‘Shooters shoot:’ Shocker guards ignite 21-point win over UConn

No. 22 Wichita State defeated UConn 95-74.


Matt Crow

Wichita State center Shaquille Morris high fives Landry Shamet and Austin Reaves Saturday in Koch Arena.

No. 22 Wichita State wanted to make a statement for their first home game back after getting a split record on the road.

They did so by a 21-point win over UConn.

The win secured Head Coach Gregg Marshall’s 150th win at Charles Koch Arena and additionally got the season sweep over The Huskies.

The Shockers set the energy early into the game after going on a 14-2 field goal run over The Huskies.

Senior forward Rashard Kelly was the driving force behind Wichita State’s energy surge with four assists and six rebounds in the first half alone.

“He set the tone…It’s all ra-ra in the locker room, but to bring it onto the court, that’s the key,” Marshall said. “It doesn’t matter what you do in the locker room, it matters how intense and passionate you are.”

By the time the first half ended, UConn got themselves down in a 22-point hole. Wichita State was shooting 51 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three at the half.

Going into the second half, The Shockers didn’t take their foot off of the gas. Wichita State’s ball sharing and shooting success from the three guards ultimately decided the game.

Senior guard Conner Frankamp and sophomore guards Landry Shamet and Austin Reaves all had a productive shooting night—especially from the three.

The three of them combined 11 of Wichita State’s 14 threes.

“You gotta respect us three on the perimeter,” Shamet said. “It’s obviously a really good weapon.”

Frankamp said the shooting slump he had been in prior to the game was the worst it has been in his entire life. In the past three games, he had not made a single one of his nine three-point attempts.

“I went out there tonight trying to play positive and not play stressed,” Frankamp said. “I knew eventually I’d get out of this slump.”

Frankamp finished with 14 points after going 4-5 from deep.

“I’ve always believed in him, I never doubted him,” Shamet said.  “‘Shooters shoot.’
That’s what he’s continued to do.”

Shamet, who recently overcame his shooting slump against Memphis, finished as The Shockers’ leading scorer with 16 points after shooting 4-6 from deep.

The Shockers’ unselfishness also played a key role in the win. Wichita State finished with 24 assists on 33 baskets.

“It is a thing to marvel at sometimes, the way they share it,” Marshall said. “Sometimes a really good shot, they give it up for a really great shot.”

The Shockers go on to host Temple on Thursday night. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN2.