▪ WSU is running teams out the gym in the second half of MVC games, outscoring opponents by 10 points and 14.6 in the past three. Loyola is on the opposite track entering Wednesday’s game.
The Ramblers are shooting 42.9 percent in the second half of MVC games, allowing 48.1 and with a negative margin of 4.5 points after halftime. WSU exploited that weakness by outscoring Loyola 44-25 in the second half in a 67-53 win on Jan. 11.
No team shot better than 50 percent in the second half against WSU and six of the eight fell at 40 percent or below.
▪ The Ramblers turn the ball over on almost 22 percent of their possessions in MVC play, ninth-worst in the conference, and the absence of guard Milton Doyle won’t help. Loyola plays a slow pace, which helps limit turnovers, but they committed 18 in Saturday’s 72-61 loss to Indiana State.
▪ The Shockers pulled away in the second half at Loyola when guard Fred VanVleet started to drive and score. The Ramblers are small and don’t block many shots. That is good for WSU’s big men and good for VanVleet, who can score in the lane and pass out to open shooters when he penetrates.
▪ VanVleet is tied with Dave Stallworth with 394 career assists, fifth on WSU’s list. Cal Burton is fourth with 404. Ron Baker is sixth with 148 three-pointers, five behind David Kyles.