Saturday , Dec , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wichita State attempts to right ship against Northern Iowa

Wichita, KS (Sports Network) – The 16th-ranked Wichita State Shockers have
suddenly fallen on hard times, and they hope to get back on track against
a solid group of Northern Iowa Panthers in a Missouri Valley Conference

Northern Iowa was most recently in action on Wednesday when it posted a 76-65
decision over Bradley in the league opener. The Panthers have now put
together two straight wins to move to 10-2 overall, and they allowed 70 or
more points just twice this season. Not surprising, both of those games
resulted in defeat.

Wichita State won its first nine games of the season to climb the national
poll, and it was able to knock off the likes of LSU and Syracuse along
the way. Unfortunately, the Shockers have come back to Earth recently with
a pair of narrow losses. After falling to New Mexico last Friday by three
points, the team dropped a 60-56 decision to USC on Saturday.

Northern Iowa holds a 17-15 advantage in the all-time series with Wichita
State, including a series sweep of the Shockers last season.

Northern Iowa is a strong defensive team that is limiting its opponents to
60.0 ppg on 38.9 percent shooting from the floor. The Panthers, who are
outrebounding foes by 6.9 rpg, are netting 70.4 ppg at the offensive end, and
three players are averaging double figures in scoring. Eric Coleman leads the
way with 14.9 ppg on 57.6 percent shooting from the floor, and he is pulling
down 10.1 rpg as well. Grant Stout adds 11.4 ppg to the mix to go along with
8.1 rpg, and Brooks McKowen rounds out the trio with 10.2 ppg. Stout was
outstanding in the win over Bradley, as he finished with 17 points and 15
rebounds. Coleman posted 16 points and 14 rebounds in that clash, and Travis
Brown scored 12 points. The Panthers clearly benefited from a 44-28
rebounding advantage.

Despite the recent losses, Wichita State is still averaging a solid 73.5 ppg
while limiting its opponents to 59.7 ppg. Kyle Wilson continues to lead the
Shockers in scoring with 13.7 ppg, and P.J. Couisnard adds 12.3 ppg to the
mix. As for Sean Ogirri, he is contributing 11.8 ppg. In the setback against
USC, Ogirri scored 16 points, while Couisnard (13) and Wilson (11) reached
double figures as well. The Shockers got off to a tremendous start in that
contest, limiting the Trojans to two points in the first seven minutes.
Wichita State led 15-6 at one point, but the club surrendered nine unanswered
points and simply did not have the necessary offensive punch down the stretch.
The Shockers connected on 38 percent of their field goal attempts while
surrendering 51 percent shooting. That discrepancy overshadowed a 36-27
rebounding advantage.