Wichita State Shockers

Shocker women tune out distractions

Marisah Henderson peeked at the Wichita State bench, but it didn't help.

Thanks to School House Rocks with the Shocks day, more than 8,000 frenetic school kids filled Koch Arena for Wichita State's 68-58 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. At the hint of any T-shirt or mini basketball giveaway, the noise became deafening. Meanwhile, communication between players and coaches turned hopeless. And WSU coach Jody Adams was as curious as anyone to see her team's response.

"Not to hear, the coach not be able to put you in spots, not be able to play chess from the sidelines," Adams said, "they have to be the communicators. They have to be the ones that put each other in spots, listen to each other and respond to each other's energy."

In the first half, the Shockers handled it well. They shot 42 percent and forced 15 turnovers to build a 37-20 halftime lead.

The next 20 minutes brought too much isolation on offense and not enough team defense.

"This program will always be a defensive program and we will live and die by our defense and rebounding," Adams said. "And we didn't. We focused on the offensive end of things and what happened?"

SIU-Edwardsville reeled off a 15-4 run late in the second half and cut the deficit to six points. But the Shockers were bailed out by a career-best performance from freshman Jazimen Gordon.

The wiry 6-foot-4 post notched career-highs in points (14), rebounds (9) and minutes (32).

"I think my role is to be a rebounder and to get trash," Gordon said. "I think I can be a scorer if I'm a great screener for my teammates, but I think I'm supposed to rebound and get putbacks."

Without Gordon playing her role, the Shockers' sixth win of the season may not have happened.

"I think this shows why that's a key for us and it's a point of emphasis for Jody," Henderson said. "I think at times we may not understand why being loud is so important. Today it really showed."

The experience serves as another test passed for the Shockers, and one that might be useful when Missouri Valley play rolls around.

"It was kind of hard because you had everybody screaming," said Morgan Boyd (14 points), "but when you go to (Missouri State) it's going to be the exact same crowd."

SIU-EDWARDSVILLE (2-8): Herrod 0-3 0-0 0, Stahlberg 2-6 3-3 7, Bey 4-11 6-8 14, Meade 5-12 2-2 13, Kenner 0-2 0-0 0, Duncan 5-15 4-6 18, Bennett 0-1 0-0 0, Askew 1-3 2-2 6, Affourtit 0-1 0-0 0, Champlin 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 18-58 17-21 58.

WICHITA STATE (6-2): Boyd 3-11 8-8 14, Turner 2-4 1-4 5, Henderson 0-4 7-8 7, Johnson 1-2 1-2 3, Lankster 1-11 2-3 4, Gladden 1-1 0-0 2, Diamond 4-8 2-3 10, Kemp 3-6 0-0 9, Price 0-0 0-0 0, Gordon 6-9 2-5 14. Totals 21-56 23-33 68.

Halftime—Wichita St. 37, SIU Edwardsville 20. 3 pt. shooting—SIUE 5-17 (Duncan 4-8, Meade 1-4, Bennett 0-1, Bey 0-2, Askew 0-2); WSU 3-15 (Kemp 3-6, Boyd 0-1, Henderson 0-3, Lankster 0-5). Rebounds—SIUE 45 (Stahlberg 15), WSU 39 (Gordon 9). Assists—SIUE 11 (Bey 5), WSU 15 (Henderson 7). A—9,196.

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