Key statistics: The Shockers forced 22 turnovers and held SIU to 19 baskets, the seventh time this season and the 13th time in the past three to compile a negative basket-to-turnover ratio.
WSU 93, Emporia State 50
WSU 83, Drake 54
WSU 71, Memphis 56
WSU 74, Drake 40
WSU 78, Missouri State 35
WSU 56, SIU 45
WSU 68, Saint Louis 53
WSU 67, Utah 50
WSU 67, Drake 47
WSU 85, Bradley 58
WSU 88, Bradley 54
WSU 78, Evansville 65
WSU 76, SIU 55
How the game turned: SIU took one shot in its first five possessions of the second half, a missed runner by Sean O’Brien on play he was fortunate not to draw a charging foul. The other four trips ended with a turnover, most born out of the frustration of a total inability to run any type of offense.
Records: WSU 17-5, 11-0 MVC; SIU 18-6, 7-4
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Stat that might surprise you: The Salukis battled in this game after fading quickly in the first meeting. Proof came on the offensive boards, where they grabbed 22 rebounds, most against a Marshall team at WSU and the most since Bradley grabbed 24 in a 2006 game at Koch Arena.
The Salukis out-rebounded WSU 48-31, the first time since 2009 (also against SIU) that the Shockers were out-rebounded by 10 or more.
“We fought our butts off today,” SIU coach Barry Hinson said.
Like time of possession in football, rebounds can be misleading. One reason SIU grabbed so many offensive rebounds is that it missed 43 shots.
Marshall won’t like that stat. The Shockers so dominated other areas that it gives him a good coaching point after an easy win.
Stat that shouldn’t surprise you: Fred VanVleet passed out 11 assists to match his career high. Nobody converts turnovers and bad shots into baskets better than VanVleet and SIU gave him numerous openings.
WSU’s Gregg Marshall is the seventh coach in NCAA Division I history to lead two schools in career victories, two of whom are active. Jim Calhoun — Northeastern 248, UConn 625 Lou Henson — Illinois 423, New Mexico State 289 Johnny Orr — Michigan 209, Iowa State 218 Gregg Marshall — Winthrop 194, Wichita State 221 (active) Cliff Ellis — Clemson 177, Coastal Carolina 158 (active) Frankie Allen — Howard 52, Tennessee. St. 115, Maryland-Eastern Shore 42 Ronnie Arrow — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 95, South Alabama 205
Freshman watch: Markis McDuffie’s development on defense might be the biggest under-the-radar reason for WSU’s strong run. The Shockers can throw two plus defenders (Zach Brown and McDuffie) at scorers and save Ron Baker for other duties. Baker, of course, is also a great defender.
McDuffie’s defense, and ball-handling, is already superior to Cleanthony Early. Three weeks ago, I thought of McDuffie as a wing. Now I think of him more as a stretch power forward (in his college days) in the mold of Early. He needs to improve his passing and dribbling, but those things can come from experience.
Why they’re All-Americans: Again, scoring wasn’t a thing for VanVleet and Ron Baker. Again, it didn’t matter much.
VanVleet made 3 of 6 shots and scored 12 points for his first double-double this season. He also grabbed four steals to lead the defensive effort.
Baker missed 8 of 10 shots. He had eight rebounds and three assists.Rotation watch:
WSU’s post position keeps looking stronger.
Shaq Morris and Anton Grady combined to make 10 of 14 shots. Grady’s defensive effort has bumped up in recent games. Morris and VanVleet find each other regularly for lobs. It’s a good mix, especially when Grady keeps his desire to shoot threes (1 of 8 this season) under wraps.
Next up: at Illinois State (13-11, 7-4), 9 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2)
The Redbirds are athletic enough to make this game potentially interesting. They block a lot of shots, but allow MVC opponents to shoot 50 percent inside the arc and 36.5 behind it. both seventh-worst in the MVC. Almost 38 percent of their scoring comes from threes, most in the MVC.