DAYTON, Ohio – La Salle had to wait 21 years between NCAA tournament games. The layoff until its next appearance won’t be nearly as long.
On Wednesday, the No. 13 Explorers beat No. 13 Boise State, 80-71, at UD Arena in a first-round/play-in game. La Salle (22-9) will advance to the second round on Friday.
It was the Explorers' first March Madness win since 1990.
La Salle got off to a hot start, hitting 56 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range. The Explorers forced nine turnovers before the half. La Salle is 19-2 this year when leading before intermission.
Inside the box score
The Explorers shot 63 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range. La Salle -- which had four players score in double figures –-- was led by Tyrone Garland, who had 22 points. Ramon Galloway poured in 21 points. Jerrell Wright added 13 points and six rebounds, and Sam Mills posted 15 points.
The Explorers held Boise State to 49 percent shooting from the field and just 38 percent from three-point range.
Wednesday marked La Salle’s 150th anniversary as a school. It was also the 59th anniversary of the Explorers winning the 1954 NCAA Championship over Bradley. La Salle beat the Braves, 92-76, in Kansas City that year.
La Salle heads to Kansas City, Mo., to play No. 4 Kansas State at 3:10 p.m. on Friday. For interested parties, the Explorers’ ticket office will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are $80. Call 215-951-1999 for details.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins on Monday added two new members to his coaching staff.
Keith Gaither will take over as the wide receivers’ coach and Kyle Lane is the new video coordinator.
Gaither comes to Temple with 21 years of coaching experience. He spent last season as Army's wide receivers coach. Prior to that, he spent time with Tusculum College (1998-99), Thomasville City Schools (2000-04), Winston-Salem State (2005-08), Elon (2009-10) and Ball State (2010-14).
Gaither spent his collegiate career at Elon, where he was a four-year starter and voted all-region at defensive end before graduating in 1997. Collins originally had retained Frisman Jackson from the 2016 staff, but Jackson was hired by the Tennessee Titans.
Lane is a Temple alum who spent time with Kansas during the 2016 season as its assistant video coordinator.
Villanova remained the No. 1 team in the nation in Monday's AP poll, receiving 35 of 65 first-place votes to keep the top spot for a second straight week after briefly losing it.
Kansas, which was No. 2 last week despite receiving more first-place votes than Villanova, remains No. 2 with 28 votes.
The Wildcats (19-1) went 2-0 last week, crushing Seton Hall, 76-46, and beating Providence 78-68 four days later. The Friars had given 'Nova some trouble in recent years.
Villanova has won five in a row since suffering its only loss of the season Jan. 4 at Butler. That's 'Nova's only loss in its last 26 games dating back to last season.
A pair of challenges awaits Jay Wright's team this week: Tuesday at Marquette, Sunday vs. No. 12 Virginia.