INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker struggling on offense, Darius Carter picked up the offense for Wichita State.
The 6-foot-7 forward posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 11 Shockers to a 63-53 win over Indiana State on Wednesday night. His scoring came on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and during key moments of the game when the Shockers needed a basket.
“He wanted (the ball),” Wichita head coach Gregg Marshall said. “He had a good game against them last time and I think part of the reason he had such a good game is because of (Indiana State’s) concentration on Baker and Fred (VanVleet). That opens up a little more room for him to drive in there in the post and get some layups. He really established himself tonight.”
Fred VanVleet added 15 points while Tekele Cotton scored 12 in a win that saw Wichita State score 30 points in the paint on the offensive end.
The Shockers won their seventh straight game inside the Hulman Center, making it the second longest streak in school history against an opponent at its own arena. It was the 25th victory in the last 29 meetings against the Sycamores.
Indiana State (14-15, 10-7 MVC) led for nearly 12 minutes of the first half but a 19-9 run by the visitors for the final eight put Wichita State up 28-24 at halftime. The Shockers never looked back from there.
The Sycamores made a comeback attempt late in the second half, trimming the deficit down to 49-46 with 6:30 left in the game after trailing by as many 13 but Wichita hit timely baskets when needed and turned up the intensity on the defensive end.
The biggest basket of them all came on a VanVleet jumper with 3:26 and the shot clock expiring to put the Shockers back up 55-49. Indiana State never again trailed by less than three possessions after the dagger.
“It’s calm, it’s composure, it’s savvy, it’s ability, it’s all the things we’ve used to describe Fred for the last three years,” Marshall said of VanVleet. “The play that he made with a short shot clock when he hit the three in front our bench was incredible. But even more incredible was the one he hit with like one second on the shot clock. It was a great play.”
Wichita State (26-3, 16-1) held Indiana State to just 34 percent shooting from the floor including 5-of-15 mark from the three-point line. The Sycamores also turned the ball over 14 times, which led to 12 Shocker points on the other end.
The Shockers shot 48 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 34.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
Indiana State was led by Khristian Smith with 20 points.
Wichita State: Tekele Cotton continues to rack up victories in his career as a Shocker. Cotton notched his 115th win, which is the most wins by a player in school history. He shot 6-of-11 from the field against Indiana State and added six rebounds.
Indiana State: Smith’s 20 points was the most by the junior since scoring 24 in a home win against Truman State on Dec.15. Smith shook off 21 percent mark from behind the arc against Wichita State and was 2-of-2 from the outside. He was 6-for-11 overall from the field.
Wichita State hosts No. 10 Northern Iowa on Saturday
Indiana State visits Bradley on Saturday