By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – La Salle may have been playing out west, but it was a full house at Dan Rodden Arena here in Philadelphia where La Salle students, staff and friends gathered to cheer on the Explorers as they lost to Wichita State 72-58.
A slow start and Wichita State’s domination in the paint doomed La Salle, whose amazing run to the sweet 16 captivated a city desperate for some sports success.
Hundreds of fans at an on-campus watch party were confident La Salle would find a way to win, even when the team was down 22 points in the second half. But, the miraculous comeback fans were hoping for never came.
Still, fans say they have nothing but pride in their team.
“I thought it was a tough effort by La Salle, I mean not many people expected them to be here. They showed their heart, and they did everything they could do.”
Students say this run won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
“It was inspirational. This team really inspired the city of Philadelphia. I play tennis at La Salle and they’ve inspired us to want to play harder, really work hard. This whole school has been so vibrant.”
Many fans say they expect the Explorers to be right back in the mix for next year’s tournament, and are hopeful that the team will take it a step further.