In one of the most lopsided losses of the Gregg Marshall era, Wichita State was soundly defeated by Oklahoma State, 93-76. The Shockers were doomed by a lack of energy, poor defense, and an off-shooting night. The Cowboys were carried by their hot shooting, making 14 of 28 three-pointers and 52.5% of their field goals. This marked the first loss for the Shockers at Intrust Bank Arena.
Oklahoma State was led by Jawun Evans and Jeffrey Carroll, who each had 22 points and 5 rebounds. Darral Willis, Markis McDuffie, and Zach Brown carried the Shockers, each scoring in double digits. Willis dominated in the paint, scoring a game high 24 points and securing 13 rebounds. It was his first double-double performance as a Shocker.
This game was beyond ugly, but there was still some good in it. Darral Willis was an absolute beast but more on him later. McDuffie also had a solid performance with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. One of his steals occurred at the top of the key, where he took it the rest of the way for an impressive transition layup.
Wichita State had a few outstanding team stats. The Shockers went to the free-throw line 47 times and made 35 of them. Defensively, they struggled for the majority of the game, but they ended up with 9 steals and 8 blocks.
Shocker Nation was fantastic for this matchup. The fans were loud and full of energy from the beginning to the game and even into the final minutes. It was snowy, cold, and miserable outside, but that didn’t stop the fans from showing up in full force and cheering on their beloved Shockers. With WSU down by 19 and only 8 minutes left in the game, the fans began to cheer loudly, hoping to help the team anyway they could. It ended up being a fruitless effort, but the fans deserve their recognition. Wichita is a special place, especially for college basketball.
With all the bad from this game, I could easily write a book. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), no one would read it, so I’ll just stick with a couple paragraphs. The Shockers simply didn’t look like themselves in this one. They played with little energy and looked timid. It was confusing to say the least.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Wichita State’s defense was terrible for the majority of the game. Players weren’t switching quickly, leaving Oklahoma State with countless wide-open three-point attempts, which the Cowboys often made. The Cowboys definitely deserve credit for their win, as their offense was sensational. Going forward, the Shockers are going to have to fix their three-point defense. Easy to write. Difficult to do.
Player of the Game
Darral Willis was magnificent. He played with fire in his belly and gave it everything he had. If more Shockers had played like he did, Wichita State probably would’ve won. He dominated in the paint and often made a shot down low or was fouled in the process. Willis was 5 for 7 from the field and 14 for 17 from the free-throw line. He also finished with 13 rebounds (9 offensive), 1 steal, and 1 block. WIllis has been one of the most consistent Shockers in the early part of the season, and the team will need to rely on him heavily throughout the rest of the season.
Tweet of the Game
OSUs 93-76 win at Wichita State was the Shockers' most lopsided home loss under Gregg Marshall & most lopsided home loss since 2003.#okstate
— Dave Hunziker (@Gopokesvoice) December 18, 2016
Not only that, but this loss broke the Shockers’ 42 non-conference home winning streak. It was a sad day to be a Wichita State fan.
The Shockers’ run of quality opponents comes to an end as WSU next faces South Dakota State on Thursday the 22nd. While the Shockers are 25th on KenPom, the Jackrabbits are ranked 202nd. Wichita State will bounce back nicely, trouncing South Dakota State by double digits.
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