On the road again. The Shockers started Valley play on the road this year, going to Peoria to play Bradley yesterday evening. Going into the game I felt strongly that Wichita State would pull out a win, but at the same time, a bit nervous not knowing what to expect from Bradley. Recently the Braves had played #19 Michigan closely, and if Bradley played a perfect game against WSU, we could have walked away with a loss. However, the absolute opposite happened, Wichita State came out, knocked Bradley in the teeth, put a foot on their throat and never let them get up. Wichita State handed Bradley the worst home loss of their 105 year program. Wichita State beat Bradley 90 to 51 in a thrashing not normally seen in conference play.
Some interesting tidbits from the game (picked up by Kirk Wessler of the PJ Star); The Shockers outscored Bradley in the paint 48-16, off turnovers 21-7, off the fast break 15-2, on second-chance points 26-14. They shot 52.4 percent, made 43.8 percent of their 3-pointers and held BU to 14 field goals in the entire game. WSU’s bench players outscored Bradley’s 31-11.
The Shockers had all five starters scoring double digits. Something to point out about this statistic is that of the five starters, three played fewer than 20 minutes; Hall and Stutz played 19 each, and Ragland only played 16. Stutz recorded another double-double scoring 14 points with 10 rebounds. Murry and Ragland both had 12 points, Kyles had 11, and Hall scored 10. Once again the starters looked impressive, and with limited minutes.
There were two other games around The MVC yesterday. Indiana State played at Drake, and Missouri State visited Omaha to play #19 Creighton. Both had surprising outcomes. Drake dominated Indiana State, winning 79 to 64, and Missouri State upset The MVC favorite, Blue Jays. The final score out of Omaha was MSU 77, Creighton 65. Kyle Weems, previous Valley PoY scored 31 points. Pretty sure Weems wanted to make a statement, and what a better way to do that, than beat Creighton on the road, and show up Doug McDermott who most media sources cite as being this years favorite PoY candidate for The MVC.
Wichita State faces Creighton at Koch Arena on New Year’s Eve in what most believe as the two top teams in The Valley. If Wichita State can beat Creighton, I would argue that this puts Wichita State in the driver’s seat for the near future, and could also help WSU finally eclipse the top 25. For all of you Shocker fans going to the game on Saturday, a quick reminder, wear black. It will be a black out game, so get ready to rock The Roundhouse.