It may be only the second game of the Missouri Valley season, but the Wichita State women's basketball team has a chance to shake things up early.
After disposing of Northern Iowa, the pre-season pick to finish fourth, the Shockers will host Bradley this afternoon in WSU's third game in five days.
If the Shockers win, it will be their first 2-0 start in conference play since 1999.
"It's a very good opportunity," said WSU forward Morgan Boyd. "We look forward to that, simply because we're a good team and we have a lot of confidence. We believe we can make a lot of changes in the Missouri Valley this year."
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Boyd will have to be a difference-maker if that change is to become reality. The junior has struggled with her outside shot (18 percent from three-point range), but has shown a natural ability to score with her mid-range jump shot.
Along with steady presences like Marisah Henderson, Sheena Johnson and Haleigh Lankster and the ever-improving Jazimen Gordon, Wichita State has solidified its core.
"I think this (game) is very important to show a lot of togetherness," Lankster said after the win over Northern Iowa. "It definitely boosted our confidence for future conference games."
With its youth, Wichita State wasn't expected to compete for another year. But the Shockers can put themselves right in the race with a struggling Bradley team, which was picked to finish sixth in the league. Raising the importance is the looming road trip to Creighton and Drake, two of the top teams in the Valley.
With the struggling Braves coming to town _ Bradley was picked to finish sixth in the league and is 4-7 _ the Shockers have a great opportunity to build up momentum with looming road trips to Creighton and Drake, two of the top teams in the Valley.
"We take it one game, one day at a time," WSU coach Jody Adams said. "You don't want to get too high with the high's and too low with the low's. The most important thing, as a coach, is that we continue to grow."