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Illinois State continues Wichita State’s St. Louis misery Illinois State bounces angry WSU

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 4:04 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 13, 2012, at 6:29 p.m.

Wichita State falls to Illinois State 65-64 at MVC Tourney

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Shocker report

Saturday’s box score

Illinois State (65)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Brown

37

9-19

4-4

4-6

1

2

25

Moore

38

3-7

4-4

0-3

3

0

12

Wilkins

24

1-5

5-6

1-8

0

2

8

Ekey

32

1-8

0-0

0-1

1

3

3

Carmichael

26

4-10

4-4

4-11

0

4

12

Allen

25

1-6

2-2

1-2

0

1

4

Clark

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Cousin

15

0-1

1-2

0-3

1

1

1

Upshaw

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Hill

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

Totals

200

19-56

20-22

10-38

6

16

65

Percentages: FG .339, FT .909. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Brown 3-7, Moore 2-2, Wilkins 1-2, Ekey 1-6, Carmichael 0-1, Cousin 0-1, Allen 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Carmichael 2, Wilkins). Turnovers: 8 (Brown 3, Carmichael 2, Moore, Allen, Wilkins). Steals: 7 (Brown 2, Ekey 2, Moore, Carmichael, Upshaw). Technical Fouls: Wilkins 2.

Wichita State (64)

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Ragland

32

5-9

3-4

0-1

2

2

17

Williams

27

0-2

0-0

0-4

0

3

0

Smith

37

4-15

4-5

5-13

2

0

14

Murry

36

6-15

3-4

2-4

2

2

15

Stutz

16

3-7

0-0

2-5

0

4

6

Orukpe

6

0-0

0-0

0-1

0

3

0

Hall

13

0-1

0-0

0-1

0

4

0

Kyles

18

1-8

2-2

0-4

0

1

5

Cotton

6

0-1

0-0

0-1

0

0

0

White

9

3-5

1-2

5-6

0

2

7

Totals

200

22-63

13-17

17-44

6

21

64

Percentages: FG .349, FT .765. 3-Point Goals: 7-23, .304 (Ragland 4-4, Smith 2-8, Kyles 1-6, Cotton 0-1, Murry 0-2, Williams 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Orukpe, Smith, Kyles). Turnovers: 14 (Murry 5, Stutz 3, Ragland 2, Kyles 2, White, Williams). Steals: 4 (Kyles, Smith, Ragland, Stutz). Technical Fouls: None.

Illinois St.

28

37

65

Wichita St.

36

28

64

Att.–NA. Officials–John Higgins, Kelly Self, Don Daily.

Push back

The physical play between Illinois State forward John Wilkins and Wichita State center Garrett Stutz started early in the game. It didn’t stop until Wilkins was ejected in the second half.

In the first half, Wilkins and Stutz fell together. As Wilkins tried to get up, he hit Stutz across the face and received his first technical.

“I don’t think I did anything intentional,” he said. “I tried to get up and they called a foul on me.”

In the second half, WSU led 51-45 when Tekele Cotton misssed a three, setting off the events that gave Stutz his third and fourth fouls. Stutz was called for a foul chasing the rebound. Wilkins said something, and Stutz replied. The exchange ended Wilkins’ day when both were hit by technical fouls. He spent the rest of the game in the locker room.

“When they whistled the foul on him, I turned around and yelled,” Wilkins said. “He turned and yelled at me, and that’s when the ref came in and gave us both a technical.”

Stutz complained the officials let Wilkins get away with pushing and holding.

“I don’t know how you can warn a guy 20-plus times that game and not call a foul,” he said. “Eventually, you have to draw a line and say enough is enough.”

Different look

The Shockers led 36-28 at halftime despite little scoring from its post players. Stutz scored two points in eight minutes. Carl Hall played six and didn’t shoot. Both ended the half with two fouls, as did guard Demetric Williams and reserve center Ehimen Orukpe.

WSU coach Gregg Marshall needed help from his bench and had to play a smaller-than-small lineup of freshman Jake White, Ben Smith, Cotton, Toure Murry and Joe Ragland late in the half.

“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Marshall said. “We had an eight-point lead, had four guys in foul trouble and survived it.”

White scored seven points in the first half, twice grabbing offensive rebounds, scoring and drawing a foul. He made 3 of 5 shots and totaled six rebounds.

“Jake White gave us a big lift,” Marshall said.

Illinois State had problems of its own. Forward Jackie Carmichael played eight minutes in the first half, also saddled by two fouls. WSU held the Redbirds without a field goal for 12 minutes, 17 seconds, helping build a 13-point lead.

“I felt tremendous to be down eight at the half, and I told our guys that,” Redbirds coach Tim Jankovich said. “We’re kind of on fumes. We’ve got nothing working.”

Slow the Shockers

Illinois State kept WSU from launching its transition game, a big part of the reason it held the Shockers under 70 points in all three meetings this season. WSU entered the game averaging 78.1 points.

Jankovich made hustling back on defense a priority to stop WSU from running and dunking.

“We did make it a huge emphasis to get back and not ball watch,” he said. “The ball’s in the air three seconds. A lot of guys stand there and watch it. You’ve got to be in motion when the ball is shot, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”

Worth noting

Smith totaled 14 points and 13 rebounds, his first career double-double.…Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was at Saturday’s game.… The Redbirds snapped a six-game losing streak to WSU and will make their eighth finals appearance today.… Ragland led WSU with 17 points and led the Shockers in scoring in all three games against Illinois State.… Illinois State scored 12 points off WSU’s 14 turnovers.

— Wichita State, again, puts the mad in Arch Madness.

The 15th-ranked Shockers departed the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament angry and disappointed after Saturday’s 65-64 loss to Illinois State in the semifinal. Many teams would write it off quickly and think happy thoughts about the impending NCAA Tournament berth.

That is not the way WSU (27-5) works. The top-seeded Shockers didn’t like the way they played. They didn’t like the way the game was officiated at crucial moments. They don’t like the fact somebody else is going to win the championship.

They really don’t like the fact the loss adds to a long legacy of frustration in St. Louis.

“Our goal was to come here and win the tournament,” WSU senior Joe Ragland said. “We’re not looking forward to the NCAA Tournament while we have a game. That’s not how you prepare.”

Fourth-seeded Illinois State (20-12) slipped past the Shockers when Toure Murry and Garrett Stutz came up short on shots in the final seconds. Murry missed a jumper, contested by Illinois State’s Jackie Carmichael, from about 17 feet. The ball went out of bounds, giving WSU another chance with 1.1 seconds to play. Stutz missed a guarded turnaround from about 10 feet, setting off the expected celebration and dejection.

“So we got two shots in the air to win the game and we don’t make it,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “That’s not what cost us the game. We didn’t play well enough to overcome everything we needed to overcome.”

That would include officiating calls that put Stutz in foul trouble, one a technical foul, and limited him to 16 minutes. Marshall and the Shocker bench vigorously protested at least two other decisions late in the game.

Marshall, as he did after losses in 2008 and 2009, gave the impression MVC forces work against his team in St. Louis.

“When Garrett’s out of the game as much as he is, our offense is obviously different,” he said. “It’s just uncharacteristic of Garrett to get a technical foul. (It) didn’t seem like they wanted to see him play too much.”

Illinois State plays No. 25 Creighton at 1 p.m. today in the title game. The Redbirds must win to make the NCAA Tournament. WSU and Creighton are considered certain at-large teams.

When Stutz’s shot bounced off the rim, the alliance of Illinois State and Creighton fans hit peak volume, both seeing the path to a title easier with the Shockers out of the way.

Redbirds guard Tyler Brown, who scored 25 points, pulled his jersey over his head to celebrate. Guard Nic Moore, whose three-pointer gave Illinois State its first lead of the second half, threw the ball into the air. The Shockers, seeing a nine-game winning streak end, slowly walked to shake hands.

“It was crazy,” Brown said. “I’ve never felt something like that before. I’ve never been a part of something that big.”

The Shockers lost despite holding the Redbirds to 33.9-percent shooting and leading by 13 in the first half, eight at halftime and 13 early in the second half. Illinois State, which lost twice to WSU during the regular season, refused to quit. The Shockers, with Stutz limited by fouls, couldn’t produce a game-clinching run of points.

The Redbirds also play short-handed. Backup center Jordan Threloff is out with a broken thumb. Forward John Wilkins was ejected in the second half for a second technical foul, both after scraps with Stutz. Forward Jackie Carmichael played eight first-half minutes due to fouls.

“I think a lot of people turned their TVs off at halftime,” Carmichael said. “It’s not in our nature to give up.”

Illinois State’s defense started with Carmichael altering shots in the lane. Without Stutz to worry about, the Redbirds could pay more attention to WSU shooters. The Redbirds didn’t allow a fast-break point, forcing the Shockers to work against their half-court defense. Unlike most MVC teams, WSU isn’t able to overwhelm the Redbirds with size and quickness.

“They played a hell of a game,” Ragland said. “Athlete-wise, they’re similar to us. Carmichael does a real good job deflecting and contesting shots at the rim we normally make.”

WSU shot 34.9 percent and committed 14 turnovers. The flow and rhythm that produced open shots so prevalent over the past month disappeared.

Stutz scored six points. Ben Smith scored 14, but missed 6 of 8 threes. Murry committed five turnovers.

“At times, we got stagnant running our motion and that hurt us,” Ragland said.

WSU led by five with 10:30 to play. Brown’s three-pointer cut the lead to 55-53. After a turnover by WSU’s David Kyles, Moore sank a corner three to give the Redbirds a 56-55 lead.

WSU led 64-63 with 2:51 remaining. It didn’t score again, thanks to a combination of poor execution and bad bounces. After a wild shot by Illinois State’s Bryant Allen gave WSU the ball with the lead, the Redbirds made a defensive stand. With the shot clock running down, Ragland passed to forward Carl Hall, who was forced to take a 12-foot jumper, a shot that isn’t his strength.

Moore missed a layup, giving WSU two more shots to extend the lead. Demetric Williams missed a three. After a WSU rebound and a timeout with 55 seconds to play, Ragland missed a shot over two defenders.

The Shockers thought they got the ball back again when Murry deflected the ball and it appeared to bounce off Brown and out of bounds. Murry and the WSU bench protested when an official saw it the other way.

Brown then got his own rebound and was fouled with 6.4 seconds remaining. He made both free throws.

A week from today, when NCAA assignments are announced, the Shockers will receive something new to occupy their minds. That won’t make today any easier, when Illinois State and Creighton play for a championship the Shockers felt they were destined to win.

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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