Stillwater, OK – Historic Gallagher Iba Arena was rocking this afternoon, as (8-1) No. 6 Wichita State took on the (7-2) Oklahoma State Cowboys. The intensity was high from both teams right from the first whistle, multiple players diving for loose balls on both ends just three minutes into the game.
The Cowboys jumped out to an early 11-5 lead which really got the crowd into the game, but it turned into a defensive struggle throughout the remainder of the first half. With six minutes remaining in the period, Wichita State had nine points and 12 turnovers. From then on OSU did not make a field goal, only scoring on six converted free throws. The Shockers held a 26-23 lead at the break while the teams combined for 34 percent shooting and 23 turnovers.
OSU opened the second half by going to Mitchell Solomon early and often. The 6-9 senior had a career night scoring seventeen points, gathering eight rebounds, and blocking two shots. Solomon was key in keeping OSU in the game most of the night. He was able to control much of the paint on the defensive end, and finished well around the rim on offense by converting 6-of-9 field goals and made all four of his free throws.
The Cowboys took back the lead at 42-41 after Wichita State had gone on a run, but the Shockers proved too much to handle late in the game. Norman product, Lindy Waters III, threw down a fast break dunk to cut the lead to two but WSU continued their three-point barrage and efficient free-throw shooting to close the game. Final score in favor of the visitors: 78-66.
The most impressive player of the game was Shockers’ sophomore Landry Shamet. Shamet scored 30 points on only eleven shot attempts, including four 3-pointers. It seemed that every time the momentum began to swing in OSU’s favor late, Shamet was able to take it back himself by getting to the free throw line. He went 14-of-16 from the stripe bringing his average to 91 percent on the season. The 6-4 sophomore is a special talent with his 7-0 wingspan and ability to shoot. He’s a red hot 53 percent from behind the arc this season. While he was putting on a clinic tonight offensively, he impressed with solid defense as well. He showed lateral quickness by staying in front of his man both with and without the ball. His long arms and high basketball IQ keep passing lanes closed, multiple times tonight his man was not able to deliver or receive a pass in the half-court offense.
Both teams have a full week before their next contest. Oklahoma State will host Florida State and the Shockers will host Trae Young and the Oklahoma Sooners.
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