WICHITA, Kan. – Kenny Pohto scored a season-high 25 points and controlled the Wichita State offense, leading the Shockers to an 80-67 win over Norfolk State Saturday night in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (6-1) overcame a rare off night from Xavier Bell and Colby Rogers to improve to 4-0 at home this season. Bell and Rogers combined for just 13 points on 3-of-19 shooting.
The 6-1 start for head coach Paul Mills ties the best seven-game start to a Wichita State coaching career since Harry Miller in 1971.
Pohto tallied 25 points on an efficient 9-of-13 shooting and a perfect night at the line (6-for-6). He also added six rebounds and five assists, patrolling the middle of the Norfolk State zone defense.
Harlond Beverly dished out a career-high eight assists to go with 13 points and zero turnovers. Beverly and Pohto accounted for 13 of the team’s season-high 20 assists.
Quincy Ballard enjoyed life at the rim Saturday night, throwing down five dunks for 13 points and blocking a career-high six shots. Dalen Ridgnal scored all 11 of his points in the first half.
Wichita State committed only eight turnovers on the night and shot 48.3 percent from the floor.
A fast-paced first half saw Wichita State grab a 48-39 lead after 20 minutes. All seven Shockers that scored in the half had at least five points. Ridgnal provided a spark off the bench once again, scoring 11 points to lead all scorers.
Pohto dished out three assists to go with nine first half points. Beverly tied a season high in assists in the first half alone, with six.
Wichita State led by as many as 12 over the first 20 minutes but Norfolk State was able to stay in it with key buckets.
Midway through the second half Norfolk State put together a 6-0 run, cutting the lead to just four, 60-56, forcing a Wichita State timeout. Immediately following that timeout, Wichita State responded with the next eight points, six of those belonging to Pohto.
With 4:12 remaining, Norfolk State knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to seven. That would be as close as it would get. A knockout punch resulting in a game-sealing 8-0 run gave the Shockers their largest lead of the night, 80-65, and only 1:01 left on the clock.
Wichita State closes out the month of November and a two-game homestand Wednesday night vs. Richmond at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+.