Shockers overcome slow start to win big

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WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita State seemed to start the same way they finished against Loyola of Chicago, struggling from the field and playing to the other team’s pace. But after falling behind by 15 points early in the first half the Shockers found new energy during the media timeout with about 8 minutes to play before halftime. In those 8 minutes, they stormed back and played with some fire to go into the break ahead 39-33.

The Shockers never looked back after regaining control and finished off the Purple Aces with a final score of 81-67.

WSU played like the No. 4 team in the nation by getting help from everyone on the team. Four starters scored in the double digits and the Shocker bench chipped in with a total of 24 points in the rout. Sophomore guard Fred VanVleet and senior forward Cleanthony Early also had 7 and 8 rebounds each, respectively.

Foul trouble surrounded the Evansville team after their quick start to the game and their key players spent a considerable amount of time switching in and out, not allowing them to continue the rhythm they had to open up the game. The Purple Aces starters alone accounted for a total of 19 fouls and two of them fouled out.

Much of the focus coming into the game was to stop Evansville’s sophomore guard D.J. Balentine who put up 43 points in his last game and has averaged 23 points on the season. While stopping Balentine might have been a tough assignment, the Shockers were able to slow him down and held him to 26 points. More impressively, the Shockers didn’t allow any other Evansville player to score 10 or more points.

The win was the 23rd straight for the undefeated Shockers and more notably was their sixth consecutive win by 12 points or more.

Wednesday, Wichita State will travel to Indiana State who is currently second in conference with a 7-2 MVC record heading into their matchup tonight with third place Northern Iowa.

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