▪ Key statistics: The Shockers outscored SIU 30-3 behind the three-point line.
▪ How the game turned: Conner Frankamp made three threes in 62 seconds to expand Wichita State’s lead from 41-35 to 50-35.
▪ Records: WSU 24-4, 14-1 MVC; SIU 14-14, 7-8
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▪ Rotation watch: How many Shockers will make the MVC’s All-Bench team?
Rashard Kelly provided two of the game-turning defensive plays, drawing a charge and blocking a shot, early in the second half. He scored seven points and matched his career-high with nine rebounds.
Rauno Nurger scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
▪ Somebody said this:
▪ Good: Markis McDuffie carried the Shockers early by scoring seven of the first 14 points and 11 of his 13 in the first half.
He grabbed nine rebounds and recorded three steals, one resulting in a highlight-reel layup.
McDuffie averages 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in MVC play. Kenpom.com ranks him first on its All-MVC team.
▪ Illinois State’s MiKyle McIntosh played 22 minutes and scored nine points in Wednesday’s 67-66 win at Missouri State. He missed five games after knee surgery.
▪ Bad: McDuffie also committed five turnovers. Improving his ball-handling and decisions on breaks appears to linger as the last piece to click in for a well-rounded player as a sophomore.
“He’s got a lot energy,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “I thought he was really good to start the game. But he’s got to stop turning the ball over. He’s just wild. We’ve got to be a little more sure with our passes.”
▪ On and on: Shaq Morris blocked two shots to reach 88 for his careerr and tie Jamar Howard (2001-05) for 10th at WSU. … Landry Shamet has made a three in a freshman-record 17 straight games. Frankamp is at 14 straight with a three. Frankamp is 35 of 67 (52.2 percent) from three-point range in 15 MVC games, second in the conference behind Bradley’s Jayden Hodgson (55.6). He is 25 of 40 (62.5) in his past nine games.
▪ Next up: vs. Northern Iowa (14-12, 9-6 MVC), 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN2). The Panthers hold the key to the MVC title. They are the toughest remaining game for both the Redbirds and Shockers.
Illinois State plays at UNI in the regular-season finale.
UNI has won nine of 10 games and needs one win to wrap up at least a share of third after losing its first five MVC games. On Wednesday, it defeated Bradley 64-61 despite giving up 13 offensive rebounds and a 12-rebound disadvantage overall.
WSU’s RPI rank is No. 43. ISU’s is No. 31. If both win out, the Redbirds will win the RPI-tiebreaker and take the No. 1 seed in the MVC Tournament. The reward for that, in addition to a few hours of rest, is avoiding the Panthers, should they wrap up the No. 3 seed. The Panthers appear to be in a good spot with tiebreakers against the other three schools that could also reach nine or 10 wins. They own RPI edges over Loyola and Missouri State and swept SIU.