Wichita State Shockers

WSU women give defense a test run in exhibition win

Wichita State found out what happens when it unleashes its stable of athletes on an overwhelmed Division II team.

The result was predictable, as the Shockers put Newman through the rigors of a full-court press and the Jets came out on the other side with more turnovers (36) than points in a 81-32 exhibition victory for WSU on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,727 fans at Koch Arena.

“It was fun,” WSU senior Jamillah Bonner said. “We made it exciting because we were up pressuring the ball and we wasn’t letting up. It was just fun.”

There was nothing new about Wichita State’s full-court pressure, which it has used to terrorize the Missouri Valley in winning back-to-back conference titles, but this year’s version could be the best yet.

Alex Harden, Kelsey Jacobs, and Bonner, the three-headed monster that serves as WSU’s first wave of attack on the press, are another year experienced in the system. They’re all long, active and athletic, and when used in combination, downright deadly.

On Sunday, coach Jody Adams even put them to the test by drawing up three different presses on the sideline that they had not practiced. They responded by producing 16 steals, as the Shockers scored nearly half (38 of 81 points) directly following a turnover.

“I thought that first half was our identity and who we are,” Adams said. “You saw great defense, you saw 18 deflections, you saw us flying around, playing together, playing tenacious defense. When we play that way, I think this team is very, very good and very dangerous.”

Half-court offense was an afterthought, as WSU forced 10 turnovers on Newman’s first 15 possessions to build a 24-2 lead eight minutes into the game.

The starters — Bonner (10 of 13 shooting for 24 points), Jacobs, Alie Decker, Harden (19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals), and Michaela Dapprich — are known commodities. This game was about discovering what WSU has on its bench, which was without sophomore Jaleesa Chapel, who was held out of the game due to her inconsistency in practice, according to Adams.

So a closer eye was kept on Aundra Stovall, Kayla White, Brittney Martin, and Moriah Dapprich, all of whom are either freshmen or sophomores. By all accounts, they passed their first test.

“They didn’t think, they just played exactly how coach told them to,” Harden said. “They played aggressively. They were ready to play.”

During the first half, when mixed with a few starters, it was true that the newcomers didn’t allow there to be a noticeable drop-off. Stovall has the makings of a pesky perimeter defender, White was steady throughout, Martin, at 6-foot-3, possesses the size and length that has been missing, and the younger Dapprich showed potential as a stretch-four.

And of course, forcing turnovers at a 45 percent rate (35 of Newman’s 77 possessions ended without a shot) is a nice start to developing confidence that might be needed early this season during a challenging non-conference schedule.

Wichita State opens the season at home on Nov. 15 against Creighton.

“It’s great when you can go into the bench and nothing drops off,” Harden said. “Especially the way we play defense. (Adams) may need to keep subbing to get us breaks. When they come in and are ready to go and do the same things and be aggressive, we’re a tough team to handle.”

NEWMAN: Wright 1-4 1-5 3, Tjaden 1-1 2-4 4, Thompson 0-2 1-2 1, Harrison 0-3 0-0 0, Buckner 1-1 1-2 3, Maykus 1-4 7-8 10, Franklin 0-3 0-0 0, Ledoux 1-3 0-0 2, Caldwell 0-2 0-0 0, Raynor 2-4 0-0 6, Ramsey 1-1 1-2 3, Lopez 0-4 0-2 0, Rosales 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 8-33 13-27 32.

WICHITA STATE: Bonner 10-13 2-2 24, Jacobs 2-8 5-9 9, Decker 1-6 0-0 2, Harden 9-15 3-5 21, Mi. Dapprich 4-11 0-2 8, Stovall 1-4 1-2 4, White 3-5 0-0 6, Martin 0-2 2-2 2, Mo. Dapprich 2-6 1-3 5. Totals 32-70 14-25 81.

Halftime—Wichita State 53, Newman 16. Three-point shooting—NU 3-14 (Raynor 2-4, Maykus 1-3, Harrison 0-2, Ledoux 0-2, Franklin 0-3; WSU 3-16 (Bonner 2-3, Stovall 1-3, Harden 0-1, Mo. Dapprich 0-1, Jacobs 0-2, Mi. Dapprich 0-2, Decker 0-4). Rebounds—NU 35 (Thompson 7); WSU 43 (Harden 9). Assists—NU 4 (Wright 2); WSU 14 (Bonner 4). Fouls—NU 22; WSU 22. A—1,727.

Kansas 73, Fort Hays St. 52 — Chelsea Gardner scored 23 points as the KU women’s team won the first of its two exhibition games. Kate Lehman scored 17 for Fort Hays State.

FORT HAYS STATE: Shaw 0-5 0-0 0, Lehman 6-11 5-10 17, Bohuslavsky 2-4 2-2 7, Faxon 5-19 1-2 12, Lunsford 0-3 0-0 0, Kacperska 1-5 0-0 2, Mason 4-17 0-0 10, Russell 0-1 0-0 0, Menke 0-0 0-0 0, Ulrich 0-1 0-0 0, Hoeme 0-1 1-2 1, Pimentel 0-0 0-0 0, Stein 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 19-71 10-18 52.

KANSAS: Williams 1-1 0-0 2, Gardner 10-20 3-4 23, Boyd 2-2 2-2 6, Aldridge 2-3 2-2 7, Knight 3-7 3-3 11, Brown 1-2 0-0 2, O’Beal 2-6 0-0 6, Enabulele 0-1 0-0 0, Cheadle 1-4 0-0 2, Bradley 4-8 1-1 10, Manning-Allen 1-4 0-0 2, Morgan 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 27-62 13-14 73.

Halftime — KU 43-22. 3-pointers —FHS 4-24 (Mason 2-9, Bohslavsky 1-3, Faxon 1-6, Kacperska 0-1, Russell 0-1, Ulrich 0-1, Hoeme 0-1, Lunsford 0-2), KU 6-13 (Knight 2-3, O’Neal 2-4, Aldridge 1-1, Bradley 1-3, Morgan 0-2). Rebounds —FHS 38 (Lunsfird 7), KU 55 (Gardner 10). Assists — FHS 14 (Bohuslavsky 7), KU 14 (Boyd, Knight 3). Fouls — FHS 17, KU 21. A — 1,818.

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