Shockers drop second straight in loss to South Dakota


Lena Alhallaq/ The Sunflower

Wichita State junior Rachel Johnson gets ready to shoot the ball during the game against the South Dakota Coyotes at Charles Koch Arena on Dec. 10.

Wichita State Women’s Basketball fell to South Dakota, 64-52, on Thursday. With the loss, the Shockers have now lost two straight and fall to 3-2 on the season. 

South Dakota opened the game with an 8-0 run and quickly built a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The Shockers were able to respond and cut the deficit to seven after the first 10 minutes of play. 

The Coyotes’ early advantage was too much to overcome for WSU, as they were unable to cut the deficit to single digits for much of the final quarter. A Mariah McCully three-pointer in the final 10 seconds was able to cut the deficit down to eight. 

The Shockers were able to limit the Coyotes’ effectiveness on offense, holding the Coyotes to 32% from the field and 5-of-22 on three-pointers. South Dakota’s Chole Lamb had game-high 29 points in the win. 

“I can live with 62 points,” Head Coach Keitha Adams said. “If you hold college teams to 59 and in the 50s you should win a lot of ball games because that’s usually pretty good on defense.”

The Shockers struggled to take care of the ball throughout, resulting in 23 turnovers for the game. Adams said that given the number of turnovers that she was impressed that the Shockers were able to keep the game close. 

“If you would have told me that we would turn the ball over 23 times and lose by eight to this team, I’d say no way,” Adams said. “They played South Carolina tough, Gonzaga was quite the ballgame and they’ve got some nice players and some nice pieces to it.”

One of the bright spots for the offense was the performance of senior Mariah McCully who tallied a team-high 16 points off the bench. McCully had missed two games  with an ankle injury and said she felt more comfortable in her second game back after returning against Northern Iowa on Sunday.  

“I tried to stay off the foot that I injured. I know that I’m versatile going both ways so I tried to balance it out more,” McCully said. “A lot of teams notice that I like to go left so that means I push off my right foot. So me knowing that, I just took advantage. I just started to find my flow leaning off my foot.”

Thursday’s game against South Dakota served as the first game on WSU’s campus that was able to host fans since March. WSU was granted a 5% capacity for games this week after they previously announced that no fans would be in attendance through Dec. 31. 

Adams said that it was a great experience to have fans back inside Charles Koch Arena.

“I think the great thing about it is things can change in a New York minute,” Adams said. “From us going from not being able to have any fans to having fans, I was really happy. I think we had people here that really wanted to be here and weren’t allowed to be here. I think it was really nice that they got to come.”

With the Shockers game against South Dakota wrapped up, WSU has now completed its non-conference schedule. Adams said she is pleased with where her team is at despite the back-to-back losses. 

“I’ve been telling them ‘We can be good but we’ve got to do the little things and get better’,” Adams said. “I think that we’ve had some good games, we’ve played two good teams that we’ve been right in there. I think we know that we’ve got some pieces to the puzzle but the question is what are we going to do to get better.”

The Shockers will travel to Tulsa for its conference-opener on Wednesday. The game’s start time is currently undecided.