Wichita State Shockers

Lankster helps WSU women win exhibition

Haleigh Lankster is beginning to forge a reputation as a rescuer.

When the Wichita State women's basketball team is void of energy, Lankster seems to always be there to swoop in and save the day.

The senior did it again on Wednesday night in WSU's 68-48 exhibition victory at Koch Arena, but it was a little troubling her heroics were necessary against Division II opponent Pittsburg State.

"Pitt is a pretty good team," WSU head coach Jody Adams said. "They have some size, they have a 6-6 girl, 6-4, 6-3. That's something we'll see later against LSU, K-State, Arizona, UC-Davis. We wanted to schedule somebody in the exhibition game that we wouldn't cream by 40. We wanted some competition."

Wichita State received it up until an 18-5 run to end the game. Adams got a sneak peak of how her team handles adversity when Alexa Bordewick drained a three-pointer to cut WSU's lead to 47-43 with 7:27 left in the second half.

Lankster provided the answer, popping a three-pointer of her own on the first touch down the court. A minute later Lankster pulled up for another jumper that swished to alleviate the pressure and give WSU a 54-43 lead.

"We expected to compete in this game the entire time," Pitt State coach Lane Lord said. "We made that run and then they hit a couple shots in a row and that's Haleigh Lankster. That's what good players do. When the game got close, good players make plays and that's what she did."

The defense, which has come to be Adams' bread and butter, was disruptive for most of the game. Pitt State missed 25 of its first 28 shots and finished shooting 27.7 percent for the game with 21 turnovers.

"We like to measure ourselves round-by-round, in four-minute segments," Adams said. "I think in the rounds where we pulled away, our defensive pressure was great. We were getting our hands on the ball. It was one and done. That's where I thought we really looked good."

When the Shockers were at their best, starters Chynna Turner and Jazimen Gordon were involved. The junior duo combined for 20 points and each had a team-high nine rebounds.

"When they play like that, that gives us a big momentum swing," said Lankster, who finished with 12 points.

Raising the significance of the performance was that it came against much taller posts.

"We always focus on the defensive end on being active," Turner said. "I figured I had to be even more active tonight. If she was that big, then I'm going to be two times quicker and continue to move."

Problems included being outrebounded 52-47, stopping penetration and another game going by without a point guard standing out.

But as Wichita State prepares for its season-opener on Saturday against Northwestern State, Adams was excited about the positives — mainly Turner and Gordon.

"I thought that they worked their butts off every minute they were in there," Adams said. "They did not get fat. They did not quit. They were active the entire time. Their voice was heard. That's what we wanted and our guard corps needs to catch on to that fire."

PITTSBURG STATE: Orloske 0-6 0-0 0, Bordewick 3-11 1-2 8, Brown 0-2 0-2 0, Conley 5-15 1-3 13, Jeronimus 5-16 0-2 11, Foster 1-3 0-2 2, Elmer 0-0 0-0 0, Devers 0-1 0-0 0, Roberts 0-2 1-2 1, Hesser 0-1 0-0 0, Willis 0-0 0-0 0, Roderique 0-0 0-0 0, Westhoff 1-3 0-0 3, Richards 3-5 4-7 10. Totals 18-65 7-20 48.

WICHITA STATE: Henderson 2-8 0-0 5, Sanchez 0-3 0-0 0, Lankster 5-11 1-2 12, Turner 5-6 1-2 12, Gordon 4-9 0-0 8, Jones 1-3 0-1 2, O'Brien 1-2 2-2 4, Diamond 3-11 4-6 10, Jacobs 1-4 0-0 2, Taylor 0-0 1-4 1, Harden 3-6 2-3 8, Wells 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 25-63 12-22 65.

Halftime—Wichita State 29, Pittsburg State 15. Three-point shooting—PSU 5-25 (Conley 2-6, Westhoff 1-3, Jeronimus 1-4, Bordewick 1-6, Hesser 0-1, Orloske 0-5); WSU 3-13 (Turner 1-1, Lankster 1-3, Henderson 1-4, Sanchez 0-1, Jones 0-1, O'Brien 0-1, Diamond 0-1, Harden 0-1). Rebounds—PSU 52 (Richards 10); WSU 47 (Turner, Gordon 9). Assists—PSU 11 (Bordewick 4); WSU 14 (Three tied with 4). Fouls—PSU 19, WSU 15. A—1,484.