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Wichita State women beat Austin Peay

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at 8:52 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at 9:54 p.m.

TEXAS PAN-AMERICAN VS. WICHITA STATE

When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Koch Arena

Records: Texas-Pan American (6-5), WSU (8-2)

Radio: KNSS 1330-AM

When Jody Adams says you earn your minutes by how you practice, the Wichita State women’s basketball coach is stubbornly serious.

Freshman Marissa Preston learned this by watching from the bench as the two-headed point guard attack of Jamillah Bonner and Alex Harden would tire in the second half of games. Adams would not forsake her standards to give in to the quick fix, and Preston was forced to watch a team in desperate need of a third ball handler.

“I knew what I had to do,” Preston said. “I had to get in the gym and get out there and help them. I put that on myself to do something differently.”

The difference has been noticeable, as Preston played at least 15 minutes off the bench in her third consecutive game in WSU’s 86-64 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena. She also scored a career-high eight points.

It was the first game of the two-day Shocker Classic, which concludes with Sunday afternoon’s contest against Texas-Pan American.

“Preston has spent time in the gym; she has spent time making herself better,” said Adams, who registered her 100th career win at WSU. “That makes the team better. I think you earn that type of playing time by working when nobody is around.”

But it wasn’t just about putting up extra shots after practice for Preston.

Adams runs an intricate system, especially on defense, where the players are told specifically where to be and what to do in every possible situation. If they do not follow these guidelines, they will find a seat on the bench next to Adams.

“I’ve never played so structured and detailed until I got here,” Preston said. “In practice, I had to lock in to those details, do all the little things, give that extra inch.”

It was difficult to understand why she wasn’t playing at the start of the season, but Preston refused to let the lack of playing time discourage her. Instead, she has talked things out with Adams, who can relate to the struggle of being an under-sized point guard from her playing days at Tennessee.

“When you’re her size, you’ve got to be gritty, you’ve got to be a little pit bull,” Adams said. “She’s 5-5, so you’ve got to be in the thick of things, the mess of things.”

Not only has Preston’s emergence added another reliable source off the bench, but it has relieved Bonner and Harden of some of the burden of being the primary ball handler. Freeing up two of the top scorers on the team is invaluable to WSU.

On Saturday, Harden and Bonner enjoyed their freedom off the ball to score 15 and 13 points, respectively.

The Shockers set their season-high in points (86) by 15 and their 56.1-percent shooting performance also was a season best.

The highlight of the onslaught was from Michaela Dapprich, who had struggled to a 38-percent shooting start to her sophomore campaign. After working extensively with assistant coach Kirk Crawford on her footwork, Dapprich scored a season-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and added another season-best with eight rebounds.

“My main focus was my shot foot,” Dapprich explained. “I noticed in a lot of the games I would reverse pivot and then shoot, and that gets me off-balanced. To finally get out of that slump, it feels good.”

AUSTIN PEAY (3-8): Gray 3-5 0-0 6, Rivers 5-14 3-6 14, Stainback 5-11 4-4 16, Rates 2-5 0-1 4, Banks 7-18 3-5 17, Olszewski 0-0 0-0 0, Fox 0-0 2-2 2, Nwokocha 1-3 0-1 2, Hardaway 0-3 0-0 0, Norton 0-1 0-0 0, Scott 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 24-63 12-19 64.

WICHITA STATE (8-2): Bonner 5-8 2-2 13, Jacobs 3-5 1-4 7, Harden 5-12 5-6 15, Price 1-2 3-6 5, Mi. Dapprich 7-9 3-3 20, Agnello 2-3 0-0 4, Decker 4-7 0-0 8, Jones 1-1 2-2 4, Preston 3-8 0-0 8, Chapel 1-2 0-0 2, Mo. Dapprich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-57 16-23 86.

Halftime—Wichita St. 44, Austin Peay 28. Three-point shooting—APSU 4-11 (Stainback 2-5, Scott 1-2, Rivers 1-4), WSU 6-13 (Mi. Dapprich 3-3, Preston 2-5, Bonner 1-1, Harden 0-1, Chapel 0-1, Decker 0-2). Rebounds—APSU 38 (Banks 12), WSU 36 (Mi. Dapprich 8). Assists—APSU 9 (Rivers 4), WSU 14 (Harden 6). Fouls—APSU 22, WSU 20. A—1,321.

Nebraska-Omaha 73,

Texas Pan-American 61

TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (6-5): Thompson 4-10 1-2 11, Walker 0-6 0-0 0, Goff 2-7 1-2 6, Nolen 0-4 0-0 0, Bush 8-14 2-4 18, Hill 3-9 0-0 9, Price 2-7 5-6 10, Garner 1-1 0-0 3, Preston 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 1-3 2-2 4, Cyphers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-62 11-16 61.

NEBRASKA-OMAHA (6-5): House 8-19 2-2 21, Bough 2-6 0-0 4, Robson 6-9 1-2 14, Shaw 3-6 0-0 7, Kelly 6-7 0-0 12, Anderson 3-7 0-0 9, Trowbridge 0-0 0-0 0, Pawlak 2-4 2-3 6. Totals 30-58 5-7 73.

Halftime—Omaha 30, Texas-Pan American 22. Three-point shooting—UTPA 8-33 (Hill 3-8, Thompson 2-5, Garner 1-1, Goff 1-4, Price 1-6, Nolen 0-2, Wright 0-2, Walker 0-5), Omaha 8-21 (Anderson 3-6, House 3-11, Shaw 1-1, Robson 1-3). Rebounds—UTPA 33 (Bush 12), Omaha 41 (Kelly 11). Assists—UTPA 11 (Walker 3), Omaha 19 (Bough, Robson 6). Fouls—UTPA 14, Omaha 12.

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