ORU's Big First Half Not Enough At No. 11 Wichita State
As Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall started recounting his team's first-half baskets Saturday, he suddenly stopped himself.
"It's really bad when you know exactly how you scored each basket in a half," Marshall said,
No. 11 Wichita State made only six field goals in the first-half against Oral Roberts and trailed by eight at halftime before storming back for 71-58 win Saturday night.
Cleanthony Early scored 16 points to lead the Shockers. Chadrick Lufile added 14 points, Darius Carter had 12 and Tekele Cotton 11 as ichita State pounding the paint.
Shawn Glover had 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting for Oral Roberts (5-4). Korey Billbury scored 12 points and D.J. Jackson 10.
Wichita State's 30-22 halftime deficit certainly was not stunning to the Shockers. It was the sixth time in seven games they ended the first half with a deficit or tied.
"We've been trying to figure out what's going on," Early said. "I guess we have that `X' on our back now, and teams come out with so much energy."
That energy completely shifted to the Shockers after halftime.
After going 6 of 27 from the floor in the first half, the Shockers made nine of their first 12 shots of the second half.
"Their bigs just manhandled us," Eagles coach Scott Sutton said. "Our post defense was awful. Our transition defense was awful."
Early had two 3-pointers to key a 14-2 run to start the second half and give Wichita State a 36-32 lead.
"I thought we got rattled," Sutton said. "Then I thought we got fatigued."
The Shockers then used a 15-3 run to make it 51-37 on the second of two straight baskets by Carter midway through the period.
Oral Roberts was never in contention after that. A layup by Cotton with 4:46 remaining put Wichita State ahead 64-46.
"We really took the ball screens more aggressively in the second half," Marshall said. "Our roll guys were rolling to score, not just a rolling for a stroll in the park.
"And we got out in transition. That's when this team is at its best."
After shooting 48 percent in the first half, the Eagles were 8 of 26 (31 percent) in the second half. The Shockers outrebounded the Eagles 26-13 over the final 20 minutes.
Oral Roberts established its game plan early to start the game: Go to Glover.
The 6-foot-7 senior entered the game averaging 20.4 points and quickly hit two baseline jumpers to help Oral Roberts to a 7-2 lead.
Wichita State got back in it and eventually led 18-15 after Baker's two free throws with 7:13 remaining in the half.
But Oral Roberts went on a 9-0 run, including a turnaround, baseline jumper from Glover that gave the Eagles a 24-18 lead with 4:45 on the clock.
Glover scored six more points after that, including two free throws with less than a second on the clock that advanced the lead to eight. Glover finished the half with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
"But I didn't attribute this bad first half to the things we did in our other first halves," VanVleet said. "We had good energy We just missed shots."