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La Salle nips Ole Miss to advance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Maybe it's fitting that a team with a flair for the dramatic is headed for Hollywood.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Maybe it's fitting that a team with a flair for the dramatic is headed for Hollywood.

La Salle continued its magical NCAA run by earning a berth in the Sweet 16 with Sunday night's 76-74 win over Mississippi in a third-round game at the Sprint Center.

The 13th-seeded Explorers will face No. 9 Wichita State on Thursday at 10 p.m. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Tyrone Garland's driving layup over 6-foot-9 Reginald Bucker with three seconds left broke the 74-74 tie, and Ole Miss missed a desperation shot at the buzzer.

"They call it a Southwest Philly floater in the playground," Garland said.

With the score tied at 74, La Salle had the ball with 32 seconds left. Point guard Tyreek Duren ran down the clock before passing to Garland at the foul line with about five seconds left.

Garland said he never considered anything but a drive.

"I just knew I wasn't going to settle for a jump shot," Garland said. "I was going to get to the rim because I didn't make that many jump shots during the game."

Garland said he felt he was either going to make the shot or draw a foul, and it didn't matter that it was over the towering Buckner.

"I'm not scared of anyone," he said. "I just went in there, knew if I had a clear shot, I probably had a chance of making it."

La Salle (24-9) was led by Ramon Galloway, who with 24 points had his third consecutive stellar postseason game. He has scored 64 points in the three NCAA wins. Duren scored 19 points, and Garland added 17.

"What a great win and a great weekend. . . . La Salle is very proud of these guys," said Explorers coach John Giannini.

Marshall Henderson, the flashy junior guard, led Ole Miss with 21 points. But he shot just 8 for 21 from the field and 4 for 15 from beyond the arc.

What hurt 12th-seeded Ole Miss (27-9) was that the Rebels shot just 10 for 21 from the foul line, while La Salle was 13 for 18.

Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway was impressed by La Salle's athletic ability. "Their quickness really hurt us," he said.

With La Salle trailing by 74-72 with 1 minute, 33 seconds left, Garland missed the front end of a one-and-one. Then Ole Miss guard Jarvis Summers missed a three-pointer, and Duren was fouled on the rebound. He tied the score at 74 by making both free throws with 1:07 left.

The Rebels' LaDarius White missed badly on a pull-up jumper. But Ole Miss retained possession and called time with 12 seconds on the shot clock.

Henderson then forced a shot that was an air ball, and a shot-clock violation was called.

While Galloway guarded Henderson for much of the game, La Salle switched Sam Mills on him with about five minutes remaining. Mills came through.

"I knew Henderson was going to try to make big shots down the stretch, and Coach G told me to zone in on him. I tried to make each shot tough," Mills said.

For the third-straight NCAA game, La Salle took the lead at halftime, only this margin wasn't as pronounced as before. The Explorers, who led Boise State by eight and Kansas State by 18, held a 40-38 halftime advantage over Ole Miss.

In the second half, the Rebels took a 69-64 lead on a Buckner layup with 4:18 left, but Mills hit a three and Jerrell Wright tied it on a layup. The game remained tense the rest of the way.