Wichita State opened up play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off by beating Colorado 67-58. The Shockers were kept out from the post through the majority of each half, but worked it inside toward the end of both halves. Colorado played very tough defense, but would get worn down through the first 10 to 13 minutes of each half. Once the Shockers developed their inside game, things took off fairly well for the team. The Shockers will play #15 Alabama tomorrow at 8 p.m. central. WSU will need to command the post on both ends to beat Alabama. Playing like they did tonight, WSU might be knocked down to the loser’s bracket.
The Shockers had four players in double digits, Ben Smith and Toure Murry both had 17 points a piece. Garrett Stutz had 14 points, and David Kyles scored 10. Garrett started slow, but picked up his game through out. He ended the evening with a nice double-double. He had 14 points, 11 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 fouls, and 1 turnover. Once we developed a post game, he was a solid contributor, and his stats back that up. Carl Hall had a surprisingly poor game statistic wise with 2 points, 5 boards, 1 steal and 1 block through 16 minutes. However, watching him play, he didn’t let a single thing come down his lane, and when they did, he made them pay for it. He’ll leave a few bruises on opposing players this season. Demetric Williams had a horrible game going 1-7 from the field, with 1 rebound, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers. DWill played 28 minutes. The Shockers need better production out of him. A fun fact for the night, Wichita State played a little over 30 minutes of basketball before taking a free throw attempt.
It was one of those games where I never felt like we would lose it, but at the same time I was on the edge of my seat hoping for the Shockers to pull away. WSU would get a few quick baskets and it would look like the lead was spreading out, but then Colorado would come back with their own quick baskets, and it would back to the edge of my seat. The Shockers will have to play better tomorrow to beat a very strong Bama squad. Wichita State handled them well back in New York several months ago, but we need to consistently get the ball down low more often than tonight against Colorado.