GREENVILLE, S.C. – Gregg Marshall notched his 500th career victory in Wichita State’s 76-70 win at Furman on Wednesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Markis McDuffie scored a team-high 20 points for the Shockers (20-14) who won for the 12th time in 15 games.
Marshall improved to 500-195 (.719) in 21 years of coaching and secured his 16th 20-win season. He’s led the Shockers to 10-straight, dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.
Matt Rafferty led Furman (25-8) with 27 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Sixth-seeded WSU moves on to the tournament’s second round at No. 2 seed Clemson, to be played at 1 p.m. CT Sunday on ESPN.
WSU was perfect on the offensive end over the final 4:00. Tied at 62 with 3:57 left, the Shockers came away with field goals on each of their next five possessions. Furman couldn’t match that pace.
Jaime Echenique’s layup with 1:39 to go put the Shockers in front for good. After a defensive stop, Samajae Haynes-Jones’ pull-up jumper made it a two-possession game with 44 seconds left. Out of a timeout — up 70-68 with 24 seconds to go — WSU put the ball into the hands of McDuffie who scored a crucial layup with 14 seconds showing to effectively ice the game.
WSU shot 50 percent from the field for the first time since Jan. 16, hitting 31-of-62 shots.
The Shockers outrebounded the smaller Palatins 43-26 and scored 46 of their 76 points inside the paint. WSU’s two centers combined for a 20-20 stat line. Echenique (16 points, 10 rebounds in 26 minutes) notched his team-leading four double-double of the year. Midtgaard (9 pts, 10 reb) came within a point of his first double-double.
Erik Stevenson added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench. Samajae Haynes-Jones shook off foul trouble to score eight points – all in the second half.
WSU played just over half of the 40 minutes form in front. The game featured 14 ties (lasting a combined 9:02) and 12 lead changes.