Shockers continue run through Las Vegas Holiday Classic
Wichita, KS (Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Wichita State Shockers put
their undefeated record on the line this evening, as they play host to the
Kennsaw State Owls from the Charles Koch Arena. This is second-round
action of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, which will shift to Sin City for
the remainder of tournament play starting on Friday.
The Shockers remained perfect in 2006-07 with Sunday’s 102-46 rout of
Maryland-Eastern Shore in first-round action. Wichita State has been one of
the real surprises in college basketball this season, including huge wins
over ranked foes LSU and Syracuse on the road.
Kennesaw State has not had similar success, with the team coming in with a
2-7 record. The Owls have dropped three in a row entering this contest,
including an 82-54 lopsided affair at Kansas State in first-round action of
this tournament on Sunday.
Wichita State will take on New Mexico when tournament play resumes in Las
Vegas, while Kennesaw State will play UMES.
The Wildcats went on a 20-0 run and took control of the tilt on Sunday,
preventing the Owls from ever making a game of it in Manhattan. Kennesaw State
shot a mere .226 in the first half and trailed 55-19 at the break. The team
also turned the ball over 19 costly times and was beat up on the boards,
41-28. No Owl was able to breach double digits in the game, as Ronell Wooten
came closest with a team-high nine points. The team’s leading scorer, Shuan
Stegall struggled in the game, hitting just 1-of-9 shots from the floor and
tallying a mere three points. He has been much better on the year, pacing the
team in scoring with 16.0 ppg, despite shooting a rather bland .417 from the
floor. Wooten is the only other player currently averaging double figures, at
12.6 ppg. The scoring depth dries up after that, as Kennesaw State is shooting
under 40 percent from the floor as a team (.363) and under 30 percent from
long range (.254). The result has been a mediocre 60.9 ppg.
The Shockers made it look easy over the weekend, as P.J. Couisnard led six
players in double figures, as Wichita State put up a season-high 102 points on
Maryland-Eastern Shore. Couisnard was a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor and tied
his career-high with 21 points, in just 22 minutes of work. Karon Bradley
followed with 14 points, while Kyle Wilson (12 pts), Phillip Thomasson (11
pts), Wendell Preadom (10 pts) and Sen Ogirri (10 pts) all got in the act as
well. The Shockers shot a scorching 65 percent from the floor in the game,
including .467 from behind the arc. While it hasn’t always been that easy
offensively this year, Wichita State is still boasting of a +18.6 scoring
margin, averaging a healthy 76.2 ppg, while holding foes to a mere 57.6 ppg.
Five Shockers are averaging over nine points per game, with three currently
sitting in double digits. Wilson paces the team with 13.8 ppg, followed
closely by Couisnard and Ogirri, who add 11.9 and 11.8 ppg, respectively.