Wichita State Shockers

Shocker women top Drake, stay undefeated in Valley

Nowhere on the scouting report does it talk about Wichita State senior Jasmine Jones’ outside shot or even scoring ability at all. In fact, it’s very clear teams have been told to either sag off or even leave Jones — a career 29-percent shooter — completely to provide help defense.

Jones plays ferocious defense, no doubt. But a scorer? Hardly.

So Jones, who teammates affectionately call “Bugg,” felt disrespected and the anger sent her to the gym this winter to improve her shot outside of practice.

Teams are still leaving her on an island, but Jones has the offensive game to capitalize now. After scoring a career-high 16 points against Creighton on Saturday, Jones added eight points in Wichita State’s comfortable, 70-51 victory over Drake on Monday night at Koch Arena.

“Now it’s not, ‘Oh, we got to guard Jessy (Diamond) or you got to guard Alex (Harden),” Jones said, “It’s, ‘You got to guard Bugg, too.’”

The Missouri Valley-leading Shockers improved to 5-0 in the conference with their third double-digit victory at home in part because of a balanced scoring attack.

WSU’s typical leaders were there in Diamond (14 points) and Harden (11 points, eight assists) and Kelsey Jacobs took advantage of her height against a small Drake team to tie her career-high in points at 14.

But it has been the emergence of Jones as an offensive threat that could change the landscape of the WSU offense.

“It makes people have to play us honest, which opens up the lane for our posts and for our penetration,” Diamond said. “I’m super proud of Bugg. Now that she’s knocking down shots, they’re going to have to guard her. Or she can just keep shooting.”

Adams said the change was sparked by a one-on-one conversation with Jones over the winter break.

“If you want your shot to change and you want it to count at the end, you’ll do the work now,” Adams told her. “You’ll do it right now when nobody is looking and nobody is watching.”

While the offense has improved, it hasn’t taken anything away from her defense. Jones spent the majority of the game harassing Drake’s leading scorer Kyndal Clark into a 4-for-20 shooting night.

Wichita State buried Drake 13-2 and then kept accelerating until it reached a 40-18 lead late in the first half. Then for the final 25 minutes of the game, the Shockers were out-scored 33-30 by Drake.

“I thought you saw individual improvement and individual consecutive plays of consistency,” Adams said. “But you are not going to beat great teams with just segments of greatness. You’ve got to have a team of greatness.”

DRAKE (5-12, 0-6 MVC): Grenfell 0-4 2-4 2, Specht 3-4 0-0 7, Clark 4-20 3-3 12, Reid 2-5 5-7 9, Bartow 6-9 0-0 13, Eckles 0-2 0-0 0, Heap 0-0 0-0 0, Marschner 0-2 0-0 0, Running 3-8 2-2 8, Lutes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 12-16 51.

WICHITA STATE (11-6, 5-0): Jones 4-7 0-0 8, Diamond 6-10 2-2 14, Jacobs 7-9 0-0 14, Harden 4-8 3-5 11, Turner 3-4 0-0 6, Dapprich 3-5 0-0 6, Fountaine 3-6 0-0 6, Wells 0-3 1-2 1, Price 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 32-55 6-9 70.

Halftime—WSU 44, DU 29. 3 pt. shooting—DU 3-12 (Specht 1-2, Bartow 1-2, Clark 1-5, Grenfell 0-3); WSU 0-7 (Harden 0-1, Wells 0-1, Fountaine 0-2, Diamond 0-3). Rebounds—DU 32 (Reid 7), WSU 31 (Wells 6). Assists—DU 7 (Three tied at 2); WSU 20 (Harden 8). Fouls—DU 14, WSU 19. A—1,079.