Strong Second Half Pushes Shocks Past Salukis
February 12, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
SHOCKERS PRESS RELEASE
WICHITA, Kan.- Ron Baker scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-8 from behind the three-point line to lead Wichita State past Southern Illinois 78-67 on Tuesday night inside Charles Koch Arena. Wichita State became the 25th team in NCAA history to go 26-0.
Cleanthony Early added 18 points, going 11-for-12 from the free-throw line and Darius Carter scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the winning effort for Wichita State.
With the Shockers down 5-2 in the early minutes, Tekele Cotton hit a three-pointer to tie the game at five at the 15:41 mark. Southern Illinois continued to keep themselves in the game with its shooting, but Ron Baker gave Wichita State its first lead of the game, hitting a jumper in the lane and then stealing the ball and dunking on the offensive end to put the Shockers up 11-10 with 10:46 remaining in the half.
The Salukis went ahead by as many as five until a pair of Cleanthony Early free throws tied it at 23 with a little more than seven minutes left in the half. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half with Wichita State going into the locker room down one, 33-32.
Early led the Shockers in scoring during the first 20 minutes with eight points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Wichita State shot 10-for-25 (.400) from the field and 10-for-14 (.714) from the charity stripe.
At the 16:35 mark of the second half, Early completed an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Shockers a 44-43 lead. Baker then hit a pull-up jumper on the next possession to stretch the lead to 46-43.
Darius Carter capped an 8-2 run for Wichita State with a jumper at the 11:54 mark that saw the Shockers go ahead by nine, 57-48. Southern Illinois again cut down the Wichita lead, but the Baker answered with a shot from behind the arc with 5:45 remaining in the game to give his team a seven-point advantage, 57-64.
Wichita State closed out the game on a 9-3 run, including five points from Baker and went on to win 78-67.
The Shockers shot 23-for-49 (.469) from the field and hit six three-pointers in the second half. The Wichita State defense forced 13 turnovers, blocked seven shots and had nine steals.
Wichita State will now hit the road for a game against Evansville on Sun., Feb. 16 in Evansville, Ind. Tip is set for 4 p.m.