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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Men’s basketball finds ‘rhythm’ for victory against Norfolk State

On a snowy night, Wichita State men’s basketball beat Norfolk State 80-67. Junior Kenny Pohto helped lead the charge with a season-high 25 points. 

Pohto scored 9 of 13 shots and had a perfect 6 for 6 at the free throw line. He also had six rebounds and five assists. 

Senior Xavier Bell and redshirt junior Colby Rodgers had off nights, only tallying a combined 13 points. 

“If you would have told me that Colby and Xavier were going to go 3 for 19 tonight, (I would have said) it’s going to be a long night,” Paul Mills, head men’s basketball coach, said. “But we had some other guys do some really good things.” 

The game kicked with a fast-paced first half, where the Shockers led 48-39. Wichita State led Norfolk State by as many as 12 points in the first half. 

Graduate student Dalen Ridgnal came off the bench to score 11 points. Ridgnal went 3 for 3 at the free-throw line and grabbed five rebounds. Mills said that Ridgnal’s pursuit of the ball is rare. 

“Whether it’s a rebound or even a loose ball, you can always count on Dalen to make sure that there’s a pursuit there,” Mills said. 

During the middle of the second half, Norfolk State went on a 6-0 run, bringing the score to 60-56, just four away from the Shockers. This prompted a Wichita State timeout that resulted in Wichita State making an 8-0 run, six of those points belonged to Pohto. 

With less than five minutes remaining, the Spartans made a three-pointer that cut Wichita State’s lead to seven. The Shockers responded with a game-sealing 8-0 run that created the team’s largest lead of the night. 

Redshirt junior Harlond Beverly returned from injury after sitting out the last game against Saint Louis University at the Myrtle Beach Invitational. He said that sitting out allowed him an outside perspective on the team’s offense.

“It helps you understand people’s game better … especially when everybody here is new,” Beverly said. 

Beverly made an assist to Pohto during the first play of the game, where Beverly saw Pohto in the right short corner begin to dive to the basket. He said that it was during that first play that he found the “rhythm” of the game. 

“I just felt like we were clicking; everybody was in the right spot,” Beverly said. 

The Shockers had a total of eight turnovers, which Mills attributed to the team picking up on the importance of ball handling. 

He said the team has a lot to work on but that, with time, the team will learn to work better as a unit. 

“The more and more we play, the more and more we practice, those things will get better,” Mills said. “But I do think the eight turnovers against a team like this is a tribute to our players.” 

Men’s basketball will face off against the University of Richmond on Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Charles Koch Arena.

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Mia Hennen, Editor in Chief
Mia Hennen is the current editor in chief for The Sunflower. Before becoming editor, Hennen was the news/managing editor. They are a junior at Wichita State majoring in English and minoring in communications and Spanish, hoping to pursue any career involving writing or editing. Hennen uses they/them pronouns.

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