Wichita State Shockers

Shocker women set mark in win

WSU's Marisah Henderson dishes the ball off in the 1st half. She had 12 assists during their 69-55 victory over Bradley on Saturday, Jan, 2, 2010 at Koch Arena.
WSU's Marisah Henderson dishes the ball off in the 1st half. She had 12 assists during their 69-55 victory over Bradley on Saturday, Jan, 2, 2010 at Koch Arena. The Wichita Eagle

Confidence has never been an issue with this revamped Wichita State women's basketball team.

Even before any of the eight recruits had played a game, the coaches had coaxed them to believe a turnaround was imminent.

It's not so hard to believe after Saturday afternoon, when the Shockers took care of Bradley 69-55 at Koch Arena.

The 10-3 start to the season is best in school. The 2-0 start in Missouri Valley play is WSU's best in 10 years. To cap it off, it's the Shockers third win in five days.

"I think what you're seeing right now is a growth spurt," coach Jody Adams said.

In both conference wins, Wichita State has worn down opponents and won pulling away.

Wichita State led 39-38 with 15 minutes remaining, then pieced together a 17-4 run to balloon the lead to double-digits. Bradley never threatened after.

"We just try to out-work our opponents," said WSU guard Marisah Henderson, who finished with 12 assists. "We just have to be tougher and have the right mentality. We want to protect our court. Whatever we need to do to do that, then that's what we're going to do for the win."

With usual offensive stalwarts Haleigh Lankster and Morgan Boyd in foul trouble, reserve freshman Jessica Diamond scored a career-high 22 points.

Diamond only scored three points the previous two games, but played 30 minutes against Bradley and was hitting her mid-range jump shot created from her cross-over dribble.

"I noticed that I was hitting and coach kept drawing up plays for me," said Diamond, who shot 9 of 18. "I just did what was expected of me."

A more unexpected boost came from freshman post Michelle Price. Price entered the game a 29 percent free throw shooter averaging eight minutes a game.

Price was the catalyst in the second half run, posting career-highs in points (7), rebounds (9) and minutes (25). She even hit 5 of 6 free throws.

"I just listen to Jody and my teammates and stay disciplined and have confidence," Price said. "When it's my time to go in, I just remember what the coaches taught me and do them on the court."

WSU was outrebounded 44-34, but was able to counter that by forcing Bradley into 19 turnovers. Reserves Diamond, Price and Jazimen Gordon combined for 37 points, which outproduced the starting five's 32 points.

"It is great," Henderson said. "But we play again next week. After tonight, it's over and we have to go to work on Monday. We're happy we won, but we have more work to do. We can get better."

BRADLEY (4-8, 0-2): Van Kirk 1-3 2-2 4, Kassing 1-3 2-2 4, Muegge 2-3 0-0 5, Yohn 3-15 2-2 8, Taylor 3-9 3-4 9, Frericks 2-4 0-0 5, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 5-9 3-4 13, Bisping 1-4 0-0 2, Niemiera 0-2 2-3 2, Hollingshed 0-0 0-0 0, Westcott 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 19-57 14-17 55.

WICHITA STATE (10-3, 2-0): Boyd 2-5 0-0 4, Turner 2-5 0-0 4, Henderson 1-4 5-6 7, Johnson 3-6 2-2 8, Lankster 3-10 0-0 9, Diamond 9-18 1-1 22, Kemp 0-2 0-0 0, Price 1-3 5-6 7, Gordon 4-8 0-1 8. Totals 25-61 13-16 69.

Halftime—Wichita St. 35, Bradley 32. 3 pt. shooting—Bradley 3-18 (Muegge 1-1, Westcott 1-1, Frericks 1-3, Taylor 0-1, Allen 0-1, Bisping 0-2, Niemiera 0-2, Yohn 0-5); Wichita St. 6-18 (Lankster 3-6, Diamond 3-6, Boyd 0-1, Kemp 0-1, Henderson 0-2, Turner 0-2). Rebounds—Bradley 44 (Harris 11); Wichita St. 34 (Price 9). Assists—Bradley 9, Wichita St. 17. A—1,628.

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