Wichita State (20-7, 13-2 MVC) used pressure defense and solid inside play to pull away from visiting Missouri State early and never looked back in a 99-68 win over the Bears before a sellout crowd of 10,506 at Koch Arena Thursday.
Twelve different WSU players finished in the scoring column, led by 16 from Zach Brown and 15 apiece from All-American backcourt standouts Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker. The Shockers also shot 59.1 percent from the field, scored 50 points in the paint and posted 13 steals.
Freshman Obediah Church led MSU’s efforts with 14 points, 8 rebounds, a blocked shot and a pair of dunks while converting 7-of-8 from the field. Dequon Miller pitched in 12 points and 7 assists for the visitors, while Chris Kendrix scored 11.
MSU finished 25-of-59 (.424) from the field and 15-of-19 (.789) at the stripe while converting 3-of-14 (.214) shots from bonus distance. The Bears were out-rebounded by a narrow 35-32 margin, snagged 13 offensive rebounds and forced 10 WSU mishaps. But, the Bears’ 18 turnovers led directly to 29 Wichita State points, essentially defining the final margin.
Wichita State, which played before a sellout home crowd for the 44th consecutive time, was 39-of-66 from the field, 7-of-18 (.389) from long range and 14-for-18 (.778) at the stripe with just 10 offensive rebounds and 15 second-chance points.
UMKC ran into a tough Grand Canyon squad on Thursday night that hit 10-of-20 from three-point range, and pulled away in the second half for a 78-66 victory over the Roos.
Martez Harrison finished with 18 points to lead the Roos, while LaVell Boyd tallied 13 points. Darnell Tillmanpulled down a team-best seven boards and two blocks. Braun led the Lopes with 26 points, including four threes. For the season he averaged 28.5 points against UMKC.
The Roos will look to salvage the road swing on Saturday when it heads to Utah Valley for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff.