Shockers snap losing streak behind Stevenson’s 27 points


Marshall Sunner

Wichita State sophomore Erik Stevenson shushes the Oklahoma State crowd after making a three-pointer during the second half of the game against the Cowboys on Sunday inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Wichita State (18-6) defeated Central Florida on the road Thursday, 75-58, snapping their three-game losing streak.

Prior to the game, Head Coach Gregg Marshall made some changes to the starting lineup. Marshall inserted freshmen Grant Sherfield and Noah Fernandes while Trey Wade and Tyson Etienne were moved to the bench.

For Fernandes, it was first career start in a WSU uniform and was successful throughout. Despite only playing in 16 games prior to tonight, Fernandes was able to add in a career-high seven points, which was tied for the second-most points for WSU.

In the first half, the Shockers put together its best defensive half of the season, only allowing 20 points in the first 20 minutes. Erik Stevenson was also dominant in the first half, scoring 17 of the team’s 33 points.

For the final 20 minutes, the Shockers weren’t as successful on the defensive side in the second half, but were still able to outscore UCF by two points, securing the victory.

Coming into tonight’s game, Stevenson was amidst his longest shooting slump of the season, but appears to have broken out of it. Stevenson was able to lead the charge off the bench, tallying a total of 27 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

Overall, the Shocker offense looked much improved, shooting 48% (30-62) from the floor and 31% (8-26) from downtown. The bench was also a major key, tallying 45 points. They outscored the starting lineup by 15 points.

The Shockers were able to control the paint battle throughout, out-rebounding the Knights 47-30. WSU also outscored the Knights, 26-16 for points in the paint.

Despite not putting up the offensive numbers like Stevenson, Dexter Dennis was superb in Orlando, flirting with a triple-double. The sophomore combo guard went on to finish with seven points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Since WSU joined the AAC, the Shockers have dominated the matchup between the two teams. With the win, the Shockers move to 5-0 all-time against the Knights. The Shockers sweep the season series.

The Shockers will now return Wichita as they will take on Tulane on Sunday inside Charles Koch Arena. Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m.