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Wichita State wraps up regular season with 81-58 win over Drake

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at 2:37 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, March 11, 2012, at 1:06 p.m.

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Gregg Marshall talks after Saturday's win over Drake

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Shocker report

Saturday’s box score

Drake (58)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Clarke

13

0-0

0-0

0-3

2

3

0

Jeffers

28

4-8

2-2

0-3

0

2

12

Madison

17

0-5

0-0

1-3

0

2

0

Rice

35

7-12

4-5

0-4

1

3

18

Simons

33

7-17

0-0

0-2

0

1

21

Hawley

19

0-5

0-0

0-4

0

1

0

Alexander

24

3-11

0-0

0-4

3

3

6

Welfringer

3

0-0

0-0

1-1

0

0

0

Parker

1

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Woods

26

0-0

0-0

1-2

0

2

0

Smith

1

0-0

1-2

0-0

0

0

1

Totals

200

21-59

7-9

7-32

6

17

58

Percentages: FG .356, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 9-23, .391 (Simons 7-12, Jeffers 2-4, Rice 0-2, Madison 0-2, Hawley 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 2 (Woods 2). Turnovers: 15 (Simons 4, Rice 2, Clarke 2, Welfringer 2, Madison 2, Jeffers, Hawley, Alexander). Steals: 6 (Alexander 2, Clarke 2, Madison, Simons). Technical Fouls: None.

Wichita State (81)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Ragland

12

0-1

0-1

0-0

1

1

0

Williams

30

3-8

4-4

0-5

4

2

11

Smith

30

6-12

2-2

2-4

0

0

18

Murry

32

7-15

0-0

1-7

3

2

14

Stutz

19

4-10

7-7

1-5

0

1

15

Wessel

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Orukpe

12

2-3

0-0

3-6

0

2

4

Hall

18

0-1

1-2

2-4

0

1

1

Kyles

28

5-12

3-4

1-7

6

0

13

Cotton

17

2-3

0-0

0-0

2

0

5

White

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Totals

200

29-65

17-20

13-44

16

10

81

Percentages: FG .446, FT .850. 3-Point Goals: 6-25, .240 (Smith 4-8, Cotton 1-2, Williams 1-4, Ragland 0-1, Murry 0-2, Stutz 0-2, Kyles 0-6). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 8 (Orukpe 4, Hall 2, Smith, Kyles). Turnovers: 10 (Orukpe 2, Murry 2, Hall 2, Smith 2, Stutz 2). Steals: 8 (Murry 3, Cotton 2, Hall, Kyles, Stutz). Technical Fouls: None.

Drake

25

33

58

Wichita St.

36

45

81

Att.–10,506. Officials–Rick Randall, Brad Ferrie, James Durham.

Good times all over

Seniors Toure Murry, Ben Smith, Garrett Stutz, Joe Ragland and David Kyles played their last game at Koch Arena, and that was just the starting point.

Those five, plus senior manager Drew Bridges, took center court before the game. The players received framed jerseys. Coach Gregg Marshall got an autographed basketball commemorating his 300th win, a week earlier at Davidson. Then retiring president Don Beggs and wife Shirley got an ovation before they presided over their final home game.

Carolyn Murry, Toure’s mother, sang the national anthem.

Kyles’ thoughts flashed back to his first year at WSU during the postgame celebration. The Shockers cut down the nets and talked with family and friends. Fans took plenty of photos with the players and some waited more than an hour after the game for autographs.

“I remember from when we first got here, and the feeling when I first got here knowing that we had a lot of work to do,” he said. “Now we’re on the bright side of things. We’re not done. We’re still hungry.”

Make him shoot

Drake guard Rayvonte Rice is a fullback kind of player, one who wants to use his quicks and strength to get to the basket.

Turning him into a perimeter player is the goal. WSU did that for most of Saturday’s game. Rice scored 18 points, but wasn’t effective getting into the lane until it was too late. He scored 12 of his points in the final 10:48, six coming after WSU’s lead reached 25.

“We didn’t let him get to his strong points, where he can make that strong move that he does,” Murry said. “We made him an outside jump shooter.”

Ben Simons led Drake with 21 points, but he didn’t score in the final 17 minutes. He played in his second game since missing five with mononucleosis.

“I think Ben wore down a little,” Drake coach Mark Phelps said.

No go for Joe

Ragland played 12 minutes in the first half. He sat out most of the second half and didn’t leave the training room area until late in the game. A headache that kept him out of Friday’s practice bothered him again.

“He’s got some form of a headache, so we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with him,” Marshall said. “Hopefully, he’ll be healthy by Tuesday.”

Marshall subbed him in in the final seconds so he could get a hand from the crowd.

FOX apologizes for broadcast mistake

Some Wichita State fans at home didn’t get to see a good portion of Saturday’s game because of a broadcasting error by FOX Sports Midwest. When FSMW finally cut over from a St. Louis Blues-Winnipeg Jets game, the Shockers led 22-13 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half.

"We deeply apologize to Shockers fans who did not receive the beginning of Saturday’s telecast,” said Geoff Goldman, who handles media relations for FSMW. “A switching error caused cable TV viewers in Wichita to receive alternate programming."

Worth noting

WSU’s 16 MVC wins are its most since the 1982-83 team went 17-1.… Kyles handed out a career-high six assists and tied his high with seven rebounds.… Murry had three assists, giving him 418 for his career. He trails Warren Armstrong (429) and Bob Trogele (420) on WSU’s career list.… Freshman Evan Wessel, wearing tape to protect his dislocated left pinky finger, suited up after sitting out Wednesday’s game at Illinois State. James Anacreon remains sidelined with a groin pull.… Neosho County Community College sophomore Chris Patton, a 6-foot-10, 270-pound Australian, and Khadre Lane, a 6-5 sophomore at Lawrence’s Bishop Seabury, watched Saturday’s game.… Drake held an opponent under 50 percent from the field for a 15th straight game.

Wichita State left no doubt. During the game. During the celebration.

The 19th-ranked Shockers popped the cork on their reign as Missouri Valley Conference champions with an 81-58 win over Drake at sold-out Koch Arena on Saturday afternoon. The postgame party with streamers, fans on the floor, cell phones and scissors seemed a long time coming. WSU clinched a piece of the title 10 days earlier and didn’t celebrate much. It clinched sole ownership of the crown on the road Wednesday.

That set up Saturday with a game serving as a prelude to a party. With about eight minutes remaining, announcer Don Hall asked fans not to rush the court, a signal to warm up the scissors for cutting down the nets.

“It’s a special day for us, for our families and our fans,” WSU senior Toure Murry said. “We knew once that ball got tipped up we had to get ready to play.”

WSU (26-4, 16-2 MVC) enters the MVC Tournament on an eight-game winning streak and avenged a 93-86 triple-overtime loss on Jan. 28. Drake (16-14, 9-9) will be the No. 7 seed even though it finished in a five-way tie for third.

Marshall came to the interview room carrying one of the nets. He watched his team handle pregame honors for five seniors and play most of the second half without ailing guard Joe Ragland, all with the knowledge the postgame fun depended on them winning.

As he expected, the Shockers gave him a low-stress afternoon.

“It’s a special group,” he said. “Once we clinched on Wednesday and we had to add one more goal to our list, that was to beat Drake and continue into the conference tournament on a positive.”

The Shockers did that with their usual talents, easily surviving a bad shooting night from three-point range. They held Drake to 35.6-percent shooting and outrebounded the Bulldogs 44-32. WSU outscored Drake by 10 points at the foul line.

Ben Smith led WSU with 18 points, making 4 of 8 threes. Garrett Stutz added 15 points and Murry contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Ragland, who sat out Friday’s practice with a headache and cold, played in the first half. He remained in the training room most of the second half before joining the team on the bench in the final minutes.

“This is a well-oiled machine of a basketball team,” Marshall said. “We don’t have Joe Ragland. So we win by 23.”

Drake forward Ben Simons scored 21 points, only six in the second half. Guard Rayvonte Rice added 18, but 12 came in the final 11 minutes with WSU already in control.

“"We needed some guys to step up earlier in the game,” Drake coach Mark Phelps said. “Ben carried us, and we needed more than Ben."

The Shockers answered questions about their readiness by blowing out to a 12-1 lead. Simons, who scored 29 in the first meeting, made two three-pointers to cut the lead to 12-7. Two more from Simons kept Drake close at 15-13.

Simons made one more basket in the half. The Shockers kept Rice from his preferred driving lanes. Gradually, they pulled away. They led 36-25 at halftime, closing with a 7-0 burst.

Simons scored his final basket of the game with 17:04 to play, drawing Drake within 39-33. David Kyles made two free throws and then Murry took over. He stripped the ball from Simons near the foul line and dunked for a 43-33 lead. His layup made it a 12-point edge. Demetric Williams missed a three, and WSU’s Carl Hall kept the rebound alive for Murry to grab on a bounce and lay in for a 49-35 lead.

The Shockers scored on four straight possessions a few minutes later, started by Ben Smith’s basket and a Smith three. Tekele Cotton’s jumper and a basket by Kyles made it 67-45.

Marshall cleared his bench in the final minute, giving the crowd a chance to cheer the seniors. He inserted Ragland with 18 seconds remaining to give him his ovation.

“Fun time,” Kyles said. “Now that it’s over, I’m going to spend time with my family. We’ll come back on Monday and we’ll practice again and get back at it.”

Check Paul Suellentrop’s Shocker blog at blogs.kansas.com/shockwaves. Reach him at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com.

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