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Friday at Koch Arena

Not the best launching point into Saturday’s game against Creighton. WSU center Garrett Stutz injured his left knee during practice. He was walking on it gingerly for several minutes. He ended practice with an ice bag on it and departed early, under his own power, presumably for a trip to the doctor. Coach Gregg Marshall wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury and may not know if Stutz can play until Saturday. Perhaps that contributed to a poor practice. “We didn’t practice too well,” Marshall said. “Hopefully, we’ll play a little better than we practiced.”TV reporters and camera men made the mistake of asking Marshall about losing the second-half lead against Missouri State on Wednesday. Marshall has moved on and is ready for others to do the same. The Shockers won, and that’s all he cares about. “That’s the way the game is played,” he said. “College basketball today, with the three-point shot and the clock stops in the last minute, teams score a lot of points consecutively on one another. In that particular case, we ended up with 65 and they ended up with 62 in a 40-minute game. Our run to start the game was plus-25.”I get to wear some of Marshall’s annoyance with the media. He didn’t enjoy reading about some of the blown leads from the recent past, one of them a 19-point edge that disappeared under Mark Turgeon at Creighton. He would prefer to focus on winning a big MVC road game. I get it.  It was a superb win, the best MVC road win for WSU in years, at least since winning at Bradley (an eventual Sweet 16 team) in 2006. Bradley, at that point in the season, wasn’t playing well. WSU beat MSU when the Bears were on a roll and full of confidence. Blown leads are the car-wrecks of sports – you have to stare. They’re hard to forget.No sense in covering up the drama surround the Creighton game. Last season’s MVC Tournament game and the clock controversy will be on everyone’s minds. “What I didn’t like is the fact that, initially, everybody acted like there was no problem on (Booker Woodfox’s) shot,” Marshall said. “Then, with further review, there were some problems, there were definitely some problems with how things were handled in terms of the management of the game and the postgame. We dealt with it. We accepted it. We went home. That was a long time ago.”That’s just the topper to a heated rivalry. WSU revived its season with a win over Creighton last season. The Bluejays have a knack for hitting WSU where it really hurts in past seasons. The Bluejays have won five of the past six meetings, two of three in 2008-09. “They’ve got a history of winning,” Marshall said. “They expect to win when they take the court. We’re trying to do that as well, and I think we are.”

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