Shockers roll to 72-58 NCAA win over La Salle

Wichita State's Carl Hall, center, works through La Salle defenders Ramon Galloway, left, and D.J. Peterson during the first half of a West Regional semifinal in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (Mark J. Terrill)
Wichita State's Carl Hall, center, works through La Salle defenders Ramon Galloway, left, and D.J. Peterson during the first half of a West Regional semifinal in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Wichita State went from sweet to elite, beating La Salle 72-58 on Thursday night to reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 32 years.

Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points, Carl Hall added 16 points and freshman Ron Baker 13 for the ninth-seeded Shockers, who proved their upset of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the third round was no fluke. They never trailed in this matchup of small schools whose past NCAA tourney success was long buried in the history books.

The Shockers advanced to Saturday’s West Regional final against No. 2 seed Ohio State, a 73-70 winner over Arizona in the first semifinal at Staples Center. Their yellow-clad fans, several waving handmade signs, made up nearly all of the smaller crowd that stuck around to see the end.

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