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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

East Carolina delivers men’s basketball’s eighth straight loss

Kristy Mace
Harlond Beverly passes the ball to a teammate during the first half of the Jan. 24 game. Beverly scored 18 points throughout his 36 minutes of play Wednesday night.

Wichita State men’s basketball struggled to finish its Wednesday night game against East Carolina, falling 54-52. 

“There were times tonight where I felt like we set basketball back 50 years,” head men’s basketball coach Paul Mills said.

The Shockers started the game with sloppy turnovers in all of the first four possessions, but were able to get back into the game after a 3-pointer from graduate student Dalen Ridgnal that made the score 4-3.

Wichita State was finally able to gain some momentum following Ridgnal’s shot with a 9-0 run but the Pirates responded with a 12-2 run to take the lead,16-11. 

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East Carolina finished the half leading 26-22 despite shooting 37% from the field. The Shockers shot 45%, but the 22 first-half points marked a season low.  

The Shockers would come back completely energized for the first few minutes of the second half scoring the first six points to take back the lead, 28-26. 

Junior Quincy Ballard ignited the crowd with four blocks in the first four minutes. Ballard finished the game with seven blocks and nine rebounds. 

Junior Colby Rogers said Ballard played a big part in setting the tone defensively.

“(It) really helps us guard, pressure the ball … redirecting players where we want them to go,” Rogers said. 

The Pirates responded to the Ballard blocks with a couple 3-pointers to take the lead, 43-37. 

In the last few seconds of the game, the Shockers had a chance to tie the game with a Ridgnal attempted 3-pointer, but the shot, and the comeback, would come up short. 

Wichita State had a total of 19 turnovers that translated into 22 East Carolina points. 

“I think it’s super frustrating that when you show up and it’s initial, like the first seven, eight minutes, I would not even consider it fatigue,” Mills said. 

Mills said that against teams like North Texas and Florida Atlantic, his team was playing “immature” basketball. 

“I thought tonight we were way more mature, we just didn’t have those stupid things that we’ve done in the past,” Mills said. “But it just wasn’t very clean basketball, so we’ve got to get to a point where we play mature basketball clean.” 

Despite shooting 81% from the free throw line, an improvement from earlier in the season, it still was not enough for the Shockers. 

“When you look at missed free throws and things like that, you start to realize how important every possession is,” redshirt junior Harlond Beverly said. 

Beverly led the Shockers with 18 points in 36 minutes. Ridgnal followed with eight points of his own and Rogers made seven. 

Wichita State is now 0-6 in conference play and will look for redemption against Southern Methodist University on Jan. 28 in Charles Koch Arena.

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Former sports editor
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Former photo editor
Kristy Mace was the photo editor for The Sunflower during the 2023-2024 year. She's majoring in psychology. Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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