Wade, Dennis combine for over half of Shockers’ points, lead team to corralling win over Mavericks

Wichita+State+sophomore+Dexter+Dennis+shoots+a+three-pointer+during+the+game+against+the+Omaha+Mavericks+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+5+in+Charles+Koch+Arena.
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Wade, Dennis combine for over half of Shockers’ points, lead team to corralling win over Mavericks

Wichita State sophomore Dexter Dennis shoots a three-pointer during the game against the Omaha Mavericks on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State sophomore Dexter Dennis shoots a three-pointer during the game against the Omaha Mavericks on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Charles Koch Arena.

Morgan Anderson

Wichita State sophomore Dexter Dennis shoots a three-pointer during the game against the Omaha Mavericks on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Charles Koch Arena.

Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson

Wichita State sophomore Dexter Dennis shoots a three-pointer during the game against the Omaha Mavericks on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Charles Koch Arena.

The Shockers wouldn’t be surprised this year.

A year after dropping their first season opener under Gregg Marshall, Wichita State led beginning to finish to knock off Omaha inside Charles Koch Arena on Tuesday, 68-54.

The stretch forward duo of junior Trey Wade and sophomore Dexter Dennis led the way for the Shockers, combining for over half of the team’s points. Together, they would record 36 of the team’s 68 points. Wade would also become the first WSU newcomer since 1999 to record a double-double in his debut. He finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds. He also had two assists.

Wade also finished with a game-high plus-23 plus-minus rating.

“Trey Wade has been a savior for us in his three outings so far,” Marshall said about the closed scrimmage, exhibition and season opener.

Dennis was able to dust off a rusty exhibition game to finish with 17 points, nine rebounds and a single assist against the Mavericks.

Freshman guard Grant Sherfield would be the only other player on the team to score in double-figures. He finished the game with 12 points, six assists and three rebounds.

Outside of that trio, the Shockers were sluggish. As a team, they would shoot just 36.6 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from three-point range. From deep, WSU would attempt 31 total three-pointers, a number Marshall disapproves of.

“Too many,” Marshall said blatantly. “Now we’ve talked about that all fall. Playing in a game like this against a team that we really didn’t have much of a scouting report on because it’s their first game we could see. The game was tougher than some of these guys realize–there’s so many things that go one.”

“We’re 1-0 and it wasn’t a disaster.”

Another sanction of disapproval came from inside the paint for Marshall. The Shocker big-men, Asbjørn Midtgaard, Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler and Morris Udeze finished the game combined 3-11 from the field, scoring just seven points. Udeze would be the only post player to score in the game. They would also tally just eight of the team’s 44 rebounds and allow Omaha to outscore the Shockers in the paint 22-18.

“We needed some more production from the five spot tonight,” Marshall said. “We got the ball down inside a couple of times in point-blank range and we came up with nothing, so we gotta figure out a way to get the ball in the basket.”

Even with their offensive struggles, Marshall was impressed with his team’s defensive effort. The Shockers were able to hold the Mavericks to 39.3 percent shooting and a low 26.3 percent from deep.

“The defense was good,” Marshall said. “The way we came out in the second half and got good looks and pushed the lead to over 10 and towards 20. They’re a good team. They won 21 games last year and they’ll probably win close to 20 again if they stay healthy.”

The win against Omaha would come at a cost though. Marshall would lose sophomore guard Jamarius Burton to a lower right leg injury that he referred to as a “ankle sprain.” Burton left the arena Tuesday in a walking boot and on crutches.

“Who could predict JB (Burton) spraining his ankle seven minutes into the game?” Marshall asked. “He’s on crutches, so it doesn’t look good.”

WSU continues play on Saturday against Texas Southern at home. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m.