Fred VanVleet collected 18 points, eight assists and a
career-high five steals for Wichita State (27-0, 14-0 Missouri
Valley Conference), which continued the NCAA's best start since
Illinois began the 2004-05 season with 29 straight victories.
Cleanthony Early had 13 points and seven rebounds while Tekele
Cotton chipped in 12 points as the Shockers improved to 10-0 on the
MVC leading scorer D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius scored 19
points apiece for the Aces (11-16, 4-10). Blake Simmons added 12
points for Evansville, which lost for the fifth time in six games
despite shooting 51.1 percent.
The Aces trimmed a 14-point second-half deficit down to 65-60 when
Balentine was good from long range and Mockevicius buried a jumper
with just over six minutes remaining. Cotton scored to stem the tide
and Baker later had nine straight Wichita State points — the last
two on a breakaway dunk — to push the margin to 14 with 1:31 left to
end the threat.
[to top of second column]
The Shockers led by as many as nine points in the first half before
settling for a 38-32 lead at intermission, getting 15 points from
Baker. Cotton hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the
second half and Baker scored moments later to ignite a burst that
left Wichita State with a 55-41 advantage with 14 minutes to go.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Evansville had a 28-26 advantage on the boards to
become just the third team to win the rebounding battle against
Wichita State. ... The Aces had 18 turnovers, compared to just eight
for the Shockers. ... Wichita State continues its pursuit of
perfection Wednesday at Loyola (Illinois).
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