Shockers end 2018 with discouraging loss to VCU

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Shockers end 2018 with discouraging loss to VCU

Wichita State's Samajae Haynes-Jones on the court during the Oral Roberts game Dec. 19 at Koch Arena.

Wichita State's Samajae Haynes-Jones on the court during the Oral Roberts game Dec. 19 at Koch Arena.

Evan Pflugradt

Wichita State's Samajae Haynes-Jones on the court during the Oral Roberts game Dec. 19 at Koch Arena.

Evan Pflugradt

Evan Pflugradt

Wichita State's Samajae Haynes-Jones on the court during the Oral Roberts game Dec. 19 at Koch Arena.

With just under 13 minutes left in the second half, Markis McDuffie bumped into teammate Erik Stevenson, tripped, and put up a forced shot that didn’t even hit the rim. 

Two possessions later, McDuffie got into a jawing match with a Virginia Commonwealth player, and after exchanging words, McDuffie shoved the defender. He was called for an offensive foul that probably should have been a technical. He was clearly frustrated.

The same could be said about the entire Wichita State team, playing with a depleted roster in the second half. The Rams entered the second half on a 14-0 run, increasing their lead to 17. WSU missed their first 11 shots in the second half. They’d go scoreless for eight minutes to start the second half after McDuffie’s 14 first-half points kept WSU in the game.

VCU won the game 70-54, and took a one game lead in the series, 3-2.

VCU missed their first 11 shots from behind the arc, and the Shockers lead for much of the first half. McDuffie made five of his first six shot attempts, and Samajae Haynes-Jones was connecting from deep.

Then Haynes-Jones picked up a quick three fouls in the first half and added a fourth early in the second half. Walk-on Eli Farrakhan played extended first-half minutes as the point guard while Haynes-Jones was limited with fouls.

Haynes-Jones and McDuffie had 21 of WSU’s 34 first-half points.

Jaime Echenique, the Shockers’ starting center, missed time in the first half and didn’t play the second half due to a foot injury. He sat on the bench with a boot on in the second half. He had four points on two of three shooting prior to exiting the game.

Freshman Dexter Dennis missed the game still under concussion protocol.

Ricky Torres missed all three shot attempts and had a season-high seven turnovers. He had five turnovers in the first half. Earlier this year, Torres led the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (15-1). WSU had 17 turnovers in the game.

WSU was 7-30 in the second half. As a team, they hit just one three-pointer in the second half. McDuffie missed nine shots in the second half.

Freshman Erik Stevenson continued to struggle away from Koch Arena. He was 1-6 from the field and missed all four shots from three. Freshman Jamarius Burton scored 12 points, and had eight rebounds and three assists.

WSU ended conference play with a winning record (7-5), and will resume play Jan. 3 at Memphis.