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Freshmen lead Wichita State women to rout

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at 7:43 p.m.

The solution to the Wichita State women’s basketball team’s offensive woes could have been sitting on the bench all along.

The two freshmen, Allie Decker and Michaela Dapprich, have returned from injury and senior transfer Darice Fountaine has worked her way back in the rotation to give the Shockers a new

dynamic to their offense — outside shooting.

All three scored their career-highs in Wichita State’s 81-43 throttling of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Koch Arena on Saturday afternoon. The 81 points was also a season-high for the Shockers, not coincidentally in the first game Decker (19 points), Dapprich (15) and Fountaine (14) all played more than 10 minutes.

“We haven’t had shooters to their caliber,” coach Jody Adams said. “It takes an understanding of how to set a shooter up, whether it is in transition or your halfcourt offense. I think we’ve begun to figure out how to use Darice and Alie.”

Adams has said the key to the offense is in the tempo the point guard sets. That tempo has been spotty early in the season as Jasmine Jones, Alex Harden and Jessica Diamond all have traded ball-handling duties.

They were at their best on Saturday, moving the ball with a clear purpose instead of just to make another pass. The result was Jones dishing out a career-best eight assists and Harden adding five more.

In Wichita State’s first nine games, only 43 percent of made shots were set up by an assist — by far the lowest mark in the Missouri Valley. WSU finished with 26 assists on 30 made baskets on Saturday, including 11 of 12 made by Decker and Fountaine.

“Our point guard’s tempo was a lot better,” said Decker, who made four three-pointers. “Our offense flows along with what our point guard does and tonight our point guard’s tempo was high, therefore our offense was flowing a lot better.”

Dapprich has made her own impact. She’s undersized at 5-foot-10, but has a toughness that more than makes up for it. Dapprich recorded her best game, 15 points and six rebounds, but her value is even more to the offense.

“She’s going to knock the heck out of you on screens,” Adams said. “And they’re great screens.”

It was the sixth time this season a bench player has led the Shockers in scoring. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, WSU’s top four scorers came off the bench.

“Sitting on the bench, you get to see the flow of the game and you see where the shots are going to be open,” Fountaine said. “When you get in, you have to be confident to knock it down.”

It was a step in the right direction, but Adams knows all of the woes shown before this game certainly weren’t cured against an overmatched team like Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

But it’s hard not to think the return of the two freshmen hasn’t already shaped this team.

“I think it would have made a difference if we would have had them early on,” Adams said.

ARK.-PINE BLUFF (2-5): Lasane 2-7 0-0 5, Wormley 0-0 0-0 0, Cassidy 1-11 2-2 4, Thompson 2-6 0-0 4, Okwumbua 5-8 1-2 11, Haggie 0-0 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0-1 1-2 1, Marsh 3-9 3-3 11, Gentry 2-3 3-3 7. Totals 15-45 10-12 43.

WICHITA ST. (5-5): Jones 0-1 2-4 2, Jacobs 2-4 1-2 5, Harden 2-7 2-3 6, Turner 3-3 0-0 6, Gordon 2-6 0-2 4, Diamond 2-4 4-4 8, Dapprich 6-10 3-4 15, Decker 6-11 3-3 19, Fountaine 6-9 0-0 14, Wells 1-5 0-0 2, Price 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 15-22 81.

Halftime — Wichita St. 37, Ark. Pine-Bluff 17. 3 pt. shooting — UAPB 3-11 (Marsh 2-5, Lasane 1-2, Cassidy 0-4), WSU 6-11 (Decker 4-7, Fountaine 2-4). Rebounds — UAPB 27 (Lasane 5), WSU 38 (Dapprich 6). Assists — UAPB 5 (Haggie 3), WSU 26 (Jones 8). Fouls — UAPB 20, WSU 15. A — 1,347.

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