Wednesday’s box score
No. 4 WSU 65, Indiana St. 58
Keep them coming
Officials whistled WSU’s Chadrack Lufile for two moving screens in the first half. He kept setting them, going hard at defenders.
In the second half, it paid off when he bounced Indiana State guard Jake Odum, arms flailing, to free up Tekele Cotton for a jumper and a 45-37 lead.
Lufile said the referees told him his teammates ran away early, before he arrived to set the screen.
“I told everyone at halftime, ‘Bro, wait for the ball screen, you have to, or I’m going to get in foul trouble,’ ” Lufile said.
Lufile played five minutes in the first half and nine productive ones in the second. He grabbed nine of his 10 rebounds and scored six of his eight points after the break.
WSU coach Gregg Marshall also leaned on Lufile for his quick feet in helping guard Odum, a senior who excels at driving into the lane by using screens near the three-point line. Odum didn’t shoot a free throw, a rarity for a player who thrives on drawing fouls.
“We wanted to keep Odum in front, and I thought Chadrack Lufile did a very good job on his hedging and moving his feet,” Marshall said. “When he can’t get to that paint, it helps us.”
Manny to man defense
Indiana State senior Manny Arop rescued the Sycamores with 12 of the team’s final 18 point in the first half to finish with 13.
He got many of those at the expense of WSU forward Cleanthony Early.
“I gave up a lot of plays in the first half,” Early said. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to get chewed out in film. We fought harder in the second half and I think it was me and a couple other guys that tried to boil down and make some plays on the defensive side.”
Arop started the second half with a jumper that gave the Sycamores a 37-36 lead.
After that, not much. He finished with 16 points after going 1 for 7 in the second half. WSU’s Ron Baker did a good portion of the defensive work in the second half.
“We needed those buckets (in the first half),” Arop said. “We needed something like that in the second half.”
ESPN’s decision on the March 1 game against Missouri State will be influenced by how this week goes for the Shockers. ESPN may delay its decision on which network (ESPN or ESPN2) and time slot until Monday. The Shockers won at the Hulman Center for the sixth straight time to take a 19-18 lead in the building. WSU leads the series 53-29. Sycamores center Justin Gant went 1 for 7 and scored seven points, making him 2 for 14 with 11 points in the two meetings.