After a slow start in a tough road environment at JQH Arena, Wichita State dominated the second half on their way to a 78-62 win at Missouri State. Freshman Markis Mcduffie was the best player on the floor, scoring 16 points on 8-9 shooting, while grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds.
Missouri State played to the loud and thunderous crowd and jumped out to an early 9 point lead as the Shockers shot just 2-14 from three in the first half. Things were going Bears’ way until a late Mcduffie layup off of a nice Ron Baker assist gave the Shockers their first lead since 2-0. Wichita State managed to grab a 37-36 lead at halftime.
The start of the second half was tough to watch if you were an MSU fan. After the first ten minutes of the half, Wichita had outscored the Bears 22-5 after sophomore guard Conner Frankamp knocked down three straight triples. He finished with 14 on 4-8 from behind the arc.
After the game Gregg Marshall said, “The way we started out, I really thought it was going to be one of those dog fights that we’ve had in here before.” He added, “In the second half, we did a better job of respecting our opponent.”
Ron Baker scored 14 points while dishing out 7 assists for the Shockers. Missouri State’s Dequon Miller was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points on 5-10 shooting.
The Shockers outscored the Bears 46-14 in the paint, but Missouri State took 28 more free throws (41-13), something that perturbed Marshall as his team was whistled for 28 fouls.
But in the end he’ll be happy that after a rocky non-conference schedule, his Shockers are alone atop the Missouri Valley standings at 5-0.
The loss sends Missouri State to 2-3 in conference play.