Key statistics: The Shockers took 11 more shots than the Jackrabbits, their biggest edge since they took 16 more than Colorado State.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State both took more shots than the Shockers.
Wichita State, aided by South Dakota State’s passive zone defenses, totaled a season-high 24 assists on 34 baskets. That’s the most by the Shockers since 25 against UMKC in 2004 and matches the Gregg Marshall-era high also set in 2010 and 2011.
Zach Brown handed out a career-high six assists and has 25 in 13 games this season. He entered the season with 39 in 62 games.
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▪ How the game turned: The Jackrabbits cut WSU’s lead to 44-37 early in the second half. Three-pointers by Landry Shamet and Brown pushed the lead to 13 and a steal-and-dunk by Markis McDuffie forced SDSU to call timeout.
▪ Records: SDSU 7-8, WSU 10-3
▪ Rotation watch: Playing against a zone set up perfectly for guard Conner Frankamp and he took advantage of the openings to score 13 points, making 5 of 9 shots, and record four assists without a turnover.
Frankamp’s played more shooting guard in recent games. He played both guard spots Thursday and showed the play-making ability off drives that coaches want to see. It’s hard to play him at point guard if he won’t turn the corner to dribble past the foul line to create openings in the defense. Frankamp did that Thursday to pass and score. The Jackrabbits, with no shot-blockers, gave up points easily in the lane.
“Conner was very aggressive,” Marshall said. “I think he took a step in the positive (direction).. He got to the rim a couple of times. He was getting into gaps.”
Frankamp hadn’t scored in double figures since he had 11 against Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Shockers didn’t miss center Shaq Morris, out with a right quad contusion. Darral Willis scored 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. With the Jackrabbits playing zone defense, WSU used one big man all night.
▪ Somebody said this:
▪ Good: One way, perhaps the best way, for the Jackrabbits to scare WSU was to get to the foul line. They make 80.9 percent of their foul shots. Center Mike Daum does most of that work, shooting 91.1 percent on 123 attempts, which is three times as many as any of his jump-shooting teammates.
The Shockers did a fine job defending Daum and not fouling him. He went 2 of 3 from the line. Brown started on him and drew a charging foul in the first half that demonstrated how well he paid attention to the scouting report. McDuffie gave Daum lots of problems with his height and reach on his way to a career-high five steals. Several other Shockers pitched in.
“We thought (Daum) was better driving it than shooting the 10-to-12-foot shot,” Marshall said. “He predominantly drives right and Brown did a great job of beating him to the spot and got that charge, which was big because it gave him his second foul.”
Keeping Daum to 20 points on a night he needed 30 to make the game more competitive provided WSU a victory in a game dominated by good shooting.
“They did a great job of giving him different looks, keeping him off-balance,” SDSU coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “Lately, he’s been scoring a lot more than that, getting to the foul line at a really high rate. He only attempted three foul shots, which is really on the low end for him.”
▪ Bad: McDuffie’s four turnovers took a bit of the shine off a strong all-around performance. He generates a lot of steals and turnovers with his hustle. His decision-making on the break, however, has yet to catch up with those opportunities.
WSU only had 11 turnovers, but enough seemed unforced that those careless mistakes stuck out.
▪ Numbers guy says: WSU made 65.5 percent (19 of 29) of its two-point shots, its second-best accuracy this season behind 69 percent (20 of 29) against Maryland Eastern Shore. … WSU made 15 of 34 three-pointers to tie the school-record for makes for a second time this season (also against Eastern Shore). WSU made 15 once previously, in 2003 against Northern Iowa.
▪ On and on: Shamet went 6 of 10 from three-point range to become the 22nd Shocker to make six or more in a game. Ron Baker made six vs. Southern Cal last season. Six is the most by a Marshall player, also accomplished by Clevin Hannah (2009), David Kyles (2011), Cleanthony Early (2014) and Baker (2014, 2015).
▪ Next up: at Indiana State (6-6), 6 p.m. Wednesday (Cox 22, 2022)
The Sycamores are the Missouri Valley Conference’s biggest tease. They defeated then-No. 15 Butler, won at Utah State and pushed Iowa State and Stanford before losing.
They also lost to then-winless Quinnipiac and Western Kentucky at home and largely no-showed at Valparaiso.
This will be one of WSU’s toughest MVC road games. Count on getting Indiana State’s best effort and if guard Brenton Scott gets rolling, watch out.