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Missouri Valley Conference Wichita State rematch with Bradley follows form

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 7:28 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, March 11, 2012, at 1:04 p.m.

Shocker report

Friday’s box score

Wichita St. 78, Bradley 41


Percentages: FG .288, FT .417. 3-Point Goals: 2-13, .154 (Simms-Edwards 2-5, Stewart 0-1, Knezevic 0-1, Brown 0-1, Shayok 0-2, Eastman 0-3). Team Rebounds: 1. Blocked Shots: 1 (Brown). Turnovers: 12 (Simms-Edwards 3, Brown 3, Hodges 2, Lemon, Shayok, Eastman, Prosser). Steals: 8 (Brown 3, Shayok, Woods, Lemon, Eastman, Prosser). Technical Fouls: None.


Percentages: FG .558, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (Kyles 4-6, White 2-2, Murry 1-1, Smith 1-3, Wessel 0-1, Cotton 0-2, Williams 0-3). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 2 (Smith, Murry). Turnovers: 15 (Murry 5, Cotton 3, Orukpe 3, Kyles, Anacreon, Wessel). Steals: 6 (Williams 2, Cotton 2, Hall, Orukpe). Technical Fouls: None.

Wichita St.393978

Att.–10,335. Officials–Mike Stuart, David Hall, Randy McCall.

Resting Ragland

With no need to risk further injury, WSU guard Joe Ragland took Friday’s game off to protect a sprained right toe.

Ragland wore his uniform, but didn’t warm up. Ragland expects to play in Sunday’s game at Indiana State.

“I’ll be OK,” Ragland said. “I’m close to 100 percent.”

Ragland ran into teammate Carl Hall in the second half of Tuesday’s game against Illinois State. He continued to play, but the toe bothered him and he did not practice.

WSU coach Gregg Marshall said he could have played in an emergency situation. Rest and recovery is more important, especially considering the opponent and the schedule. After Indiana State, the Shockers play at Northern Iowa on Wednesday.

“We’re in a grind right now,” Marshall said.

David Kyles replaced Ragland in the starting lineup. Demetric Williams handled most of the point-guard duties.

Off again

Bradley coach Geno Ford looked at the stat sheet and knew it would not offer much relief. His team shot 28.8 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from three-point range (2 of 13). In the Dec. 28 game, Bradley shot 25.5 percent and 21.4 from three-point range (3 of 14).

Ford liked his team’s passing better Wednesday. It’s hard to get 11 assist on 17 baskets.

“I will not be staying in Wichita to run a shooting clinic for kids,” he said.

WSU put together several nice defensive sequences. Most telling was one to open the second half. Bradley turned the ball over on its first possession. Taylor Brown, who scored 14 points, missed a guarded jumper. Shayok Shayok took an ill-advised three and it led to a run-out by WSU’s Toure Murry, who was fouled on the play. Then Bradley’s Jordan Prosser walked.

After a three by Murry, WSU led 43-24.

TV tension

The MetroSports TV crew had to hustle to get Friday’s game on the air. Coming from Kansas City, the cab hauling the trailer broke down near Emporia and had to be towed to Koch Arena.

The tow truck got close, then made a made a wrong turn past the arena before arriving about 30 minutes before tip. Crews usually started setting up six hours before the game.

“Friday the 13th, that’s the first thing I thought,” said Mark Ewing, Cox 22 programming manager.

Crews rushed to get set up and got the broadcast ready – with all five cameras and graphics operating – in about 27 minutes.

“That’s a record,” Ewing said.

Worth noting

WSU is 5-1 in the MVC for the third straight season. . . The Shockers played on Friday the 13th for the first time since March 1981, when it defeated Southern University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. . .Freshman Evan Wessel played for the first time since the first meeting with Bradley, on Dec. 28. Freshman Jake White made his first three-pointer, from the right wing, late in the game and quickly swished a second from the opposite side. He entered the game 0 for 4 from behind the arc. He finished the game with a season-high eight points. . . WSU also won five straight over Bradley from 1975-1977, its longest streak in the series.

— Paul Suellentrop

Against Bradley, Wichita State will measure progress by mental sharpness, not margin of victory.

The Shockers had every reason to blow off the Braves and look ahead, courtesy of late December’s historic rout in Peoria, Ill. WSU knew it enjoyed a physical edge. On Friday, it also engaged mentally, took the Braves seriously and hammered them again, 78-41 at Koch Arena.

“We don’t relax against Bradley, and we continue to play well and play hard,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “Against other teams, we’ve not done that. I was very pleased with how we continued to push.”

WSU’s performance didn’t quite measure up to the 90-51 win on Dec. 28, Bradley’s worst loss in 108 seasons of home games. It was close enough for both parties. Bradley played tougher for longer in the rematch. WSU (14-3, 5-1 Missouri Valley Conference) didn’t get as many easy baskets as in the first game because Bradley (5-13, 0-6) cut down on turnovers. WSU also missed point guard Joe Ragland, out with a sprained right toe.

“That game at home _ they just kicked us,” Bradley coach Geno Ford said. “In this one, I think we tried to compete. Obviously, we didn’t get enough done.”

WSU beat the Braves for the fifth straight time, matching its longest streak in the 127-game series. Bradley lost its ninth straight, a streak that began on Dec. 17.

The Shockers know they are on comeback watch. In recent games, they’ve built double-digit leads and watched them dwindle. It makes fans nervous. Coaches and players don’t love it, either. On Friday, they had none of that.

“We get overconfident when we get a big lead,” WSU forward Carl Hall said. “We relax. That’s when teams come back. We just wanted to jump out on them early, and keep the lead.”

A balanced offense (five players scored eight or more) and 55.8-percent shooting kept the Shockers from falling into that rut again. Garrett Stutz recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points 13 rebounds, one off his career high. David Kyles broke out of a shooting slump to make 4 of 6 threes and score 16 points. Carl Hall added 11 points.

Bradley stuck close early, trimming WSU leads of 8-0 and 18-8 into more manageable scores. Shocker turnovers kept it close, but the Braves failed to cash in big. Then the Shockers closed the half on a 16-5 run for a 39-24 lead that matched the earlier game.

Kyles started it with a lob dunk from Toure Murry. He added two threes for half the points. Hall did his work in the paint, scoring on two post-ups and four free throws for the other half of the burst.

“When David is knocking down shots, it makes everything easier in the post,” Hall said. “They can’t double when our shooters are on, and that helped me a lot.”

WSU didn’t mess around after halftime, a danger spot in recent games. Tekele Cotton’s jumper made the lead 50-29 with 14:49 to play and the Shockers didn’t let up.

Stutz and Hall teamed up for an inside attack that caused Ford to marvel at its efficiency. They combined to make 8 of 11 shots and score 27 points. Kyles’ revival relieved Marshall, who put him in the starting lineup for a shot of confidence. Kyles shot 30.8 percent from the floor in the first five MVC games.

“We debated who to go with in the starting lineup, whether it be Ben (Smith) or David,” Marshall said. “Honestly, we just thought David needed it more.”

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