When Wichita State women’s coach Jody Adams set up shop five seasons ago, she was working from the ground up. She surrounded herself with the right coaches, recruited a certain type of player — and business has been booming ever since.
The Shockers tacked on another win to the best Missouri Valley start in program history on Sunday afternoon, defeating Indiana State 53-46 to complete a 9-0 sweep of the conference in the first round of games.
WSU feasted upon the second-worst offense in the Valley, bullying the Sycamores into a 31-percent shooting performance and 19 turnovers.
That was good enough to cover up the blemishes on offense, including a not-so-good 40 percent from the field and 18 giveaways, nearly six above WSU’s average.
“It doesn’t really matter if we’re not scoring, as long as the other team isn’t scoring either,” said senior Jessica Diamond, who finished with 7 points and 7 assists.
The word is out in the Valley to zone the Shockers and they never did quite figure out Indiana State’s 2-3 formation. But freshmen Michaela Dapprich dominated the middle of the zone, popping jumpers when available but also using her body and angles to score down low for 16 points and 8 rebounds, both career-highs.
“(Zones) leave a lot of open gaps,” Dapprich said. “I just read the defense and find the open areas. It’s easier to score.”
Sophomore Alex Harden added 12 points and five assists, while Kelsey Jacobs totaled six points and seven rebounds.
A game after being out-rebounded by 15, WSU’s renewed focus on that stat resulted in a 33-29 advantage on the boards.
But no one was too interested after the game reflecting on their body of work.
“We’ve got to move on and focus on the next team,” Jacobs said. “The second round, that’s where the grind starts.”
Adams said wins are not the focus at this point in the season, however confusing that may seem. Details, Adams said, are what WSU is concerned about.
“I don’t know if I’ll feel it until I’m 90,” Adams said of WSU’s historic start.