How Wichita State held off Providence

Wichita+State%27s+Markis+McDuffie+drives+to+the+basket+during+their+game+against+Catawba+on+Oct.+30%2C+2018+at+Koch+Arena.

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State's Markis McDuffie drives to the basket during their game against Catawba on Oct. 30, 2018 at Koch Arena.

Wichita State veteran Markis McDuffie showed his experience Friday — leading the Shockers to a much-needed victory against Providence Friday at the Veterans Classic.

McDuffie’s 32 points was a career-high, and tied for the second-most of any Shocker in Gregg Marshall’s tenure.

Here’s how the Shockers held off Providence for a stunning victory.

Seniors showed out

During the Shockers home-opener, McDuffie and Samaje Haynes-Jones were not comfortable on the floor. McDuffie heard criticism from the crowd, as both he and Haynes-Jones struggled offensively.

McDuffie put NBA scouts on watch Friday — shooting 12-19 from the field and 6-9 from three and grabbing four rebounds.

Marshall showed his confidence in McDuffie early in the game.

“He was 0-4 and I told him to keep shooting the ball, and he was getting great looks,” Marshall said. “Ironically, it was his worst shot of the night that fell to get him going.”

Haynes-Jones performed well for the Shockers as well — tallying 15 points and eight assists.

Combined, the two seniors shot 18-33 from the field, with nine made three-pointers.

Crashed the glass

It’s uncommon for WSU to get outrebounded.

The Shockers were outrebounded in their first game of the season to a smaller Louisiana Tech team. On Friday, the Shockers outrebounded Providence, 39-35.

Junior college transfer Jaime Echenique earned the start. Echenique started in place of sophomore Asbjørn Midtgaard, who did not see playing time.

On the night, Echenique finished with a team-high seven rebounds. Previously, Echenique, Morris Udeze, and Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler combined for just four rebounds in the Louisiana Tech loss.

WSU’s guards also rebounded the ball extremely well against the Friars. Jamarius Burton finished with six, Erik Stevenson finished with five, and Ricky Torres snagged four.

Threes were contagious

In the season opener, the Shockers shot an underwhelming 28 percent from behind the arc.

On Friday, WSU showcased their shooting prowess — shooting better than 50 percent from three-point range on 12 of 22 attempts.

Haynes-Jones started off the game 3-3 from behind the arc — helping the Shockers claw their way back from a 10-point deficit in the early going. That’s when the Shocker shooting touch became contagious.

McDuffie started to find his shot after his fellow senior teammate did. McDuffie would go on to knock down six total three-pointers in the game, including one that he converted into a four-point play.

Stevenson only made one three in the game against the Friars after being red-hot against LA Tech, but his lone three came at the first half buzzer — sending the Shockers to the lockerroom with a five-point lead. Stevenson’s shot connected from easily five-feet behind the arc.

Dexter Dennis, another freshman, found his range, going 2-2 from deep.

The shooting touch goes to show that when this team is making shots, they can compete with high-leveled competition.

Up next

On Thursday, WSU will take on Davidson in the first round of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPN3.