Saturday’s hox score
Wichita St. 94, Detroit 79
Percentages: FG .449, FT .438. 3-Point Goals: 10-28, .357 (Minnerath 5-11, McCallum 3-7, Bruinsma 1-3, Calliste 1-6, Wilson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 4 (Anderson 2, Calliste, Minnerath). Turnovers: 11 (McCallum 3, Calliste 2, Bruinsma 2, Minnerath 2, Boutte, Wilson). Steals: 3 (Calliste, Anderson, Minnerath). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .550, FT .786. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (Cotton 1-1, Van Vleet 1-1, Williams 1-2, Wiggins 1-3, Early 1-4, Armstead 1-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 5 (Hall 2, Wiggins, Early, Orukpe). Turnovers: 9 (Armstead 2, Hall 2, Early, White, Williams, Orukpe, Cotton). Steals: 8 (Armstead 2, Hall 2, Early 2, Van Vleet, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–10,425. Officials–Paul Szelc, Kyle Ingram, Jeff Spedoske.
Find the groove
Wichita State’s challenge was to take advantage of Detroit’s willingness to play fast, without careening out of control.
The Shockers did just that by avoiding silly turnovers and bad shots. When the Titans rushed a shot or turned the ball over, WSU made them pay. Shocker guard Malcolm Armstead kept things at just the right tempo almost all game.
“Sometimes, before, I would try to force the issue,” he said. “When it’s not there, you can’t force it.”
Even being careful, the Shockers produced plenty of highlight reel plays. Armstead scored on his usual lefty runners, once flipping it up under a defender from the right side. Fred VanVleet found Cleanthony Early for a dunk on a lob pass. Early got a two-handed dunk after Tekele Cotton poked the ball away from Titans guard Ray McCallum.
Armstead, a senior, took some heat for turnovers during WSU’s three-game losing streak. He shrugged that off and since has given coach Gregg Marshall almost exactly what he wants from a point guard. He has 19 assist and 11 turnovers in WSU’s five-game win streak.
“He’s done some great things for us,” Marshall said. “I got a little upset with him after the Southern Illinois game where he had just been a little sloppy at the end. I was kind of joking, but I was somewhat serious, and he probably didn’t know how serious I was, that I was going to have to get him out of a close game and put Fred (VanVleet) in. He probably didn’t like that.”
Down the bench
Detroit’s lack of depth became a bigger problem when starter Juwan Howard Jr. suffered a bruised hip in Friday’s practice and watched the game with crutches.
A short bench got even shorter. Detroit’s starters all played 31 or more minutes and WSU’s reserves outscored Detroit’s 32-0.
“They’re only playing six or seven guys and we’re going 10, we’ve got to push the pace,” VanVleet said. “Guys are going to get tired. I don’t think any six guys in the country could play both ends hard for 40 minutes without coming out.”
WSU ends BracketBusters with a 4-6 record, going 3-3 at Koch Arena.… Armstead’s 20 points came up one short of his season high, set at Evansville.… The Shockers outscored Detroit 22-7 at the foul line.… WSU’s 21 assists are its most since it handed out 23 against Tulsa.… Goddard Eisenhower junior guard Trevon Evans attended the game.… WSU leads the series 13-7…..Former South Carolina coach Darrin Horn provided commentary for ESPN2. Horn coached Western Kentucky in a 2005 NIT loss at Koch Arena.
— Paul Suellentrop