WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Ron Baker scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, and No. 16 Wichita State held off Illinois State 70-62 on Sunday.
Baker dished out a timely assist, Fred VanVleet hit some clutch shots, and Tekele Cotton converted another highlight-reel alley-oop as the Shockers won their 20th straight game over a Missouri Valley Conference foe.
Wichita State (12-2, 2-0) has also won 24 in a row at Koch Arena, which is the fifth-longest active streak in the country.
Led by Daishon Knight’s 24 points, the Redbirds (8-6, 0-2) hung around in the second half but could never take the lead.
Knight’s 3-pointer quieted the crowd right after Cotton’s dunk off an inbounds pass from VanVleet and pulled Illinois State within 57-55 with 3:52 remaining.
That’s when Wichita State’s veterans took over.
VanVleet answered with a 3-pointer of his own, then Baker drove and found Shaquille Morris for a layup to push the lead back to 62-55.
VanVleet had 12 points, six rebounds and six assists. Knight was the only Redbirds player in double figures.
Illinois State: The Redbirds have now lost at Koch Arena seven straight times, last winning Jan. 1, 2008, with a 49-46 victory. … Illinois State led the Missouri Valley in steals per game with 8.2 but finished with a season-low four against Wichita State.
Wichita State: After missing three games and playing sparingly at Drake, Evan Wessel (ankle) returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 16. He finished with three points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Illinois State used its size to control the glass, pulling down 14 offensive boards and outrebounding Wichita State 32-27. The Redbirds had the first 10 rebounds of the second half, eight of them on the offensive end — three coming on one possession alone. The Shockers did not collect their first rebound until nearly seven minutes had passed in the half. Illinois State was the Valley’s top offensive rebounding team entering Sunday at 13.8 per game and have now outrebounded opponents 11 times in 14 games. Wichita State had been outrebounded only twice before.
Illinois State hosts Drake on Wednesday
Wichita State hosts Bradley on Wednesday