The two-game trend is that it takes Wichita State about 20 minutes to get rolling.
Coach Gregg Marshall wants his basketball team to speed up that timetable. WSU handled Cal State Fullerton 75-60 tonight at Koch Arena with a solid second half. Leading by four at halftime, the Shockers cut down on turnovers and made four three-pointers to build a comfortable lead.
"We lacked energy in the first half," WSU guard Toure Murry said. "We've got to come out better in the first half."
The Shockers (4-2) followed a similar script in Friday's win over Alabama-Birmingham, leading by seven at halftime before outscoring the Blazers by 15 in the second half. With No. 18 UNLV coming to Koch Arena on Sunday, it's a trend that disturbs Marshall.
"Our guys, for some reason, didn't seem to be ready from the jump," he said. "They woke up and made the plays they had to do. I don't know why that is, but it's college basketball."
The biggest difference was turnovers. The Shockers gave themselves chances to score in the second half that went to waste in the first. By committing 11 turnovers in the first half, WSU allowed the Titans (3-3) to shoot two more shots. In the second half, WSU committed six turnovers and shot seven more shots than the Titans.
Many of those opportunities went to forward Carl Hall, who scored a season-high 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Joe Ragland added 15 points, 11 in the second half, to tie his career high. Murry handed out seven assists, tying his career high.
"That's definitely our gameplan, get the posts some good looks," Murry said.
Hall used his strength to set up near the basket and the Titans didn't object too strenuously. All of his baskets came within a dribble or two of the basket. He scored seven of WSU's first nine points in the second half, helping build a 39-28 lead.
"He was able to establish down low, when some other guys weren't," Marshall said. "He was able to finish down there, when some other guys weren't."
Ragland also sparked the offense in the second half. His three-pointer gave WSU a 45-37 lead with 12:20 to play. He made another for a 52-41 lead and a third to put the Shockers up 55-41 with 9:36 remaining.
"I felt like I'm a great shooter, and they're leaving me open," he said. "So I just had to make the shots. That kind of sparked us."
The Shockers also pushed the tempo in the second half, taking advantage of shaky ballhandling by the Titans. Fullerton committed 23 turnovers, its third game this season with 20 or more. WSU scored 18 points in the second half off 12 turnovers.
"Anytime we get out in transition, we're a better team," Murry said. "We wanted to get out and pressure the guards. Constant pressure. Full court. Half court. Switching up the defenses."
Omondi Amoke led the Titans with 19 points, though he committed six turnovers.