#9 Wichita State 67 – Tulsa 77
The Shockers traveled to Tulsa on Tuesday for their first road game of the season. Tulsa denied Wichita State their 4th straight at the Reynolds Center, beating the Shockers 77 – 67.
Tulsa’s veteran roster that includes 9 seniors proved too much to handle for Wichita State’s young bench. Scoring 51 points off the bench against CSU, the bench only accounted for 8 points against the Golden Hurricanes. Shamet led the bench with 4 points, Morris and Brown had two points a piece.
With VanVleet fighting through injury, Ron Baker played more point guard and rarely saw the bench for a breather. Baker ended the game with 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals on 39 of 40 possible minutes.
VanVleet ended the game with 11 points, shooting 3 of 10 from the field, 3 of 7 from three, and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. Fred scored 9 of his 11 points on back-to-back-to-back three pointers to end the first half. Prior to Fred’s unanswered run of 9 points to the end the half, Tulsa was ahead of Wichita State, 30-22. Fred’s flurry of three pointers put the Shockers in the lead at half-time, 31-30. Fred didn’t make another shot from the field for the rest of the game.
The Shockers extended their lead after half for the first 2:50 until Tulsa’s Pat Birt tied the game up 35-35. Shaq Harrison scored on a layup 31 seconds later, and Tulsa never relinquished the lead again.
In a game against a veteran team that may have been a bit underrated going into this season, the youthful bench of Wichita State needed to step up. They floundered and couldn’t find a rhythm from the field. To add to the woes of the bench, they couldn’t seem to stay out of foul trouble either. Landry Shamet fouled out of the game, acquiring 5 fouls in just 10 minutes of play. Shaq Morris had 4 fouls in 12 minutes, and Zach Brown committed 3 fouls in 13 minutes. Taylor, Wamukota, and Hamilton each had a foul a piece in under 5 minutes of court time for each.
In a rare occurance, the Shockers were out-rebounded by Tulsa, 38-32. Wichita State also lost the battle for second-chance points, 8-4, and were outscored on fast-breaks, 13-2.
The play from seniors Ron Baker and Anton Grady added a couple bright spots in an otherwise disappointing outing from Wichita State. Grady once again almost notched a double-double, scoring 18 points, and grabbing 9 rebounds. Baker’s defensive effort kept the Shockers competitive, recording 4 steals in the game.
Wichita State plays Emporia State on Saturday at 2 pm. The Shockers look to bounce back from the loss to Tulsa and better themselves as a team. The big question leading into this weekend will be the availability of VanVleet. Will he play against ESU, or will he sit and rest his leg injuries for the Advocare Invitational which is now just 8 days away? The Shockers take on the Trojans of Southern California on November 26th, in the first game of the tournament in Orlando, Florida.