Tuesday night, the Shockers broke new ground with yet another
Missouri Valley Conference blowout.
Using balanced scoring and outstanding defense, Wichita State became
the first team in Division I history to start a regular season at
30-0 with a workmanlike 69-49 drubbing of game but outmatched
Bradley at Carver Arena.
"That was the number tonight," said Shockers coach Gregg Marshall,
who assigns an athlete's jersey number or a historical significance
to each win as a motivational tool. "We're the only Division I team
to win 30 straight in the regular season.
"Part of it is you can play more games now, which helps. You can
play 31 with an exempt tournament. But this group likes to be the
only team to accomplish this. They figure out a way to make it
Guard Ron Baker scored 15 points to lead four players in double
figures for Wichita State (30-0, 17-0). It can become the first team
since St. Joseph's in 2003-04 to finish with a perfect regular
season by beating Missouri State Saturday.
Guard Tekele Cotton added 13, while forward Cleanthony Early kicked
in 12 points and point guard Fred VanVleet contributed 11. The
Shockers canned nearly 49 percent of their field goals, sinking an
impressive 10-of-21 on 3-pointers.
Their first five made shots of the second half were all 3s, turning
a 35-25 halftime lead into a 50-34 cushion at the second TV timeout.
The lead grew to 20 with less than seven minutes left, forcing some
in a near-capacity crowd of 10,257 to head into a frigid winter
"I thought we played with what the defense gave us," Baker said.
Meanwhile, Wichita State took away most of what the Braves (12-18,
7-10) tried to do on offense with a blend of sound positioning and
superior athleticism. Bradley made only 16-of-59 shots, including a
brutal 12-of-45 on 2-pointers, and was turned away at the rim
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The Shockers finished with a half-dozen blocked shots and altered
perhaps as many attempts at point-blank range.
"Their length comes from everywhere," Braves coach Geno Ford said.
"At the rim, they have unbelievable length. They deny like crazy and
then it's hard to finish at the rim against that team. They play
Guard Walt Lemon Jr. scored a game-high 18 points for Bradley, but
converted only 6-of-20 shots. Forward Tyshon Pickett contributed a
13-point, 15-rebound double-double despite making just 5-of-20
attempts. Forward Auston Barnes contributed 10 points.
Lemon cherished the opportunity to knock off the nation's last
"We wanted to leave on a good note," said Lemon, one of the team's
four seniors. "It wasn't the ending we were hoping for."
As for Wichita State, it continued its march toward a No. 1 regional
seed and perhaps a No. 1 overall seed for next month's NCAA
"I don't think it's sunk in yet what we've done," Baker said. "It
might hit me when I'm 40 years old and watching college basketball
NOTES: Wichita State is the highest-ranked team to visit Carver
Arena since it opened in 1982 and the first Final Four team from the
previous season to play there. ... Shockers C Darius Carter was
named Newcomer of the Week in the Missouri Valley Conference for the
second time this season. He averaged 14 points and 4.0 rebounds in
wins over Loyola (Ill.) and Drake. ... Bradley G Walt Lemon Jr. is
one of only four players in MVC history to have compiled 1,600
points, 350 assists and 200 steals. He joins Larry Bird (Indiana
State), Hersey Hawkins (Bradley) and Darren Brooks (Southern
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