No. 6 Wichita State stuns Cal with furious comeback
Sixth-ranked Wichita State was facing an 18-point deficit in the second half and hadn’t figured out a way to stop hot-shooting California guard Don Coleman.
Then the Shockers turned up the pressure.
Shaquille Morris and Landry Shamet combined for 48 points and sparked a huge second-half comeback as Wichita State rallied to defeat Cal 92-82 on Monday in the Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii.
Morris scored 25 points, including a jump hook in the lane with 3:12 left in the second half, to give the Shockers (3-0) their first lead of the game since the opening minute.
Cal opened the second half with an 11-2 run and extended its lead to 58-40 on a 3-pointer from Justice Sueing. But Wichita State turned up its defensive intensity and caused havoc with a full-court press to get back into the game.
“The thing that we did was extend the pressure,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “We just needed — the way the game was going and the way we were playing, we just needed it to be as long a second half as possible. We needed to get as many possessions as possible. That’s why we amped up the pressure even after made baskets.”
Coleman scored 35 points, the junior’s third 30 plus-point game to start the season. Sueing finished with 20 points for the Bears (2-2), who will face VCU on Tuesday.
“I think we were kind of tired,” Coleman said. “They picked it up on us. They got a really good press. I was surprised. I’m not going to lie. But I would say fatigue. Yeah, fatigue.”
Shamet connected on all four of 3-point attempts and finished with 23 points for the Shockers (3-0), who advanced to face Marquette on Tuesday.
Cal was red-hot to start, connecting on its first five 3-point attempts and storming out to a 20-10 lead. Coleman poured in 26 points in the first half, helping the Bears take a 47-38 lead into halftime.
“At the half, we had 11 baskets or 12 baskets and 11 turnovers,” Marshall said. “We turned that around with 18 baskets and two turnovers in the second half. More efficient. We got great offensive rebounding, 24 offensive rebounds and finally looked like a basketball team that we were expecting.”
The Shockers forced 19 turnovers, most coming in the second half after Marshall went to a pestering full-court trap that gave the Bears fits. Several times Cal failed to get the ball past midcourt as Wichita State made its comeback.
“Our guys, they left it all out on the court today,” Cal coach Wyking Jones said. “They fought. They played with a lot of heart and toughness. Ultimately experience won out today.
“But the guys definitely gave us everything they had. At the end of the day, what I’ve been preaching the whole time is that hopefully we get better game in and game out. So I felt like we got better today.”
NOTES: Wichita State joined the American Athletic Conference this spring after more than 70 years as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. ... Cal F Marcus Lee and C Kingsley Okoroh fouled out for the Bears. ... Wichita State G Conner Frankamp had a tough shooting night, going 1 of 11 from the field, but contributed three steals. ... Senior C Rauno Nurger scored 11 points off the bench for the Shockers.