Thursday’s box score
WSU 65, C. Southern 53
Percentages: FG .340, FT .706. 3-Point Goals: 7-28, .250 (Nimley 4-11, Strickland 1-3, Gombwer 1-3, Harper 1-5, Sexton 0-6). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Fullah 2, Bernard). Turnovers: 16 (Harper 5, Nimley 3, Gombwer 3, Sexton 2, Bowen, Strickland, Fullah). Steals: 7 (Harper 3, Nimley 2, Bowen, Gombwer). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .411, FT .591. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Wiggins 2-4, Williams 2-6, Early 1-3, Armstead 1-4, White 0-1, Cotton 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 1 (Lufile). Turnovers: 16 (Williams 6, Orukpe 3, Armstead 2, Early 2, Van Vleet, Wiggins, Cotton). Steals: 11 (Williams 3, Cotton 2, Van Vleet 2, Wiggins 2, Lufile, Armstead). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–10,112. Officials–John Higgins, Paul Janssen, Brad Ferrie.
Go get it
WSU junior Chadrack Lufile can’t replace Carl Hall’s scoring touch. He can try to duplicate some of the rebounding and hustle that Hall regularly delivers.
Thursday’s effort represents a good start. Lufile, a 6-foot-9 center, grabbed 12 rebounds, five on offense, in 24 minutes. He entered the game averaging 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.9 minutes.
“Regardless of what I do, I’m going to rebound all the time,” he said. “I just need to focus on hitting my free throws and being more of an offensive threat. When that happens, I’ll be a pretty good player.”
Lufile did show some rough edges on offense. He made 2 of 5 shots and 4 of 8 free throws. However, Charleston Southern had to guard him and that helped break down its zone defense. Lufile’s offensive rebounding helped in the second half, when he even hustled after his own missed free throw, took it away from an opponent and scored to give WSU a 48-36 lead.
“I shot it too quick,” he said. “I just went for it and I saw one of the defenders had it with one hand and I just took it from him.”
WSU coach Gregg Marshall loved the energy Lufile played with. After his putback, he grabbed a missed three by Fred VanVleet and scored for a 50-38 lead.
“I thought he was a beast on the glass,” Marshall said.
The final two minutes provided a contrast between how to properly handle the end-game and how to aggravate a coach.
With WSU protecting a 60-51 lead, the Shockers had a choice to run some clock or run and score. Malcolm Armstead chose to throw a lob pass, with Demetric Williams and Cleanthony Early jumping for the dunk. They bumped at the rim and neither one could score. Marshall watched in disbelief. He registered his thoughts about the play strongly at the next break.
The players were able to laugh about it with the win in hand.
“I didn’t see him,” Early said. “I was looking at Mal the whole time.”
Lufile lessened the damage by tracking down the loose ball and drawing a foul. His free throws with 1:16 to play gave WSU a 62-51 lead.
A few seconds later, Charleston Southern trapped Tekele Cotton on the sideline. He calmly called timeout, instead of making a risky pass.
Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh worked as Marshall’s assistant for two seasons at Winthrop.… Charleston Southern earned a $90,000 check for the game.… WSU made 13 of 22 free throws to shoot 60 percent or worse for a third straight game. It is 33 of 56 in those games (58.9 percent). The Shockers outscored Charleston Southern 13-12 at the line, the first time it outscored an opponent since a 20-13 edge against Howard in the fourth game of the season.
— Paul Suellentrop