Morris, Frankamp power Wichita State past Evansville

Shockers rebound with a second half rally, rolling through Evansville.


Junior center Shaq Morris (24) attempts a jumper in the second half during Sunday afternoon’s game against Bradley at Charles Koch Arena. The Shockers went on to pummel the Braves 100-66.

Shaquille Morris and Conner Frankamp guided Wichita State through an uncharacteristically slow start to defeat the Evansville Purple Aces by a score of 82-65 on Thursday at Evansville.

Shaquille Morris, who recorded his first career double-double in the victory with 17 points and 10 rebounds, scored the first eight points of the night for the Shockers.

Neither team could break away from the other for the first 10 minutes of play, but foul trouble on the Shockers, paired with red-hot shooting from the Aces and ice-cold shooting from Wichita State, allowed Evansville to energize the crowd as they jumped out to a 13-point lead.

That’s where the narrative of the game completely flipped.

Rauno Nurger, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, came in with less than four minutes to play in the first half and sank a mid-range jumper which spurned an 11-1 rally to end the first half.

The Shockers would carry the momentum from the end of the first half into the second half, as Zach Brown got the scoring started early with a 3 to tie the game at 33.

Rashard Kelly and Shaquille Morris sank three-pointers, and everything seemed to be going in Wichita State’s favor.

Evansville would not go down quietly, however.

Fueled by highlight performances by Jaylon Brown and Ryan Taylor, Evansville would answer WSU’s 20-3 run with a quick 9-0 run of their own to regain the lead midway through the second half.

Nurger drained a left-hook layup to give Wichita State a 50-48 lead, and the Shockers continued to hold on.

Earning his first start since Nov. 29, Frankamp had an answer and gave the Shockers a much-needed boost of energy with timely shooting. He buried four three-pointers in the second half and finished with 14 points.

Five Shockers finished the night with double-digit scores. Morris led the team in scoring with 17 points, tying his career-high. Frankamp followed Morris with 14. Rauno Nurger tallied 12 points, while Darral Willis Jr. and Landry Shamet each scored 11 points.

The Shockers were 11-19 from beyond the arc.

Brown scored 28 points, leading Evansville in scoring, Taylor added 17. It’s Evansville’s fifth straight loss, as their overall record falls to 10-10, with a 1-6 record in conference play.

Evansville lost for the fifth straight outing. Their overall record falls to 10-10 with a 1-6 conference play record.

The victory pushes WSU’s overall record to 16-4, and bumps their conference record to 6-1. The Shockers return to action in Wichita on Saturday, when they play Indiana State.