Wichita, KS (Sports Network) - Despite being overshadowed by the Creighton
Bluejays for much of the season, the 15th-ranked Wichita State Shockers now
have control of the Missouri Valley Conference as they settle in against the
Indiana State Sycamores on Tuesday night.
The Shockers, who have just a pair of setbacks this season against Tennessee
and Evansville, are riding a four-game win streak and have captured 10
victories in the last 11 outings overall. On Saturday night the team routed
the Bradley Braves at home in a 73-39 final to move to 8-1 in MVC and into
sole possession of first place in the standings as WSU remained perfect at
home through 12 games.
Now sporting a 19-game home win streak overall, the second-longest run ever
for the program, WSU enters play this week tied with both top-ranked Michigan
and seventh-ranked Gonzaga for the most wins in the country overall at 19.
As for the Sycamores, they've been a bit sporadic in recent weeks, sporting a
4-3 mark over the last seven outings. On Saturday Indiana State hosted
Northern Iowa and just squeaked by in a 59-58 final. The victory was the third
in the last four games overall and now the team is 6-3 in conference play
which has it all alone in third place behind only WSU and Creighton.
Dating back to the 1977-78 campaign, the series between the teams is under the
control of the Shockers who own a 50-28 edge versus Indiana State. Wichita
State won all three meetings a season ago and has taken eight of the last nine
overall, save for a 61-54 setback during the MVC Tournament in 2011.
Trailing by a point with time winding down, the Sycamores needed a minor
miracle against Northern Iowa at the Hulman Center on Saturday afternoon. A
three-pointer by Jake Odum that would have won the game missed the mark, but
he was fouled with just 0.3 seconds remaining and after missing his first
free-throw try he knocked down the other two in order to give ISU the 58-57
win against the Panthers. Odum finished with a game-high 16 points, as well as
seven rebounds and five assists. R.J. Mahurin and Manny Arop contributed 14
and 10 points, respectively, for the hosts as well.
Through nine conference games this season the Sycamores are producing a modest
67.1 ppg, slightly better than the competition at 64.9 ppg. One of the better
clutch players in the MVC, Odum is first on the unit with his 13.6 ppg and has
delivered an average of almost four assists per contest as well. Arop (12.6
ppg) and Justin Gant (10.8 ppg) are both shooting at least 50.0 percent from
While shooting 51.0 percent from the field on Saturday night, including 6-
of-15 behind the 3-point line, Wichita State held the Braves to a mere 31.9
percent accuracy from the field and forced almost as many turnovers (14) as it
allowed field goals (15). Nick Wiggins led a quartet of double-digit scorers
for the Shockers with 12 points off the bench, hitting all three of his
triples, while fellow reserve Jake White posted 11 points and nine rebounds as
the hosts crushed Bradley on the glass, 44-21. Cleanthony Early and Malcolm
Armstead both tallied 10 points, the latter filling his stat line with eight
assists, five rebounds and four steals as well.
In the last five games the Shockers have had a different leading scorer in
four bouts, but overall this season the team is being paced by Early with his
15.2 ppg. Although he has appeared in only 14 of the unit's 21 contests, Carl
Hall (12.9 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer and is also first on the
glass with close to eight boards per game, which come in handy for a program
beating opponents on the glass by nine caroms per game right now.
The Sports Network