Sunday’s box score
Wichita St. 69, Bradley 63
Percentages: FG .474, FT .900. 3-Point Goals: 6-23, .261 (Early 4-7, Van Vleet 1-2, Williams 1-6, Cotton 0-1, White 0-1, Armstead 0-2, Wiggins 0-4). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 6 (Orukpe 5, Early). Turnovers: 14 (Cotton 3, Early 3, Armstead 3, Van Vleet, White, Williams, Lufile, Orukpe). Steals: 10 (Williams 3, Armstead 3, Van Vleet, Cotton, Early, Orukpe). Technical Fouls: Williams.
Percentages: FG .463, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 5-13, .385 (Eastman 3-6, Lemon Jr. 1-3, Simms-Edwards 1-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 1 (Pickett). Turnovers: 14 (Lemon Jr. 4, Pickett 3, Simms-Edwards 2, Bell 2, Prosser, Shayok, Eastman). Steals: 8 (Simms-Edwards 4, Shayok 2, Pickett, Lemon Jr.). Technical Fouls: Lemon Jr..
Att.–7,317. Officials–Scott Thornley, John Higgins, Bo Boroski.
On the ball
Few things bother WSU coach Gregg Marshall more than giving up offensive rebounds and not securing loose balls. When it happened — twice on one possession — in the second half, he knew he needed guard Tekele Cotton back in the game.
Cotton is a ball-getter, in Marshall’s vernacular, and that move paid off in the final minutes. The Shockers trailed 61-59 when Cleanthony Early shot from the wing. The ball bounced back toward him, but he didn’t move quickly to follow his shot. Cotton, however, took care of the loose ball by rushing into the play and saving the ball with one hand over his head. He flung it high in the air, toward half court, where teammate Malcolm Armstead plucked it away from the Braves.
“Before I went, I saw a black jersey back there,” Cotton said.
Early turned the hard-earned possession into a corner three-pointer for a 62-61 lead.
“Great play,” Marshall said. “Tekele Cotton used his athleticism and his determination, his grit, to make the play.”
Shocker freshman Fred VanVleet walked to the bus with a win and a bag of Rice Krispies treats.
VanVleet, from Rockford, Ill., about 135 miles north of Peoria, enjoyed the trip back to familiar turf. He estimated around 40 family members and friends came to watch. One of them made him a desert for the trip home.
“You always want to play well in front of your friends and family,” he said.
VanVleet helped make another good memory in Carver Arena. Auburn High split two games here last season, finishing third in state tournament.
“Growing up here, we used to look up this court,” he said. “I grew up coming to all the state games here.”
VanVleet scored eight points, one off his season high, all in the first half.
WSU center Ehimen Orukpe blocked five shots, tying his season high, and finished one short of his career high. He grabbed a season-high nine rebounds, tying his career high.… WSU won at Bradley for the third time in a row, something it had never done during 66 previous meetings in Peoria.… Bradley played without starting center Will Egolf, suspended after an arrest last week.… Bradley guard Jake Eastman scored 11 points, all in the first half, for his first double-figure scoring game since Nov. 28 against Central Michigan.
— Paul Suellentrop