teammates repeatedly found him down on the block and he muscled in layups over the smaller Explorers.

Galloway missed his first six shots. He finally made a 3-pointer that drew the Explorers within eight, but Wichita State quickly restored its lead to double digits.

Although 6-foot-11 center Steve Zack was cleared to play, he didn't and the Explorers missed his added height and inside presence. Zack had been out the previous six games with a sprained foot.

"He had a lot of soreness today, and we didn't think he could move well enough to help us in the game," Giannini said.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Stocks