Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State women roll in season-opener

Nobody was left out in the Wichita State women's basketball team's 77-49 season-opening victory over Northwestern State on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena.

Up until the final minutes, the 11 players that had stepped on the floor had scored. Then on came Brittany Taylor, coach Jody Adams' seventh substitute, in the final three minutes.

On her first touch, Taylor stroked in a three-pointer from the right wing. It was complete — all 12 players played and scored, and no one played more than 25 minutes.

"I do think we have a talented team," Adams said. "I think everybody on this team can contribute. But the number one thing is accepting our roles and falling in love with our roles."

The bench scored 47 points and finished with 12 steals. When Adams subbed in her first round of replacements, Wichita State's intensity was maintained.

"It really pushes us to be the best and to follow, if not lead," said starter Jazimen Gordon, who had six points and seven rebounds. "If they come out and do better than us, then it's up to us to keep that momentum going and feed off that."

The combination overwhelmed Northwestern State, which was led by McPherson graduate Jordi James' 16 points.

"We're a defensive team," said Krystle Henderson, who dished out six assists. "We always think defense first, offense second. Our defense is what generates our offense, so we have to get after it."

Reserve Jessica Diamond played her most complete game of her career. Diamond scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and collected five assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Wichita State was a disruptive force on both ends. On defense, it forced 20 Northwestern State turnovers and won the rebounding battle by nine, 39-30. But the Shockers also became "lackadaisical," according to Adams, and finished with 25 turnovers.

It was a blip on an otherwise glowing debut. But Adams knows things won't come as easy on Monday, when the Shockers host Louisiana State.

"We're not just preparing for the now and the present," Adams said. "We're preparing for the end in a place where we've never been, which is in the finals of the Missouri Valley tournament. They've never been there. They don't understand how to get there. They have to believe and trust this coaching staff on how to get there."

NORTHWESTERN STATE (0-1): Drake 1-5 3-4 5, Graf 1-2 0-0 2, James 4-17 7-8 16, Bradley 3-10 2-2 8, Armstead 6-13 0-0 12, Williams 1-3 2-2 4, Triplett 0-0 0-1 0, Ford 1-1 0-0 2, Ausmer 0-0 0-0 0, Upchurch 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-55 14-17 49.

WICHITA STATE (1-0): Henderson 2-5 0-0 6, Sanchez 1-6 0-2 2, Lankster 4-7 1-1 10, Turner 3-5 0-2 6, Gordon 3-8 0-1 6, Jones 0-1 1-2 1, O'Brien 2-2 2-2 6, Diamond 7-10 2-2 17, Jacobs 2-3 0-0 4, Taylor 1-1 0-0 3, Harden 3-3 2-2 8, Wells 4-5 0-1 8. Totals 32-56 8-15 77.

Halftime—Wichita State 40, Northwestern State 19. Three-point shooting—Northwestern St. 1-9 (James 1-7, Drake 0-1, Graf 0-1), Wichita St. 5-11 (Henderson 2-3, Diamond 1-1, Taylor 1-1, Lankster 1-2, Sanchez 0-4). Rebounds—Northwestern St. 30 (Drake 5), Wichita St. 39 (Gordon 7). Assists—Northwestern St. 9 (Drake 5), Wichita St. 18 (Henderson 6). Fouls—Northwestern St. 16, Wichita St. 20. A—1,184.