Saturday’s box score
No. 2 WSU 67, Missouri St. 42
Percentages: FG .319, FT .700. 3-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Thomas 1-1, Williams 1-2, Scheer 1-3, Gulley 1-3, Thurman 1-3, Simpson 0-2, Mvouika 0-3, Ruder 0-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 1 (Thurman). Turnovers: 12 (Thomas 4, Mvouika 3, Williams 2, McCullough, Gulley, Kirk). Steals: 4 (Gulley, McCullough, Thomas, Thurman). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .500, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Cotton 3-4, Early 3-6, Baker 2-2, VanVleet 1-1, Bush 0-1, Simon 0-1, Wiggins 0-1, Wessel 0-1, Green 0-3). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 2 (Early 2). Turnovers: 9 (Baker 2, VanVleet 2, Wiggins, Simon, Cotton, Lufile). Steals: 6 (Cotton 2, Carter, VanVleet, Baker, Early). Technical Fouls: None.
A—NA. Officials—John Higgins, Gerry Pollard, Hal Lusk.
Here it comes
Missouri State switched to a zone defense early in the second half. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall called a play and guard Ron Baker smiled.
“I knew what was coming,” Baker said. “When I passed the ball to Fred (VanVleet), I looked at their zone and their players had no idea what was coming.”
Cleanthony Early slipped behind the defense and VanVleet lobbed him the ball for a two-handed dunk and a 44-23 lead. That spectacular play was part of 24-0 run that also included a no-look pass from VanVleet to Kadeem Coleby for a dunk, a steal and dunk by Tekele Cotton and a fast-break dunk by Early.
No need to stop
Marshall rarely needs to call time-outs, except to get subs in late in a game or call a play late in the first half. That fits him fine because time-outs are not his thing.
“I think time-outs are a sign of weakness,” he said. “I like to do my coaching before the game and in practice. I like to help them during the game, just give them a little structure, tell them what defense we are in, what out-of-bounds play we're running. I like for my players to work out their problems, generally, on their own.”
On Saturday, Missouri State coach Paul Lusk burned through his in an attempt to keep the game close. He called one with 17:54 remaining in the game, after WSU scored two baskets to go up 37-21. He called another one with 13:43 to play, just after the media timeout, after an Early dunk gave the Shockers a 50-23 lead.
Put an end to that
Missouri State guard Austin Ruder made five of eight three-pointers and scored 17 points in the first meeting between the teams. If there is one reason why the Bears pushed the Shockers to overtime —leading by 19 points before losing 72-69 — it was Ruder.
Call that the freshman surprise. Baker, who guards Ruder often, let him get loose in JQH Arena.
“He’s a freshman and I never saw him play,” Baker said.
In the next two matches, Ruder’s name rose in importance on the scouting report. He went 0 for 7 from three-point range and scored six points in Wichita and St. Louis.
On Friday, he made six threes and scored a career-high 21 points against Illinois State.
“I was doing my best to try and run him off the line and limit his touches,” Baker said. “He’s a very good shooter and we kept him calm.”