WICHITA, Kan. – Four Shockers finished in double figures and Wichita State led nearly wire-to-wire in a 76-59 win over Lipscomb Monday night to open the 2023-24 season.
Head coach Paul Mills saw his offense blitz the Bisons in his Wichita State coaching debut. Wichita State (1-0) has won 27 of its last 28 home openers and improved to 29-2 in season openers since 1992.
Colby Rogers scored 18 of his 20 points before halftime in his Shocker debut. He was 8-for-17 from the field and grabbed six boards in 32 minutes. Isaac Abidde came off the bench and dropped a career-high 13 points, five rebounds and was nearly perfect from the floor (6-for-7).
Quincy Ballard made his first career start and registered his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Kenny Pohto came up one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Xavier Bell added 12 points and a career-high five assists.
Harlond Beverly, Dalen Ridgnal, Jacob Germany made their Wichita State debuts, while Joy Ighovodja, Trevor McBride and Henry Thengvall all saw their first collegiate action.
Wichita State dominated the undersized Bisons, outrebounding Lipscomb by 18 and won the battle in the paint by 16. The Shockers made 47.7 percent of their attempts overall despite shooting 3-for-13 from beyond the arc.
A low turnover game saw the two teams combine for 19 turnovers (9 – Lipscomb, 10 – Wichita State).
Right off the opening tip, just 11 seconds into the game, Wichita State executed a perfect alley-oop between Beverly and Ballard to get the Shockers off and running.
Lipscomb grabbed its only lead, 11-9, at the 13:24 mark, but Wichita State quickly seized control, going on a 13-4 run to force a Lipscomb timeout. Out of the timeout Wichita State scored six straight to take a 28-15 lead.
With 5:15 remaining in the half, Rogers caught fire. The redshirt junior scored seven straight points behind a layup, turnaround jumper and transition pull-up three-pointer. His torrid first half saw him finish with 18 points in the half and helped the Shockers build a 44-31 halftime lead.
Lipscomb threatened a comeback bid just over 7:00 minutes into the second half when the Bisons trimmed the lead to nine. On the next trip down, Abidde drained a corner triple to push the margin back to 12 and effectively put the game away.
Abidde’s career night included two highlight dunks that brought the Charles Koch Arena fans to their feet.
Wichita State returns to the Roundhouse on Thursday vs. WKU at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+.