Saturday’s box score
No. 5 WSU 78, Drake 61
Percentages: FG .527, FT .867. 3-Point Goals: 7-20, .350 (Early 3-4, Baker 2-6, Wiggins 1-2, Green 1-2, VanVleet 0-1, Cotton 0-2, Wessel 0-3). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 4 (Coleby 2, Early, Cotton). Turnovers: 14 (Baker 3, VanVleet 2, Lufile 2, Carter 2, Green 2, Cotton, Coleby, Early). Steals: 7 (Coleby 2, VanVleet 2, Lufile, Cotton, Baker). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .444, FT .647. 3-Point Goals: 10-21, .476 (Hawley 4-6, Caird 3-6, Daniels 2-2, Carter 1-4, Danielak 0-3). Team Rebounds: 0. Blocked Shots: 1 (Berkeley). Turnovers: 13 (Carter 4, Daniels 3, Hawley 2, Ugbede 2, Berkeley, VanDeest). Steals: 4 (Madison, Danielak, Caird, McLaughlin). Technical Fouls: None.
A—6,127. Officials—Paul Janssen, Bob Staffen, Terry Davis.
The Big O is watching
Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet are on the Oscar Robertson Trophy mid-season watch list, along with 21 other players.
The player of the year honor is awarded by the board of directors of the United States Basketball Writers Association on April 14 in Oklahoma City. Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid of Kansas are also on the list.
Early is also a member of the Wooden Award’s mid-season watch list.
WSU’s Iowa stops are always cause for reunions. Shockers assistants Chris Jans, Greg Heiar and Steve Forbes are Iowans with plenty of friends and family who travel to Drake and Northern Iowa games to cheer for the Shockers.
On Saturday, they estimated more than 100 people came to the Knapp Center from their clans. Jans, from Fairbanks, led the way with 50 or more fans. Heiar is from Dubuque and Forbes is from Lone Tree.
Cotton shows off again
Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton didn’t top his Wednesday’s dunk at Illinois State, one that is still zooming around the Internet after ESPN SportsCenter pumped it as the day’s No. 2 highlight.
He came close, however, late in the first half Saturday. Ron Baker ran a fast break to get the Shockers a 3-on-1 advantage with Drake center Seth VanDeest protecting the rim. Baker tossed a lob to Cotton. The pass appeared to be too high.
Not for Cotton. He grabbed the ball with one hand and jammed it through the hoop.
“He jumps really high and he likes to dunk it,” Baker said. “I thought the pass was too late. He was almost behind the glass.”
Coaches from both teams wore tennis shoes for the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. Wichita State defeated Drake for the fourth straight time to extend its series lead to 97-47. The Shockers are 35-34 in Des Moines. WSU matched the 1964-65 team with its 8-0 MVC record. The last conference team to go 8-0 was the 2008 Drake team that got to 13-0 before losing. WSU’s 21-game win streak to start the season is the second-best in MVC history, trailing Indiana State’s 33-0 record in 1978-79.