WICHITA, Kan. – No. 9 Wichita State shot a season-best 62.7 percent overall and drained 12 three-pointers to cruise past USF, 95-57, Sunday afternoon in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (13-2, 3-0) was on pace to break the school record for best field goal percentage in a single game, before slowing in the final minutes. For about 35 of the 40 minutes, WSU was shooting better than 70 percent.
Shaquille Morris led a very balanced scoring attack with 15 points in only 18 minutes. Zach Brown (5-5) and Markis McDuffie (4-5) were both nearly perfect from the field in adding 13 and 12 points, respectively. All 12 of McDuffie’s points came from behind the three-point line. Darral Willis Jr. was the fourth Shocker in double-figures with 11.
Landry Shamet scored a season-low two points, but dished a team-high tying seven assists. Austin Reaves also handed out seven dimes. WSU dished out a season-high 28 assists as a team on 37 made field goals. The 28 assists set a new Gregg Marshall era best after setting earlier this season against UMKC with 26.
The win is No. 100 for Rashard Kelly, as he becomes just the sixth Shocker to record 100 career victories in the Black & Yellow.
For the third straight game, Wichita State poured in 12 three-pointers (12-20). It’s the ninth time this season the Shockers have hit 10 or more triples in a game and the second time shooting 60 percent or better from downtown.
The Shocker defense hounded USF all game long in forcing 18 turnovers, blocking eight shots and holding the Bulls to 36.4 percent shooting.
Malik Martin led three USF (7-10, 0-4) players in double-figures with 13 points. David Collins and Terrence Samuel added 12 and 10.
Reaves scored the first five Shocker points of the game to kick-start an 8-0 run and the lead would grow to double-digits at the 14:30 mark following a McDuffie three-pointer. Over the first eight minutes, USF was just 3-of-10 from the floor with seven turnovers. For Wichita State, four of its first six made field goals were from beyond the arc.
A 10-0 run at the midway point then put Wichita State in front 24-6. McDuffie had a pair of treys, Darral Willis Jr. swished a wide open jumper from the top of the key and Rauno Nurger hit a lefty hook in the spurt.
With 5:30 remaining in the half, the Shockers were converting from the field at a 72 percent clip, while USF continued to struggle.
As play neared halftime, Wichita State took its largest lead up to that point, 43-17, after hitting 12 consecutive shots. The Shockers finished the half shooting 75 percent, which is the best mark for a first half in the Marshall era, including 6-of-9 from three and smothered the Bulls into just 30 percent shooting.
The Shockers led 51-20 at the break with nine players having scored four or more points, but no one in double-figures. McDuffie and Willis Jr. each had nine to lead the way.
WSU’s smothering first half defense forced 13 turnovers, which turned directly into 21 points the other way.
Wichita State’s offense continued humming along to begin the second half with seven straight points from Morris – in a variety of ways. Morris scored inside with a layup and dunk before stepping outside to splash a triple.
Shamet was scoreless until the 10:15 mark of the second half when he buried a three-pointer from the left wing to put Wichita State up, 71-39. On the very next possession Shamet delivered a post pass for an uncontested Morris slam.
Morris’ dunk along with five points from Brown and three free throws from Rashard Kelly sparked a 10-0 run to extend the Shockers’ lead to 39 with 7:30 to go. The largest lead for Wichita State would reach 44.