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Wichita State women win eighth straight

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, at 7:12 a.m.

Following up a championship season will always bring attention to how well the program can maintain the momentum.

If the non-conference schedule was any indicator, Wichita State should have the Missouri Valley Conference’s attention.

The Shockers will enter conference play with a 9-2 record, extending its winning streak to eight games on Sunday afternoon with a 69-40 victory over Texas-Pan American at Koch Arena.

Originally picked to finish second in the pre-season poll, WSU is the only Valley team with a winning record. As of Sunday afternoon, the other nine teams were a combined 26-58.

“There’s a big target on our back,” WSU coach Jody Adams said. “Our student-athletes have created that; our coaching staff have created that. We present winning ways and we expect wins. That’s our attitude … that’s our swag. When you carry that and back that up, then you have a target on your back.”

A team that had to replace a program-defining senior class, not to mention the majority of its overall production, has made the transition look seamless.

Consider Sunday’s 29-point runaway win over UTPA, the same team that delivered a 23-point beatdown to Northern Iowa, picked to finish in the upper half of the MVC.

The Shockers made life miserable for UTPA, scoring the game’s first 11 points while forcing 25 turnovers, nearly 10 over UTPA’s season average, and holding their opposition to 34.1 percent shooting.

“You get to the top and you’ve got to be invested as student-athletes to keep it at the top,” Adams said. “This team is different than last year. It’s really not fair to compare any team to each other. They’ve created their own identity.”

The new identity includes a bench that continues to expand. In the season’s opening games, Adams openly challenged many of the newcomers and stated she only trusted a handful of players.

On Sunday, WSU played all 11 players that suited up, nine of which saw at least 13 minutes of action. Freshman Marissa Preston added nine points on three three-pointers to team with Decker for the Shockers’ best bench effort of the season with 28 points.

“We’re ready to go 10 deep, 12 deep, as many as we need to” junior Alex Harden said. “And now they all have experience, so they’re ready for Valley play.”

Wichita State showed some affects of playing for the second straight day, in part of the Shocker Classic, but its full-court pressure provided enough cushion to extend its winning streak without a crisp offensive performance.

“Staying with a winning streak is tough,” Adams said. “It’s tough, unless you have kids that are gritty and want more. If they stay in that gritty mentality and want more, I think you’ll continue to see us win.”

TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (6-6): Thompson 2-8 5-7 10, Walker 1-4 0-0 2, Nolen 2-4 1-3 5, Price 2-5 0-1 4, Bush 0-2 0-0 0, Hill 3-5 0-0 8, Garner 2-5 0-0 5, Preston 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 0-2 0-0 0, Cyphers 0-3 0-0 0, Clark 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 15-44 6-11 40.

WICHITA STATE (9-2): Bonner 2-10 0-0 5, Jacobs 2-4 0-0 4, Harden 3-8 4-4 10, Price 6-9 4-6 16, Mi. Dapprich 2-3 2-3 6, Agnello 1-2 0-0 2, Decker 5-9 0-0 13, Jones 2-3 0-0 4, Preston 3-9 0-0 9, Chapel 0-4 0-0 0, Mo. Dapprich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-61 10-13 69.

Halftime—Wichita St. 41, Texas-Pan American 21. Three-point shooting—UTPA 4-11 (Hill 2-3, Thompson 1-2, Garner 1-3, Walker 0-1, Price 0-1, Wright 0-1), WSU 7-19 (Decker 3-4, Preston 3-9, Bonner 1-4, Harden 0-1, Chapel 0-1). Rebounds—UTPA 34 (Price 8), WSU 36 (Three tied at 5). Assists—UTPA 12 (Nolen 4), WSU 16 (Four tied at 3). Fouls—UTPA 14, WSU 17. A—1,337.

Nebraska-Omaha 70, Austin Peay 54

AUSTIN PEAY (3-9): Gray 3-13 0-0 6, Rivers 1-5 0-0 2, Stainback 0-7 1-2 1, Rates 5-8 2-4 12, Banks 3-9 4-4 10, Olszewski 0-5 3-4 3, Fox 1-5 0-0 3, Nwokocha 1-2 0-0 2, Hardaway 3-4 0-0 6, Norton 0-1 0-0 0, Scott 3-6 0-0 9. Totals 20-65 10-14 54.

OMAHA (7-5): House 10-22 0-1 26, Bough 1-2 3-4 5, Robson 4-7 4-4 13, Shaw 3-8 3-3 9, Kelly 6-13 1-1 13, Anderson 1-8 0-1 3, Coleman 0-0 0-0 0, Trowbridge 0-3 1-2 1, Pawlak 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 25-67 12-16 70.

Halftime—Omaha 42, Austin Peay 26. Three-point shooting—Austin Peay 4-28 (Scott 3-6, Fox 1-5, Rivers 0-3, Olszewski 0-4, Gray 0-5, Stainback 0-5), Omaha 8-24 (House 6-14, Robson 1-1, Anderson 1-8, Shaw 0-1). Rebounds—Austin Peay 54 (Rates 12), Omaha 40 (Kelly 11). Assists—Austin Peay 10 (Scott 5), Omaha 12 (Robson 7). Fouls—Austin Peay 17, Omaha 12.

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