Shockers use defense to push through to victory over Tarleton State, 65-51


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita State Shockers rode a tenacious defensive performance, forcing 20 turnovers, to defeat the Tarleton State Texans, 65-51.

It was another low-scoring affair tonight, scoring 65 points total, although it was their highest-scoring game of the season. Head Coach Isaac Brown liked what he saw from his team, as they have been shooting better each game.

“Overall, I was really impressed with our effort on both ends of the floor,” Brown said. “We shot 42% from the three-point line, I think, another big-time night from the free-throw line. In order to be a good team, we got to continue to shoot the basketball well.”

Despite the lack of production on the shooting end, the Shockers were a presence defensively, flying to the ball and disrupting any kind of rhythm the Texans wanted to get into.

They forced 20 turnovers on the night, including five shot clock violations in the first half, which bolstered them to a 29-22 first-half lead. Much of that was due to turning up the defensive pressure late in the half.

“I think it helped tremendously tonight, I thought early on we were struggling to score, we were struggling to stop them sometimes,” Brown said. “We went to our 65 press, that 1-2-2, and you gotta have athletes with long arms, length, and I thought we did a tremendous job in turning them over that last five minutes of the half, and we were able to go in with a seven-point lead.”

The game started much like the other two games this season, with the two teams dancing with the lead in the first half. But the Shockers would go on a 12-2 run to close out the first half, and from then on, they would not surrender the lead, en route to the win.

The Shockers were without standout guard Tyson Etienne, who has been hampered by illness since last week. He practiced Monday but wasn’t quite ready to get on the floor.

Shocker fans were treated to seeing Chaunce Jenkins, who has been playing behind Etienne for the last few games. He didn’t start, but he was a spark plug off the bench, scoring five points, to go along with two assists.

“Just told that kid to trust the process,” Brown said. “He played behind one of the best guards in the country in Tyson Etienne, and I thought Chaunce gave us big minutes off the bench. He made a three, and he got a big-time dunk.”

Morris Udeze had the chance to break out for the first time this season. He finished with 15 points on five-of-eight shooting. He would do work on the boards as well, finishing with six rebounds and two blocks. 11 of those 15 came in the second half.

“Yeah, I challenged Mo at halftime,” Brown said. “I said ‘Morris, we the bigger team. We gotta start scoring the ball inside in the paint. We can’t play on the perimeter all night against a team that’s got 6’5, 6’6 guys.”

Udeze was one of three Shockers to reach double digits, joining Ricky Council IV (12) and Dexter Dennis (13).

The Wichita State Shockers are back in action on Friday, Nov. 19, at the 2021 Roman Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will play the Arizona Wildcats, and depending on the results of the rest of the games, they will play either UNLV or Michigan.

That game is set to tip-off at 9 p.m. and will air on the ESPN family of networks.

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