Wichita State Shockers

WSU women breeze past Loyola

The key to playing in a blowout, Wichita State’s women’s basketball team rediscovered on Friday night, is pretending like it’s the opposite.

The Shockers, for the first time in nearly a month, didn’t sweat out the final minutes, beating Loyola 65-43 at Koch Arena.

Outside of Loyola’s 9-0 run to begin the fourth quarter, WSU never took for granted its superior defense, rebounding and effort, instead using those qualities to extend the lead after a shaky first quarter.

Since a 19-point win at Loyola on Jan. 29, each of WSU’s five games had been decided by seven points or fewer. But on Friday, the Shockers (13-13, 8-7 Missouri Valley Conference) led by at least that much for the final 24 minutes.

“The lead really didn’t mean anything to us,” WSU senior guard TaQuandra Mike said. “The only thing that we were worried about was finishing the game strong and staying with our game plan. We went into halftime, it’s 0-0. There’s no lead until the game is officially over.”

Angiee Tompkins tied her career high with 18 points and established one with 10 rebounds, the junior-college transfer’s first double-double with the Shockers.

While WSU was missing 11 of its first 17 shots, allowing Loyola (2-24, 1-14) to take a 14-13 lead after the first quarter, Tomkins kept the Shockers close by minimizing the damage from those misses. She had three offensive rebounds and two baskets in the first quarter, helping the Shockers toward a 41-28 rebounding advantage.

Tomkins also furthered her chemistry with fellow post player Rangie Bessard, who returned after missing last Sunday’s win over Bradley with an ankle injury. The two played together extensively and teamed for multiple assists to each other.

“Coach (Linda Hargrove) gets on us about (rebounding) a lot, so it has to be important,” Tompkins said. “We really needed those putbacks and those offensive and defensive rebounds in order to get the lead.”

The previous Loyola game was the Shockers’ last comfortable victory and the last time they allowed an opponent to shoot better than 43 percent.

That game has proven to be an outlier, though, because no opponent topped 39 percent in the previous four games and none has shot better than 43.3 percent in the five games since.

Hargrove, named the interim coach about a month ago, has overseen a continuation of defensive chemistry, but much of the credit belongs to assistant Kirk Crawford, who organizes most of WSU’s schemes.

“He concentrates on that defensive end, how we’re going to guard certain players,” Hargrove said. “The players really have to pay attention to personnel, because we’re not guarding the ball screen the same all the time with different players.

“I thought we made a good adjustment about midway through the second quarter on No. 10, (Kaitlyn) Williams, because she had hit three threes against her. We started face-guarding her out of our man(-to-man) defense, and we pretty much shut her down.”

LOYOLA (2-24): L. Segars 1-4 0-0 2, Wallace 3-10 2-3 8, K. Williams 3-8 0-0 9, B. Segars 3-10 3-3 9, Salmon 3-6 2-4 8, Negatu 1-1 2-4 5, L. Williams 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 15-42 9-14 43.

WICHITA ST. (13-13): Stovall 0-1 0-0 0, Preston 1-6 0-0 2, Lozada-Cabbage 1-2 0-0 2, Mike 4-9 4-9 0-0 8, Tompkins 9-15 0-1 18, Thompson 1-4 0-0 2, Mortimer 1-2 0-0 2, Lockhart 1-3 0-0 2, Lee 2-5 0-0 5, Williams 3-8 0-0 8, Martin 0-0 1-2 1, Bessard 5-10 4-4 14.

Loyola

14

6

9

14

43

Wichita St.

13

22

12

18

65

Three-point shooting—Loyola 4-9 (K. Williams 3-6, Negatu 1-1, Wallace 0-1, B. Segars 0-1), WSU 4-18 (Williams 2-5, Lockhart 1-2, Lee 1-4, Mike 0-1, Mortimer 0-1, Bessard 0-1, Preston 0-4). Rebounds—Loyola 28 (Salmon 9), WSU 41 (Tompkins 10). Total fouls—Loyola 11, WSU 20. Technicals—None. Steals—Loyola 9 (K. Williams 3), WSU 14 (Stovall, Mike, Tompkins, Thompson 3). Assists—Loyola 8 (Wallace 7), WSU 13 (Mike 3). A—1,337.

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