Shockers win season-opener despite being short-handed


Kaylee Stout

Wichita State junior, Seraphine Bastin runs across the court during a basketball game at Charles Koch Arena on Nov. 27.

Wichita State Women’s Basketball defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in its season opener on Friday, 78-58. 

The Shockers’ five starters combined to score 67 points while the team only suited up eight of its 14 players.

The Islanders started strong and took an early 13-4 lead to open up the game. WSU quickly responded with an 8-0 run to cut the first-quarter deficit to one point. 

The Shockers were dominant in the final three quarters, outsourcing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 66-45. 

Junior college transfer Asia Strong led the way offensively in her Shocker debut, tallying 20 points on 9-15 shooting. 

“I had fun, it was so exciting,” Strong said. “We all came together as a team, we had great energy, listened to Coach (Adams) and kept pushing.”

WSU only had eight players available for the game, due to injuries and COVID-related issues. Head Coach Keitha Adams said that the program has faced many disruptions from COVID-19 this fall. 

“We’ve had practices where we’ve had six players,” Adams said. “We’ve faced some adversity but we have kept working hard and today it was fun for us to have an opportunity to play against an opponent. I think they were excited to finally play against someone other than themselves.”

The Shockers were able to find success offensively, shooting 48.3% from the field and 42.1% from beyond the arc. 

Adams said that WSU’s guard play was strong throughout and will be crucial moving forward.

“If your guard play is not good, you could have the best post players and they’re probably not going to get the ball,” Adams said. “Your guards are definitely instrumental in getting you in your offense and getting you organized, executing and taking care of the ball. I think we have a nice combination there, of kids that can drive the ball, score off the bounce, shooters, a good mixture.”

Since WSU was short-handed, the Shockers utilized a zone defense given the limited number of players. For the game, Texas A&M-Corpus Christ shot 40.4% from the field.  

After the Islanders found some success against the zone early, Adams said some halftime adjustments helped make it effective. 

“It was a game where we felt that our zone needed to be really good to keep us out of foul trouble, help us get through the game and our zone I thought was pretty effective,” Adams said. “They got in a rhythm against it a few times but I felt we made some good adjustments at halftime about their post and what they were trying to do.”

Adams said that the team has talked about the severity of the virus and taking steps to ensure they are staying safe and healthy.

“[We are] just trying to encourage our players and all of us to make good decisions, wearing our mask, social distancing, washing our hands, using sanitizer and keeping our bubble very small. Yes, we’ve definitely talked about it and in our practice our kids wear their masks. I’ve done that from day one, us coaches do and we wear the gloves in practice.”

The Shockers will host Alcorn State on Monday inside Charles Koch Arena at 6 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.