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Wichita State makes big first impression with 72-48 win

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, March 2, 2012, at 2:56 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 13, 2012, at 6:29 p.m.

Photos

Illinois State vs. Wichita State

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis

Records: ISU 19-12, WSU 27-4

Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM

TV: FSKC, Ch.. 34

Shocker report

Friday’s box score

Indiana State (48)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Richard

31

1-8

4-4

1-4

2

3

6

Walker

28

1-4

0-0

1-2

0

1

2

Odum

26

2-9

2-2

1-4

1

1

6

Lathan

27

3-8

2-4

2-6

1

3

9

McWhorter

25

2-5

1-2

0-1

1

1

6

Kitchell

5

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Lu Eitel

12

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Gant

7

1-2

2-2

0-1

0

0

4

Printy

23

2-7

0-0

0-1

0

1

6

Mahurin

16

2-7

4-7

2-3

0

0

9

Totals

200

14-52

15-21

9-29

5

10

48

Percentages: FG .269, FT .714. 3-Point Goals: 5-22, .227 (Printy 2-6, McWhorter 1-3, Lathan 1-4, Mahurin 1-4, Lu. Eitel 0-1, Odum 0-1, Richard 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots: 3 (Walker 2, Gant). Turnovers: 12 (Lathan 3, Mahurin 3, Odum 2, Richard 2, McWhorter, Lu. Eitel). Steals: 8 (Lathan 3, Walker 2, McWhorter 2, Richard). Technical Fouls: None.

Wichita State (72)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Smith

23

3-7

1-1

4-6

0

3

8

Stutz

23

3-6

0-0

4-12

0

3

6

Ragland

27

6-8

0-0

0-3

5

0

14

Williams

30

4-7

0-0

0-4

4

1

10

Murry

29

6-13

2-2

1-3

4

2

14

Wessel

3

0-1

0-0

0-1

0

0

0

Anacreon

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

Vautravers

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Orukpe

5

1-1

0-0

0-1

0

1

2

Hall

22

3-7

0-2

2-5

0

2

6

Kyles

14

2-5

0-0

0-2

1

2

5

Cotton

11

3-5

0-0

0-2

0

2

7

White

8

0-2

0-0

0-1

0

2

0

Totals

200

31-62

3-5

12-43

15

18

72

Percentages: FG .500, FT .600. 3-Point Goals: 7-14, .500 (Ragland 2-3, Williams 2-3, Cotton 1-1, Kyles 1-2, Smith 1-3, White 0-1, Stutz 0-1). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 5 (Orukpe 2, Stutz 2, Hall). Turnovers: 13 (Murry 3, Stutz 3, Hall 3, Williams 2, Cotton, Vautravers). Steals: 9 (Murry 3, Williams 2, Hall 2, Smith, Ragland). Technical Fouls: None.

Indiana St.

19

29

48

Wichita St.

40

32

72

Att.–NA. Officials–Michael Stuart, Gerry Pollard, Randy Heimerman.

Watch and learn

WSU guard Demetric Williams hopes the rest of the field was paying attention to Friday’s game. They learned the Shockers aren’t going to hand out a free pass to the MVC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“You’ve got to dominate your conference first before you can think about the NCAA,” he said. “We’re not here just to play or mess around. We’re here to win it.”

Coach Gregg Marshall has come to expect such effort this season, especially during the current nine-game win streak that matches longest as Shocker coach.

“We talked about if we play harder and smarter and tougher than that team today, the way we’re playing it’s going to be hard for us to come up short,” he said. “That was the tone. Don’t leave it to chance.”

Sycamores coach Greg Lansing knew the obstacle faced by his team. Indiana State lost 75-65 at home and 71-66 at WSU this season, keeping both games close until the final minutes. Friday’s game unfolded much differently.

“They’re as good as anybody we’ve played,” he said. “They’re as good as anybody I’ve seen on TV. They’re as good as anybody they’re going to play in the NCAA Tournament as well, whether they win this thing or not.”

Righting a wrong

WSU believed it deserved a spot in the NCAA Tournament last season, a spot Indiana State won by eliminating the Shockers on their way to the MVC Tournament title.

They happily returned the favor on Friday.

“It was definitely on our mind,” senior Toure Murry said. “To get to the championship, we’ve got to defeat the defending champion.”

The Shockers led last season’s semifinal game 18-7. The Sycamores quickly closed the gap and pulled away in the second half to win 61-54. Both teams are different this season.

“They were tough last year, too,” Sycamores guard Jake Odum said. “But they stepped it up a little bit. That is a group of guys that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament. They’re just out to get everybody.”

Out of my way

Indiana State needed defensive help. It almost got some from an official early in the game.

After a turnover by Steve McWhorter, Murry grabbed the ball and turned up court. Instead of open court, he bumped into an official. Murry managed to keep control of the ball and pass to Williams for a layup and a 7-0 lead.

“I was about to go get it, and the ref was in the way,” Murry said. “I kind of threw the ball in bounds and moved out of the way of the ref.”

Owning the ball

Indiana State out-rebounded WSU in both regular-season meetings. Friday, the Shockers grabbed 43 to Indiana State’s 29. Center Garrett Stutz led the Shockers with 12. Ben Smith added six.

“I thought Garrett Stutz really rebounded the ball big,” Marshall said. “There were times where it was only him at the level the ball was coming off the rim. It was his ball. Not one time did they body him and try to knock it loose.”

Stutz, a 7-foot senior, blocked two shots to join an exclusive club. Bob Elmore, Antoine Carr, Xavier McDaniel and Stutz are the only Shockers to score 1,000-plus points, grab 500-plus rebounds and block 100 or more shots.

Worth noting

WSU’s 27 wins are tied for second-most in program history with the 1953-54 team. Last season’s team set the record with 29 wins.… Murry handed out four assists to get to 422 for his career and pass Bob Trogele (1975-79) into second place. Murry trails career leader Warren Jabali (1965-68) by seven assists.… WSU president Don Beggs received an ovation from the crowd before the game. Beggs is retiring this summer.… Fox Sports TV announcers wore mock turtlenecks in honor of Charlie Spoonhour, the former analyst and Missouri State coach who died last month.

— First seed, first on the floor, first to make a great impression in Arch Madness.

No. 15 Wichita State routed Indiana State 72-48 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at the Scottrade Center. The Shockers erased any concerns about their level of interest in winning this championship in the first 10 minutes. They played with a dive-for-loose-balls desperation more fitting of the eighth seed than a team cruising into an NCAA Tournament berth.

That’s not the way the Shockers (27-4) think. They won their ninth straight game by burying the eighth-seeded Sycamores (18-14) under a 20-3 lead. WSU plays in Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. semifinal against Illinois State.

“We wanted to come out and set an example, and you’ve got to do that on the defensive end,” WSU guard Demetric Williams said. “Everybody on this team was buying into the getting on the floor first.”

WSU’s defense knocked the Sycamores off-stride immediately. Dwayne Lathan walked on Indiana State’s first possession. Carl Richard took Indiana State’s first shot and missed everything from three-point range. A steal by Toure Murry got Williams a layup for for a 7-0 lead. A few minutes later, Murry stole the ball and dove to beat Jake Odum to the loose ball. After another Murry deflection, Joe Ragland went to the floor to grab the ball and pass ahead to Murry for a layup and a 28-7 lead.

“The first one on the floor usually wins championships and wins the game,” Murry said. “Usually, I’m not known as a guy that gets on the floor, so I think that really helped defensively.”

WSU’s defensive burst left the Sycamores shaken. They recovered briefly after halftime, but never seriously threatened.

“I felt like they were on top of everything we wanted to do,” Richard said. “They took away our strength, and we just didn’t come back with any type of resistance.”

The Sycamores missed nine of their first 10 shots, six of the misses from three-point range. The Shockers contested most shots and sealed off the lane. The Sycamores shot 26.9 percent from the field, missing 17 of 22 threes. No Sycamore reached double figures.

“We probably settled for too many threes in the first half,” Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. “When a team is pressuring you, it’s easy to stand outside the three-point arc and fire those.”

Williams’ effort on Odum kicked off WSU’s defensive effort. Odum finished with six points on 2-of-9 shooting, along with two turnovers and one assist. WSU limited his creative forays into the lane, either by contesting his shots or covering up potential targets. With Odum ineffective, the Sycamore offense never revved up. Center Myles Walker only took four shots, leaving Indiana State to try and compete with jumpers.

“We just tried to put a lot of pressure and clog up everything in the paint and close out on shooters,” Ragland said. “We did a real good job of that the first 20 minutes.”

Ragland and Murry both scored 14 points to lead the Shockers, who shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent (7 of 14) from three-point range. Williams added 10 points.

The Shockers led 40-19 at halftime after outscoring Indiana State 20-2 in the paint. The Sycamores cut the lead to 40-28, helped by six straight Shockers misses to start the second half. Then Ragland made a three off a screen by Carl Hall. Within two minutes, WSU built the lead back to 20 and fans started chanting “This is our house.”

Not yet. By Sunday, that may be the case.

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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