Shockers win, but Newman remains undefeated

Sports Editor

Tekele Cotton took flight against the Memphis Tigers last week with a SportsCenter Top 10 dunk, and he apparently hasn’t landed yet.

Wichita State’s starting lineup had a shake-up yesterday against the Newman Jets and to the shock of fans, Tekele Cotton, nursing an injured right hand, was not in the starting five.

It’s the second game of his career, he didn’t check in for a game. The last was his freshman year in January of 2012.

“[Cotton] has not practiced since the Memphis game,” head coach Gregg Marshall said. “He will not practice tomorrow or Tuesday and hopefully when he gets back from Thanksgiving break, he will be better.”

Cotton wasn’t needed as the Shockers (3-0) beat the Newman Jets (2-0), 105 to 57. The game counted for Wichita State, but because of Newman’s Division II status, it counted as an exhibition game for the Jets.

Filling Cotton’s spot was redshirt freshman Shaquille Morris — moving Evan Wessel to small forward.

Morris had six points, five rebounds and three assists in just 11 minutes of play.

Two quick fouls limited his playing time, coach Marshall said. It was Morris’s first start of his career.

Newman pushed the tempo early in the game, but wasn’t able to keep pace as all 15 Shockers saw the court.

The Jets were able to keep it close until Darius Carter was fouled on a layup that went in with 9:24 left in the first half.

Carter’s layup and free throw put the Shockers up 29-20.

Wichita State couldn’t seem to buy a 3-point bucket in the first game of the season, but didn’t find any problems with that yesterday afternoon.

The Shockers connected on 10 of their 17 three-point attempts with a 58.8 three-point percentage in the first half.

Six different Shockers hit a three pointer, led by Ron Baker who went 4 of 6 from three-point land. It was the sixth time in his career Baker has hit four three-pointers in a game.

Evan Wessel waited until mid-February last year to hit his first three of the season.

 He didn’t wait too long this year, connecting on two of his three 3-point attempts.

“I’ve said all along that this was going to be a very good three-point shooting team,” Marshall said. “Fred’s the only guy not shooting it well right now.”

VanVleet was unable to hit from beyond the arc, but was the third Shocker in double digits with 12 points.

He also had a team-leading four assists.

Newman head coach Mark Potter was impressed by VanVleet, he said after the game.

“I know everybody knows Fred VanVleet’s a really great player, but when I had a chance to break him down on film and then you get to see him live, he’s impossible to guard,” Potter said. “His decision making is incredible. All you gotta do is make one mistake. If he’s getting ready to go off a ball screen, he’ll cross you over so fast it’s amazing.”

The Shockers next game is at 2 p.m. on Saturday against the Tulsa Hurricanes (2-1) at Charles Koch Arena.