Wednesdays box score
No. 3 Wichita St. 88, Loyola 74
Percentages: FG .491, FT .912. 3-Point Goals: 5-16, .313 (Early 2-3, Wessel 1-2, Baker 1-3, Cotton 1-5, Wiggins 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 6 (Wessel 2, Early 2, Carter, Cotton). Turnovers: 13 (Baker 5, Early 3, Coleby, Simon, VanVleet, Carter, Cotton). Steals: 4 (Cotton, VanVleet, Early, Baker). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .460, FT .786. 3-Point Goals: 5-18, .278 (Turk 2-7, Crisman 1-1, White 1-2, Doyle 1-3, Thomas 0-1, Clark 0-1, Osborne 0-1, OLeary 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 2 (Johnson, OLeary). Turnovers: 8 (Doyle 4, Osborne, White, Thomas, Turk). Steals: 7 (Doyle 3, White 2, Crisman, Dokubo). Technical Fouls: None.
A4,577. OfficialsRandy Heimerman, Bert Smith, Mark Whitehead
Sweet home, Rockford
WSU guard Fred VanVleet did interviews with the hometown media, hugged friends and family and soaked in his successful return to Illinois.
It definitely meant a lot, he said. I wanted to play some inspired basketball.
VanVleet tied his career high with 22 points, matching his total against Northern Iowa on Jan. 5. He became the 10th Shocker to go 6 for 6 from the field. He wasnt pleased with his game against Loyola on Jan. 28 when he scored three points in 35 minutes.
The way they were guarding the ball screens, I was able to make my first few jump shots and that boosts your confidence, he said. I take responsibility for the first game. I played really uninspired. I wanted to come out today and set the tone early and push the pace a little bit.
VanVleet made all the right decisions running the offense, constantly finding the open teammate or taking the shot himself. The Ramblers couldnt make him rush or knock him off stride with their defense.
VanVleet was phenomenal, Loyola coach Porter Moser said. Hes really good at at that ball screen. He kept his dribble going, kept his dribble going and then re-attacked when our bigs started going back to the roll man.
Around 400 Wichita State fans helped fill 4,486-seat Gentile Arena. Not content with that, Shocker fans snapped up some of the best seats in the house. Four of them enjoyed a front-row view, seats usually reserved for big-ticket Ramblers donors.
Chicagoan John Neumaier purchased them about a month ago on StubHub as a birthday present for his girlfriend, who lives in Wichita. She and two friends flew in Wednesday morning. He paid $125 for each ticket.
Neumaier operates a Wichita office, so following the Shockers is a natural for him, even though he attended Northern Illinois.
Theyre everywhere, he said. Its exciting.
WSU ended Sundays game at Evansville by making 15 straight fouls shots and added four Wednesday before Chadrack Lufiles miss in the first half. The Shockers made 31 of 34 fouls shots and are 51 of 55 the past two games, prompting coach Gregg Marshall to say he hoped callers to his weekly radio show would not ask about his teams shooting from the line. WSUs Evan Wessel made his first three of the season after 20 misses. WSU is the highest-ranked opponent to play at Gentile Arena since No. 2 Michigan State in 2000. WSU swept the season series and leads the all-time series 20-9.