WSU 80, TCU 68 – Final. Durley with 19 points.WSU 72, TCU 61 (3:31) - Durley with 16 points, 11 this half.
WSU 59, TCU 51 (8:53) - Crowd is responding with its best effort.WSU 49, TCU 42 (11:57) - Nice run by TCU. Buljan has 20. Stutz now has three fouls.
WSU 43, TCU 32 (15:42) - Durley, Ellis and Hatch have three fouls. Blair and Stutz with two.
WSU 36, TCU 24 (Halftime) - Frogs shooting 30.4 percent from the field. WSU scores five points on three technical fouls, two on coaches. Jim Christian earned one with words early in the half. The staff got another on WSU’s final possession when Hannah’s pass hit Christian, who appeared to be gesturing over the court.
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WSU 32, TCU 20 (3:34) - Murry with 13 points.
WSU is calling it a sellout at 10,506. It is selling four more seats this season. First sellout this season.
WSU 24, TCU 12 (7:14) – Clevin Hannah and Murry’s defense has made Ronnie Moss a non-factor. TCU’s leading scorer has yet to take a shot. He has two fouls, the latest pushing off on Murry in an attempt to drive to the basket.
WSU 17, TCU 11 (10:48) - Buljan with 10 of TCU’s points. Hannah is out. Always interesting to see how WSU does with him on the bench.
WSU 13, TCU 8 (14:40) - WSU takes an 8-1 lead. Zvonko Buljan scores all eight of TCU’s points. Shockers 4 of 6, 3 of 4 from three. Buljan not on pace to break Big O’s arena scoring record of 50 – yet. WSU has already shot as many free throws – two – as it shot in last season’s game at TCU.
Should be a good crowd, likely a sellout. Former Frog Lee Nailon is sitting behind the TCU bench.
Shocker assistant coach Earl Grant’s shirt is way too close to purple for comfort.
Wichita State’s season exists on two levels. There’s winning, and there’s winning so that it means something in March. WSU is doing so well at the first that the second is something to think about.
On the first, the Shockers are 8-1. A team that needed to win is winning convincingly. So that’s good.
On the second, WSU has work to do. Its nine opponents entering tonight are a combined 28-52. WSU isn’t going to win any strength of schedule arguments. This didn’t seem to be a big deal at the start of the season, because an 8-1 start wasn’t a guarantee. The Iowa game looked better when WSU signed on for the CBE Classic years ago. WSU had no choice in the Cleveland State game, and it looked better last March when the Vikings beat Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament. Now both wins are significant because they occured away from Koch Arena, not because either opponent is winning. Finally, WSU got a raw deal when the CBE stuck it with NCAA Division II Arkansas-Monticello. So some of the schedule weakness is not by design.
TCU isn’t a great team. It hasn’t beaten anyone of note. It owns four Division I wins. But this is an important game for WSU against a solid opponent. A week from now, No. 23 Texas Tech comes to Koch Arena.
Today’s stat: WSU (8-1) has started 20 seasons 8-2 or 9-1. It finished above .500 in 18 of those and with 20 or more wins seven times. It started 9-1 eight times and finished with a winning season all eight times.Around the Valley
The George Mason-MVC rivalry continues to be interesting. Creighton loses Saturday. Coach Dana Altman’s technical in the final seconds didn’t help.Missouri State takes its 8-0 record on the road.Illinois State guard Austin Hill will likely miss Sunday’s game against Niagara with an injury.