WICHITA, Kan. – Unleashing a 23-4 second half run, No. 22/25 Wichita State stormed past Loyola Wednesday night at Koch Arena on the way to a 80-54 win.
WSU (15-5, 9-0 Missouri Valley Conference) reached the midway point with an unbeaten conference record for the third-straight year and extended its winning streak to 10 games for only the second time since 1983.
The Shockers also improved their home court winning streak to 42-straight and have now won 23-straight home games over MVC opponents, which is the second-longest in school history and two away from the record set from 1982-85.
WSU had great balance in the scoring column with seven players putting up eight-or-more points. Shaquille Morris led all scorers with 12 points to go with six rebounds on 6-of-8 shooting. Rashard Kelly added 11 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench and became the 11th different-Shocker to score in double-figures this year.
Ron Baker closed out with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and a new career-high six steals. Fred VanVleet recorded eight points, and an eight-assist night moved him into the top-10 on the MVC’s all-time list with 552 for his career.
Also reaching a career milestone in Wednesday’s game was Anton Grady. With his defensive board at the 15:09 mark in the first half, Grady collected his 800th career board, becoming just the 19th active Division I player to reach the mark.
WSU shot 54 percent overall from the field, while holding the Ramblers to 39 percent. The Shockers tallied a season-high 22 assists (their highest total since Nov. 23, 2014 against Newman) on 28 field goals
After the win, WSU coach Gregg Marshall said, “I thought we were over-passing in the first half almost. We had really good shots that turned into just okay shots because we were really zipping the ball around. You don’t want to harness the unselfishness this team plays with, so you just let them go, and ultimately we found good shots.”
The Shockers defense forced 14 turnovers and outrebounded Loyola, 40-30. It’s the fifth time in six games that WSU has won the battle of the boards by 10-or-more.
Next up, WSU takes on Evansville on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. CT, ESPNU). Wichita State is 3-1 at the Ford Center with back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015, and 10-10 all-time in Evansville.