No. 6 Wichita State rolls past Charleston
Shaquille Morris did a little bit of everything, just like his coach wants.
Morris scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and No. 6 Wichita State rolled past visiting College of Charleston 81-63 on Monday night at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.
The Shockers broke open the game midway through the first half and cruised to their second straight blowout victory to open the season. Wichita State has won its first two games by an average margin of 35 points.
“We’ve got a lot of experience,” Morris said. “We push each other every day in practice and during the offseason. It’s a huge part of our team, because Coach (Gregg) Marshall wants to play inside-out.”
Rauno Nurger scored 16 points off the bench and Darral Willis Jr. finished with 14 points for Wichita State (2-0).
Grant Riller scored 20 points and Joe Chealey added 17 to lead the Cougars (1-1), who started cold and were overwhelmed by the Shockers in the first half.
Conner Frankamp ignited a Wichita State run with a 3-pointer with 12 minutes left in the first half. The Shockers ran off nine straight points and started to pull away late in the first half.
Morris scored from the inside and out, knocking down a high-arching 3-pointer from the top of the arc that put the Shockers in front of 38-19 with 2:41 left before halftime. Two minutes later, Morris drained another 3-pointer that sent Wichita State into halftime with a 47-22 lead.
“He’s really good when he’s fresh,” Marshall said of Morris. “Gosh, he only played 22 minutes. He needs to play 32 minutes, but he’s got to do that without fouling. He’s capable. What a skilled guy. He can really shoot the ball.”
The Cougars outscored the Shockers 41-34 in the second half but never mounted a serious challenge. With 14 minutes to play, Wichita State had outscored Charleston in the paint 30-6.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” Charleston coach Earl Grant said after the game. “In the first half, I thought we were a little bit like deer in highlights. With the atmosphere and noise, we got out of character.
“I give the kids credit. They really showed some great character in the second half. They settled down and tried to execute and play more of our game. There were a lot of positives in the second half. But we dug too deep of a hole in the first half that we couldn’t overcome it.”
Frankamp and Landry Shamet each finished with 10 points for the Shockers.
“You beat a team like Charleston ... we still win by 18 points and I thought we had 25-30 quality minutes,” Marshall said.
NOTES: College of Charleston coach Earl Grant spent six seasons as an assistant under Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, including three at Wichita State from 2007 to 2010. Grant is one of six former Marshall assistants holding head coaching jobs at Division I programs. ... Charleston shot just 21.7 percent from the floor in the first half. ... Wichita State G Landry Shamet hit a 3-pointer in the second half, giving him at least one three in 27 consecutive games, which ties the school record. ... Wichita State heads for Hawaii next, where it will take on California on Nov. 20 in the first round of the Maui Classic. ...Charleston travels to Charlotte on Saturday.