WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was anxious to get a look at the play by play after his No. 6 Shockers defeated College of Charleston 81-63 on Monday night.
He wanted to know exactly what time things went south after Wichita State built a 33-point lead.
“So it was 9:06 left,” he said. “We were up 33 with nine minutes left and got outscored 26-11 after that. Those last nine minutes were horrible.”
Fortunately for Wichita State (2-0), the Shockers’ big men dominated prior to that. Center Shaquille Morris had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes. Fellow senior post players Rauno Nurger (16 points) and Darral Willis (14 points) also found success inside, helping Wichita State to a 44-27 rebounding advantage.
Shockers starting guards Landry Shamet and Conner Frankamp each scored 10 points.
Grant Riller had a game-high 20 points for College of Charleston (1-1). He scored 18 of those in the second half on 7-of-10 shooting.
Joe Chealey added 14 points for the Cougars.
Wichita State led 47-22 at halftime, outscoring Charleston 22-2 in the paint.
The Cougars went just 5 of 23 from the floor in the first half. Willis and Morris combined for 24 first-half points.
“Shaq was great tonight,” Marshall said. “When he has energy, he is so nimble and skilled. We saw that again in this game.”
Wichita State scored 23 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half before, Marshall said, “We got off the gas and couldn’t get it back.”
Riller scored inside and outside, helping Charleston shoot 14 of 28 in the second half.
“I liked what we did in the second half,” Cougars coach Earl Grant said. “From a physical standpoint and from a rebounding standpoint, we settled down.”
Grant spent six seasons as an assistant to Marshall, three at Winthrop and three at Wichita State. Cougars director of basketball operations Matt Braeuer played at Wichita State and was the starting point guard on the Shockers’ 2006 Sweet 16 team.
“We ran some of the same stuff,” Grant said. “They just ran it better.”
FREE TO SCORE
Wichita State went 18 of 22 from the free throw line. That’s almost identical to its performance in the season opener, when it went 18 of 23 against Missouri-Kansas City.
That gives Wichita State an 80-percent free throw percentage. The Shockers shot 73.3 percent last season.
College of Charleston: The Cougars were still without Jarrell Brantley, a preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association selection, due to a knee injury. But they outscored Wichita State in the second half to make it respectable.
Wichita State: Facing a significantly better defense in its second game, Wichita State’s offense was still overpowering at times despite the absence of last season’s leading scorer, Markis McDuffie. He is out another month with a stress fracture in his left foot.
College of Charleston: The Cougars play Saturday night at Charlotte before heading to the Great Alaska Shootout.
Wichita State: The Shockers have a week to prepare for the Maui Invitational. Wichita State’s first game will be Nov. 20 against California.