Key statistics: The Shockers grabbed 10 offensive rebounds in the second half and 18 for the game, their most against an NCAA Division I opponent this season. WSU outscored Detroit by six points at the foul line after taking 15 more free throws in a road game.
Records: WSU 7-1, UD 6-4
How the game turned: WSU started pressing down by 10 points and it turned the game around with a 6-0 run in which Detroit didn’t manage a shot. WSU’s Ria’n Holland started the rally by grabbing an airball and scoring. After Tekele Cotton’s steal, Darius Carter dunked and drew a foul. After an offensive rebound, Carter was fouled and made two free throws.
Stat that shouldn’t surprise you: Fred VanVleet made 7 of 8 free throws and is 15 of 16 in the past two games.
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Stat that might surprise you: VanVleet missed all three of his three-point shots and is 7 for 30 this season.
Next up: vs. Alabama, 8 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN2)
▪ Wichita State’s activity on the offensive glass didn’t surprise Detroit coach Ray McCallum. The Titans entered the game at a rebounding deficit. It took the Shockers awhile, but they eventually used their rebounding edge to take control and they won that category by seven, six in the second half.
“It wasn’t the first shot, it was the second shot that wore us down,” McCallum said. “They’re one of the best rebounding teams in the country. That’s what they do. They rebound the basketball.”
The Shockers grabbed 18 offensive rebounds despite a somewhat-muted effort on the boards to account for Detroit’s fast breaks. WSU guard Ron Baker said the Shockers sent three players to offensive rebound in many cases, one less than normal.
“A lot of their points come in transition and we wanted to slow them down and get them in our half-court offense,” Baker said. “(The rebounds) were just out-hustling the guy that’s guarding you and get the ball. A lot of that was Rashard (Kelly) and Ria’n had a nice one there in the second half.”
▪ Carter has back-to-back double-doubles and is 15 of 23 from the field with 10 offensive rebounds in those games. He committed one foul in each.
So when Carter is in the game and in the groove, he can be as effective as any Shocker big man of recent vintage. He can score on jump shots. He changed his hook from a looping one from eight feet and now shoots it with less arm movement and gets better position in the lane. He runs the court to get layups.
Detroit tried Jaleel Hogan guarding him and Hogan played nine minutes because of foul trouble.
“Carter was a physical presence,” McCallum said. “We had to do it by committee.”
▪ Detroit’s lack of depth caught up it with it in second half. Juwan Howard Jr. took four shots in the final 12 minutes of the game, making two layups. He ended his 13-point outburst with Detroit leading 51-44 with 12:29 remaining. WSU outscored the Titans 33-17 the rest of the way.
▪ WSU finished with 10 turnovers against a team that lives on turnovers, forcing 17.2 a game and winning the turnover-margin stat by 5.4. WSU committed three fewer turnovers than the Titans and recorded nine steals to Detroit’s five.
▪ The Shockers continue to escape below-average accuracy from the foul line. They shot 16 of 25 (64 percent) and their season total is 64.6 percent. Baker and VanVleet covered for their teammates by making 11 of 13, 7 of 8 in the final two minutes. Should that percentage stand, it will be WSU’s worst since the 1997-98 team shot 62.6 percent from the line.