January 26, 2018 / 4:37 AM / 7 months ago

Morris leads No. 17 Wichita State past UCF

EditorsNote: fixes ranking in headline, lede

Shaquille Morris scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor as 17th-ranked Wichita State strolled to an easy 81-62 win over Central Florida on Thursday in American Athletic Conference play at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.

After leading by just eight points at halftime, the Shockers (16-4, 6-2 AAC) poured it on in the final 14 minutes, expanding their lead to 18 points on a jumper by Conner Frankamp with 4:23 to play before running away down the stretch.

Darral Willis Jr. added 12 points for Wichita State, which snapped a two-game losing streak, and Rashard Kelly took 10 rebounds for the Shockers. Wichita State saw 11 players hit the court, and 10 of them scored at least four points.

Wichita State outshot UCF 43.5 percent-36.1 percent, owned a 48-38 edge in rebounding, and a 21-5 advantage in second-chance points. The Shockers’ bench players outscored their UCF counterparts 50-22.

Dayon Griffin led UCF (13-7, 4-4) with 15 points but shot just 5 of 13 in the loss. BJ Taylor added 12 points for the Knights, who lost for the third time in four games after beginning the league season with three wins.

Wichita State made the game’s first basket 1:07 into the game and never trailed, pulling away to lead 36-20 on a 3-pointer by Morris with 2:37 remaining in the half. But then the Shockers went cold from the floor, missing their last 10 field goals attempts of the half. That allowed UCF to forge an 11-3 run that pulled it to within 39-31 at halftime.

Morris led the Shockers with nine points in the half while UCF’s Griffin paced all scorers with 10 points.

The Knights cut the lead to 42-35 on a layup by Brown with 18:31 to play but the rest of the game belonged to Wichita State.

Next up for Shockers is a game Sunday at home against Tulsa. UCF is off until Wednesday, when it hosts Connecticut.

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