La Salle, James Madison advance from Dayton

JOE KAY AP Sports Writer Published:

DAYTON (AP) -- Guards, guards everywhere. And they can shoot.

La Salle gets to take its uncharacteristic approach -- not much size but lots of shots and lots of points -- back to a city that has a little nostalgia for the Explorers.

Tyrone Garland led the guard-driven offense with 22 points, and the Explorers wrapped up the NCAA tournament's First Four by getting the better of an old-fashioned shootout, beating Boise State 80-71 on Wednesday night.

It was a notable moment for the 13th-seeded Explorers (22-9), who hadn't even been in the tournament for 21 years. Now, they head to Kansas City to play fourth-seeded Kansas State on Friday.

Kansas City? That's the place where they beat Bradley to win the national title in 1954.

"Unbelievable tradition here," coach John Giannini said. "I think people have tended to have forgotten what a basketball power La Salle was for over four decades. So it's a big deal. It's a big deal to re-establish that. It's a big deal for people who attended La Salle and love La Salle, who had great basketball, and certainly they've longed for that."

In the first game, A.J. Davis stepped in for James Madison's suspended leading scorer and had 20 points, leading the Dukes to a 68-55 win over LIU Brooklyn.

James Madison (21-14), which won its first NCAA tournament game in 30 years, next takes on top-seeded Indiana, also in Dayton.

The Dukes were without suspended starter Rayshawn Goins for the first half, but built a big lead. After the Blackbirds (20-14) rallied to take a brief lead, the Dukes surged again to win going away by closing the game on a 10-2 run.

Davis opened the game with an emphatic 3 as if to say this was his time. And he didn't let up.

"Coach said, 'Don't do anything outside of your character, just be humble and play your game,'" Davis said. "While Rayshawn was sitting out, a couple of guys came off the bench and stepped up for us."

Charles Cooke, who hadn't scored in three of his last four games, added 15 points and defensive specialist Andre Nation added 14 for the Dukes, who were winless in the NCAA tournament since 1983.

Jamal Olasewere had 20 points and 10 rebounds and C.J. Garner 16 points for the Blackbirds, who have lost in their first game in each of their six trips to the tournament, including the last three years.

Goins, JMU's leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (7.4), was suspended for the first half following a weekend arrest. Police in Harrisonburg, Va., said they were called to break up a party early Sunday morning and Goins was shouting obscenities at them. He looked out of synch when he got into the game, but later added four points in the decisive run that put the game out of reach.

Now, the Dukes have taken a step toward reminding people how dangerous they used to be.

Lou Campanelli coached the Dukes to mammoth NCAA upsets over Georgetown in 1981, Ohio State in 1982 and West Virginia in 1983. The 1982 team lost to eventual national champion North Carolina -- led by Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins -- 52-50 in the final minute.

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