Dayton, Ohio — Tyrone Garland led four players in double figures with 22 points on 9-of-11 from the field, as La Salle used a hot- shooting performance to dispatch Boise State, 80-71, in first-round action of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday.
Ramon Galloway totaled 21 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Explorers (22-9), who waited 21 years for another crack at the NCAA Tournament and didn’t disappoint thanks to a 63.3 percent effort from the floor.
Sam Mills drained five 3-pointers en route to 15 points and Jerrell Wright added 13 with six rebounds.
The first of three Philadelphia-based programs to take the floor became the first to advance, winning their first tourney game since 1990 and earning a shot at fourth-seeded Kansas State in the West Region on Friday.
Anthony Drmic’s game-high 28 points — including five shots from beyond the arc — wasn’t enough for the Broncos (21-11). Derrick Marks had 14 points, seven boards and five assists, while Ryan Watkins contributed 10 points in defeat.
Garland and Mills connected on back-to-back treys to give the Explorers a 68-56 margin with 7:15 to play, and a runner from Galloway pushed the edge to 72-58 less than two minutes later.
Mikey Thompson hit two free throws and Kenny Buckner added one more to pull the Broncos to 74-66 with 2:36 remaining, and after Wright bricked a pair from the line, a Barnes bucket made it 74-68 with 1:51 left.
Tyreek Duren then missed a layup, and Buckner missed the front end of a 1- and-1 after being fouled when pulling down the rebound.
Garland hit both of his attempts for a 76-68 game, and a tip from Marks after a pair of missed three-pointers by Drmic made it a six-point spread once more.
But Galloway made his last shot and Duren made a pair from the charity stripe to seal it.
La Salle led 10-6 in the early stages, and the Explorers stretched their advantage to 25-12 thanks to a 12-1 run, ending on a Galloway trey — the last of his five points in the surge — with 9:12 on the clock.
Boise State reeled off five straight points, but two baskets from Garland and a slam off the break by Galloway provided a 31-17 lead with under 5 1/2 minutes before intermission.
The Broncos pulled within 35-27 at the break on a Drmic three-point play.
Galloway’s shot from long distance opened up a 44-34 edge for La Salle early in the second half, and when Garland and Mills were true from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions, it was a 52-38 game.
Boise State managed to answer triple for triple in the next several minutes, but was unable to reduce its deficit to any meaningful number.
James Madison 68, Long Island 55
Dayton, Ohio — Andre Nation scored 14 points to go with seven rebounds and five blocks to lead James Madison to a 68-55 win over Long Island in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday.
A.J. Davis added 20 points and Charles Cooke finished with 15 points for the Dukes (21-14), who will face top-seeded Indiana in the second-round of an Eastern region matchup on Friday.
James Madison’s leading-scorer Rayshawn Goins was suspended for the first half because of disciplinary reasons. Goins finished with four points and eight rebounds.
Jamal Olasewere had 20 points and 10 rebounds and C.J. Garner added 16 for the Blackbirds (20-14), who were held to their lowest offensive output this season.