There is nothing better for a Shocker fan to celebrate the New Year than with a game against Creighton in Koch Arena on New Year’s Eve. There is nothing more heart breaking to a Shocker fan than losing at home to Creighton, no matter what time of year it is. The Roundhouse was rocking on New Year’s Eve, and it showed in the first half, with Wichita State taking an electrifying eight point lead to go into half time. From that buzzer at halftime until the end of the game, there wasn’t much for someone wearing black to cheer about, aside from maybe Carl Hall’s double-double.
If you could find a picture to symbolize the term “cold,” it would be the entire WSU roster, minus Carl Hall. We’d blur his face out on that team photo. The Shockers could not buy a basket. The Shockers’ field goal percentage was an atrocious 33%, and an even more atrocious stat would be a three point percentage of 19%. When looking at that 33% earlier, I felt inclined to ask myself, “Self, what would happen if we take out Carl Hall’s 7 for 9 performance?” Without Hall, Wichita State shot just 25% from the field. That is ridiculous.
What is even more ridiculous? The fact that Wichita State led the game in every other statistic except assists. Seriously. We had better statistics in every other aspect of the game. Free throws attempted: CU – 18, WSU – 25. Offensive rebounds: CU – 5, WSU – 10. Total rebounds: CU – 29, WSU – 36. Steals: CU – 4, WSU 5. Blocks: CU – 1, WSU – 3. Turnovers: CU – 11, WSU 10.
To top off the fact that WSU was cold as the Antarctic, Creighton was 53% from deep, making eight 3-pointers, as well as shooting 42.6% from the field. The senior class of Wichita State had one of the worst outings, if not the worst outing, of their careers together. I hate to lay blame on one individual for the entire loss, because the entire team minus Hall played horribly, but if I had to pick out one person that needed to step up, that didn’t, it would be Stutz. He seemed a step behind on every single play, and because of that, Creighton’s Echinique looked like he was playing post against a high school center. Echinique beat Stutz off the ball on every single play. He was too quick for Stutz after catching a pass down low every single time. Garrett’s stats for the game: FGM 2-8, 3PM 0-2, FTM 1-1, Rebounds 4, Assists 1, Turnovers 2, Fouls 3, and all of that on just 19 minutes played. Either Coach knew Stutz was off for the day, couldn’t handle Echinique, or even maybe that he didn’t feel well. Something was off, and it showed.
With all the gloom and doom of the recap, I’ll leave you with some positivity to start off the New Year. Luckily this was Creighton, and not Bradley, Evansville or Illinois State. A loss is a loss, and when it comes to RPI, it’s better to lose to a good team than a bad team. If we were going to lose, it helps in the long run that it was to Creighton. There are 16 Valley games left to play, and as fans we have to look forward and stay positive. The season is far from over, and we have a chance to pay Creighton back in Omaha later this year. Let’s focus on beating Evansville and hope that we don’t shoot as poorly as we did versus Creighton for the rest of the year.