Wichita State Shockers

WSU takes down La Salle

With her hands placed over her face, Wichita State women's basketball coach Jody Adams reflected the actions of many in attendance of Wichita State's 56-43 victory over La Salle on Monday night.

For long durations, the game was hard to watch. In a 20-minute stretch sandwiched around halftime, Wichita State had 44 possessions, 25 of which ended in missed shots, 14 ended in turnovers and the Shockers could only piece together 12 points.

The funk didn't end until WSU took its focus off the problem and turned to its strength.

"We started depending on our defense, instead of not getting so into not scoring and getting down on ourselves," freshman Jazimen Gordon said.

It was Gordon, who had only played 21 minutes the first two games, that provided the spark. With the absence of senior Ashley Gladden, the 6-foot-2 post scored seven straight points to close the game out on a 27-14 run.

"I knew we were a post short today and I knew that I had to step up and not be timid," Gordon said.

Timid might be a fitting way to describe the rest of the team's offense, however. La Salle quickly figured out the Shockers' offense and its man-to-man defense became almost impenetrable.

Adams credited La Salle for Wichita State's 19-of-60 (31.7 percent) shooting, but not entirely.

"I think that was really us," she said. "I don't think we were ready to shoot. I don't think we quite understood how much they were going to sag and switch."

Still, La Salle was not much better. The Explorers actually briefly took the lead early in the second half, but even worse shooting (30.8 percent) and ball-handling (27 turnovers) held them back.

"We needed to pick the energy up and not focus on that the game was tied," WSU junior Sheena Johnson said. "Just try not to trade baskets and take it one possession at a time."

It's only the third game of the season, but Adams recognizes improvements must be made before Missouri Valley play begins Dec. 31.

"They're looking to me for answers," Adams said. "We don't have a true leader that can give those answers right now because of our lack of experience and being young."

Still, Adams did find some consolidation in the Shockers' second win of the season.

"An ugly win is better than a loss," Adams said.

LA SALLE (1-4): Robertson 2-7 7-8 11, As. Gale 2-7 1-2 5, An. Gale 1-3 4-5 6, Lapetina 2-4 4-4 9, Walsh 3-7 1-1 7, Mickiewicz 1-2 0-1 2, Duncan 1-4 0-1 2, Callahan 0-2 0-0 0, Gilbert 0-3 1-2 1, Conner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 18-24 43.

WICHITA STATE (2-1): Boyd 0-4 0-0 0, Turner 1-6 1-2 3, Henderson 2-7 3-4 7, Diamond 3-11 3-4 10, Lankster 4-16 0-0 10, Johnson 4-4 4-5 12, Kemp 0-1 0-0 0, Price 2-4 1-1 5, Gordon 3-7 3-4 9. Totals 19-60 15-20 56.

Halftime—Wichita St. 23, La Salle 23. 3 pt. shooting—LAS 1-10 (Lapetina 1-3, An. Gale 0-1, Callahan 0-1, Gilbert 0-1, Walsh 0-2, As. Gale 0-2); WSU 3-15 (Lankster 2-8, Diamond 1-2, Kemp 0-1, Boyd 0-2, Henderson 0-2). Rebounding—LAS 34 (As. Gale 9); WSU 40 (Turner 9). Assists—LAS 8 (Lapetina 4); WSU 13 (Johnson 5). Total fouls—LAS 18, WSU 18. A—1,369.