Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State newcomers shine in 112-55 exhibition victory over Northwood

Wichita State's Ron Baker flies past Northwood’s Fred Mattison during the second half on Saturday of Wichita State's season-opening exhibition game.
Wichita State's Ron Baker flies past Northwood’s Fred Mattison during the second half on Saturday of Wichita State's season-opening exhibition game. The Wichita Eagle

Exhibition routs usually follow a familiar pattern of dominance by the home team, followed by periods of lethargy and disinterest.

No. 11 Wichita State refused to play that way on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena. With nine players making their Shocker debut, intensity, enthusiasm and chemistry over-rode the margin on the scoreboard. WSU hammered Northwood (Fla.) 112-55 in a blowout notable for its lack of sloppiness in the second half, even when the rookies populated the lineup.

“As you can see, they’re picking it up quite well,” WSU senior forward Darius Carter said. “They’ve been working really hard, trying to get the system down and getting in extra time before and after practice.”

WSU finished with 10 turnovers, three in the second half when the newcomers gradually took over. Missing were the errant passes, forced shots and over-dribbling often found in those situations.

WSU recorded 25 assists on 38 baskets and the reserves combined for 11 assists and five turnovers. They supplied some of the game’s prettier moments, such as when the redshirt freshmen teamed up. Shaq Morris hit guard Ria’n Holland with a perfect bounce pass on a backdoor cut for a layup. Walk-on Jared Walker, the last Shocker to debut, made the most of his first minute when he zipped a crisp pass to a cutting Zach Bush late in the game for a basket.

“Ten turnovers is not a bad number,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “They executed and ran our system and competed pretty hard.”

Northwood coach Rollie Massimino noticed, speaking of the Shockers as if they rolled out a bunch of veterans off the bench.

“The chemistry is definitely there,” he said. “We played an outstanding basketball team that really, really plays extremely hard.”

The performance by WSU’s six scholarship freshmen and two junior transfers came from several motivations. They all wanted to perform in their debut in front of a nearly full Koch Arena. Playing time in the rotation remains on the market. And the newcomers are weary of facing the veterans in practice.

“A lot of times, the opponent isn’t going to be as tough as us,” Carter said.

Ron Baker led WSU with 22 points, 17 in the first half. The Shockers made 13 of 24 threes and forced 21 turnovers. Northwood, ranked No. 5 in NAIA Division II, shot 31.4 percent from the field. Julian Smith led the Seahawks, who also lost exhibition games at Iowa and Villanova on their 10-day trip, with 12 points.

Holland scored 16 points off the bench, making 6 of 7 shots and all four of his three-pointers. Freshman guard Corey Henderson Jr. scored 11 points and made 3 of 7 threes. Freshman forward Rashard Kelly added nine points and six rebounds. Junior center Bush Wamukota and forward Rauno Nurger both scored seven points.

“We did what we do in practice,” Holland said. “Obviously, it wasn’t as good as the first team, but we still picked it up. We were prepared for it.”

Playing against most of the team that went 35-1 last season in practice is good preparation, at least for Saturday’s easy first test.

“When they get out there against somebody else, they’re kind of licking their chops,” WSU guard Fred VanVleet said. “Getting beat up every day, and then going out there to beat up on somebody else for a change.”

Students filled up half their section behind the baseline more than an hour before tipoff. While a few seats remained empty near the top of the arena, the newcomers handled their first taste of Koch Arena atmosphere with few noticeable jitters.

“I enjoy playing in front of big crowds, because it gets you going,” Nurger said.

Marshall played all his scholarship newcomers by midway through the first half.

Nurger got the first call off the bench and he showed nifty post moves, a willingness to shoot threes and active post defense. He also got lectured after failing to secure a loose ball, which led to a fast-break basket for Northwood. Wamukota scored his first points on a shake-and-bake move. He grabbed five rebounds in limited minutes in the first half. Kelly banked in a three, which won’t be his usual role. He pulled in five rebounds in eight minutes in the first half.

The first half belonged to the Shockers, especially Baker. He scored 17 points, including WSU’s final 10 of the half, capping his run with a three at the buzzer.

WSU held Northwood without a field goal until Malte Ziegenhagen banked in a jumper over two defenders with 16:32 to play, cutting WSU’s lead to 6-4. WSU led 12-8 when a steal by Holland led to a Kelly layup to start an 9-0 run that blew the game open.

WSU led 56-29 at halftime and kept rolling in the second half. Marshall turned the game over to his newcomers with around 11 minutes to play. Holland made his fourth straight three and Henderson Jr. made one from the corner for an 87-38 lead.

Marshall now has two markers to evaluate his newcomers, a scrimmage against TCU and Saturday’s exhibition. The results are promising, although Friday’s opener against New Mexico State will present many more problems.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

Northwood

MIN

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

F

Pt

Umpierre

19

2-4

1-3

0-1

1

2

5

Ziegnhgn

28

2-8

0-0

0-1

0

4

5

McDuffie

15

0-3

0-0

0-1

0

2

0

Mattison

31

3-10

4-6

2-6

0

3

10

Smith

28

4-7

4-4

2-7

0

5

12

Zayas

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Solomon

23

1-10

7-8

0-0

0

2

9

Pinder

3

0-0

1-2

0-1

0

3

1

Nieman

20

1-3

0-0

1-1

3

1

2

Hardy

14

2-3

3-3

1-2

0

5

7

Sarenac

9

1-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

2

Doroschkov

7

0-1

2-2

0-1

0

0

2

Totals

16-51

22-28

8-27

4

28

55

Percentages: FG .314, FT .786. Three-Point Goals: 1-18, .056 (Ziegenhagen 1-6, Mattison 0-1, Sarenac 0-1, McDuffie 0-2, Nieman 0-2, Solomon 0-6). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 1 (Hardy). Turnovers: 21 (Ziegenhagen 4, Smith 4, Umpierre 3, Matttison 3, Nieman 2, Hardy 2, McDuffie, Zayas, Solomon). Steals: 6 (Solomon 3, Ziegenhagen 2, Nieman).

Wichita St.

MIN

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

F

Pt

Wessel

11

1-3

0-0

1-2

0

1

3

Carter

12

2-3

0-0

1-4

2

1

4

VanVleet

15

2-5

4-5

2-3

6

2

8

Baker

23

7-11

4-5

0-3

4

1

22

Cotton

16

3-6

4-6

1-2

2

0

10

Kelly

13

3-4

2-2

2-6

0

2

9

Brown

12

1-2

4-6

1-1

2

2

6

Henderson

14

4-8

0-1

0-3

2

3

11

Bush

6

1-1

1-2

0-0

1

0

3

Holland

21

6-7

0-0

0-3

2

2

16

Simon

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

Walker

5

0-1

1-2

1-1

1

2

1

Nurger

16

3-7

1-2

0-3

0

1

7

Wamukota

13

4-5

1-4

3-5

0

2

9

Morris

10

0-1

0-2

0-1

1

2

0

Glass

8

1-1

1-1

2-3

1

1

3

Totals

38-65

23-38

13-45

25

22

112

Percentages: FG .585, FT .605. Three-Point Goals: 13-24, .542 (Holland 4-4, Baker 4-6, Henderson 3-7, Wessel 1-1, Kelly 1-1, Cotton 0-1, Walker 0-1, Nurger 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 3 (Wamukota 2, Morris). Turnovers: 10 (Carter 2, Simon 2, VanVleet, Baker, Cotton, Brown, Henderson, Morris). Steals: 9 (Holland 2, Wessel, VanVleet, Baker, Cotton, Kelly, Brown, Bush).

Northwoods

29

26

55

Wichita St.

56

56

112

Att.—10,506.

Officials—Jeff Malham, Dan Nowakowski, Albert Buckles.

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