EditorsNote: adds new second graf with Wednesday matchups, takes out previous last graf
Erik Stevenson scored a game-high 19 points Tuesday as unbeaten Wichita State moved into the championship game of the Cancun Challenge with a 70-47 rout of South Carolina in Cancun, Mexico.
The Shockers (6-0) will oppose West Virginia in the title game on Wednesday. The Gamecocks (4-2) will play Northern Iowa in the consolation game.
Trey Wade added 11 and Jamarius Burton tallied 10 for Wichita State, which limited South Carolina to 32.1 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded the Gamecocks 39-32. Wichita State also forced 19 turnovers, converting them into 20 points.
Maik Kotsar scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for South Carolina, which trailed 41-22 at halftime and never made serious inroads during the second half. The Shockers’ trademarks of defense and rebounding were primary features of their latest win.
Wichita State led by 10 points less than 6 1/2 minutes into the game when Stevenson canned a jumper off Wade’s feed. The Gamecocks managed only four field goals in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the half, trailing 29-12 when Stevenson hit another jumper with 6:56 left in the half.
At that point, Stevenson had outscored South Carolina 14-12. The Gamecocks eventually pulled away from Stevenson, but the rest of his teammates kept chipping in as well. They scored the last 12 points of the half, capped by a dunk from Asbjorn Midtgaard with 29 seconds remaining that made it 41-22 at intermission.
The Shockers ended the half at 55.6 percent from the field, drawing assists on 10 of their 15 made buckets. In stark contrast, South Carolina sank only 31 percent of its field-goal attempts and was more than doubled up on the boards to the tune of 25-12. The margin could have been even more lopsided were it not for 13 Wichita State turnovers.
The margin never dipped below 16 during the second half, reaching 25 when Dexter Dennis drilled a 3-pointer with 6:03 left to make it 62-37.
—Field Level Media