Shockers win second half, satisfy Gregg Marshall’s game plan

Selena Favela
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall calls a play at Koch Arena. (Jan. 11, 2017).

Head coach Gregg Marshall is known to have a few pet peeves.

One that has been on his mind during conference play is being outscored during the second half of a game.

Three of the Shockers’ eight conference games have involved their opponents scoring more points after halftime.

The Shockers dominated the first half of their matchup with the Drake Bulldogs in early January, 51-21, but the Bulldogs were able to win the second half by five points. A week later, against the Loyola Ramblers, the Shockers built a lead going into halftime. During the second half, the Ramblers outscored the Shockers 40-38.

A few days later, the Shockers faced the Illinois State Redbirds. The Shockers lost both halves and left with their first loss in conference play with a final score of 76-62.

It’s easy to see why Marshall would be concerned with his team’s second half performance.

The Shockers are nearing the halfway mark of conference play and Illinois State is heading to Koch Arena on Feb. 4. Post-season play is also on the horizon, but becomes less likely if the Shockers cannot keep momentum during the second half.

Towards the end of the first half against the Indiana State Sycamores, Marshall saw his team slipping into a relaxed mode.

“We were getting a little loose with our ball handling and passing and we had some breakdowns on the defensive end,” Marshall said in a post-game show Saturday.

Marshall knew the players would appreciate a restful Sunday before preparing to take on Southern Illinois on Tuesday and halftime provided a time for he and the players to strike a deal.

“I just reminded them I plan on having a very short day tomorrow, a mental day on Southern Illinois,” Marshall said. “But if we don’t win this second half, then we’ll have a little more strenuous practice than you probably would prefer.”

The players responded to the challenge and outscored the Sycamores by 11 points during the second half.

Shaq Morris and Markis McDuffie led the second half scoring with Morris scoring 15 and McDuffie earning 12, respectfully. Nine other Shockers contributed to the post-halftime scoring effort.