Thursday’s box score
WSU 79, W. Carolina 63
Percentages: FG .433, FT .250. 3-Point Goals: 10-28, .357 (Sumler 4-7, Tankelewicz 4-8, Sinclair 1-4, Boggs 1-6, Brown 0-1, Harrelson 0-1, Ross 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 1 (Mendenhall). Turnovers: 13 (Boggs 4, Sumler 3, Sinclair 2, Harrelson, Brummitt, Tankelewicz, King). Steals: 4 (King 2, Brown, Tankelewicz). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .480, FT .963. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Wessel 2-5, Williams 1-2, Early 1-4, Baker 1-5, Wiggins 0-1, Armstead 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 3 (Orukpe 2, Early). Turnovers: 14 (Armstead 5, White 2, Van Vleet, Hall, Wessel, Williams, Orukpe, Cotton). Steals: 8 (Baker 2, Williams, Cotton, Wiggins, Early, Armstead, Wessel). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–10,186. Officials–Doug Sirmons, Dan Nowakowski, Terry Oglesby.
No shots for you
Wichita State’s first four minutes of defense is worth a closer look. On a night when the Shockers didn’t like their consistency of effort, this slice of action serves as an example of what they can do.
Western Carolina’s troubles started with Brandon Boggs’ turnover on its first possession. The second ended when WSU’s Ron Baker stole the ball from Tom Tankelewicz. Malcolm Armstead stripped the ball from Trey Sumler on Western Carolina’s next trip. Then Armstead pressured Sumler hard enough that Sumler stepped on the half-court stripe for a fourth turnover.
Down 8-0, Catamounts coach Larry Hunter called timeout. His team hadn’t managed to get a shot in the air with 17:38 to play. After the timeout, Tankelewicz missed a three. Tawaski King rebounded, then slipped and shot from a half-crouch. WSU’s Ehimen Orukpe easily blocked the shot.
Western Carolina ended its misery when Boggs scored with 16:07 remaining.
“Our first half, there were some segments when we played pretty well,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “In the second half, though, just wasn’t quite what we desired. I thought Western Carolina battled all night.”
WSU’s Carl Hall knows exactly what the Shockers missed in the second half. The Catamounts beat them to some loose balls and kept cutting into the lead.
“We didn’t play like our hair was on fire,” Hall said.
Up and in
WSU’s 96.3-percent (26 of 27) accuracy from the foul line is the program’s best one-miss performance.
The Shockers own six perfect games, most recently 17 of 17 last season at Creighton. Thursday’s game ranks No. 7, moving past a 2010 effort at Missouri State in which they made 24 of 25.
WSU plays Howard on Saturday to continue the Cancun Challenge. In Mexico, WSU plays DePaul on Tuesday, then either Iowa or Western Kentucky on Wednesday in a four-team bracket. Howard and Western Carolina play off with Gardner-Webb and Austin Peay in Cancun.… Cleanthony Early made his first three of the season early in the game after missing his first five this season.… New York Mets pitcher and former Shocker Mike Pelfrey attended the game.… WSU improved to 2-0 vs. Western Carolina.… WSU president John Bardo worked as chancellor at Western Carolina from 1995-2011.
— Paul Suellentrop