▪ Key statistics: Last season, the Shockers allowed fewer baskets than turnovers 11 times. They hit that mark again on Friday, forcing 19 turnovers and allowing 14 baskets by South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs are in good company. Teams such as UNLV, Utah and New Mexico State went negative in that comparison last season.
▪ How the game turned: A no-doubter, which had to comfort some coming off a six-point exhibition win. The Bulldogs missed five of their first six shots and committed two turnovers while falling behind 11-2.
They didn’t bother to rally.
▪ Records: SCSU 0-1, WSU 1-0
▪ Rotation watch: Shaq Morris came off the bench and made 9 of 11 shots in the exhibition game. On Friday, Markis McDuffie came off the bench, after starting the exhibition game, and made 5 of 7 shots. While starting and playing time aren’t always linked, the get-your-attention effect of not starting can pay off.
McDuffie missed 4 of 5 shots in the exhibition game and coach Gregg Marshall wasn’t happy with his decisiveness when he shot.
“I just try to let the game come to me and not rush,” McDuffie said. “He definitely told me to shoot the ball with confidence. That’s one thing I’ve got to do.”
No starter scored in double figures. Seven Shockers scored between seven and 14 points. They seemed to embrace that balance.
“That just says a lot about our ball distribution and the amount of people that are able to get good quality shots,” junior Zach Brown said.
▪ Somebody said this:
▪ Good: Ten turnovers is a winning number, especially for a team in flux. Impressive, even against a poor defensive team. WSU’s patience and execution will be tested by Long Beach State’s presses on Sunday. Last season’s team committed 10 or fewer turnovers 20 times.
Point guards Conner Frankamp and Daishon Smith combined for seven assists and one turnover.
▪ Bad: MVC scores from Friday: Murray State 73, Illinois State 70; Northern Illinois 80, Indiana State 78; Wright State 85, Southern Illinois 81; South Dakota 79, Drake 74
▪ Numbers guy says: WSU’s bench scored 54 points, topping last season’s high of 51 vs. Charleston Southern.
▪ On and on: WSU extended its non-conference home win streak to 38, a streak that includes five games at Intrust Bank Arena. … WSU is 11-2 vs. the MEAC, with a 9-2 record at home. WSU coach Gregg Marshall is 45-14 against NCAA Division I schools from South Carolina in his tenures at Winthrop and WSU.
▪ Despite the fact he’s 6-foot-5 and plays basketball at high level, some media members were apparently amazed freshman guard Austin Reaves can dunk.
“He can jump,” Brown and McDuffie confirmed.
▪ Next up: vs. Long Beach State, 7 p.m. Sunday (Cox 22)
The 49ers defeated NCAA Division II Cal State Los Angeles 95-59 on Friday at home. They recorded 14 steals and forced 19 turnovers for 20 points, helping them score 52 in the lane. Evan Payne led the 49ers with 15 points.
Long Beach State, picked to win the Big West, will throw a talented backcourt at the Shockers. Payne is a transfer from Loyola Marymount, where he averaged 16.7 points in two seasons. Point guard Justin Bibbins, a junior, averaged 12 points and five assists last season.
In 2015-16, the 49ers lost at Washington in first round of the NIT. They defeated BYU, Seton Hall, Colorado State and New Mexico State in non-conference play. Their average possession length of 15.4 seconds on offense ranked 17th nationally.