Shocker men remain undefeated after routing Tulsa

It didn’t just take a high-powered offense for the Wichita State men’s basketball team to win its seventh straight game. It also took some kind of defense. 

Carl Hall had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Cleathony Early had 13 points and 4 rebounds and the Shockers beat the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 86-60.

Tulsa still managed to shoot more than 40 percent from the field, but the Shockers disrupted their offensive rhythm in spurts by forcing 16 Tulsa turnovers.

“Always a problem,” Tulsa coach Danny Manning said about the turnovers. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball.”

WSU (7-0) outnumbered the Golden Hurricane as they went 11 players deep last night and outscored them 36-13 in bench points.

“In the end, we had more players and more experience,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. 

Marshall wasn’t even sure if Early and Hall would play against Tulsa. Early missed yesterday’s shootaround because he tweaked his ankle and Hall also missed shoot around to nurse a stomach virus he caught earlier.

Hall was visibly fatigued after the game, with blood-shot eyes he slowly walked up to the podium.

But during the game, he was his usual self, a ball of energy hustling and sparking his teammates.

Hall ran down and blocked what looked like a wide open dunk attempt by Kauri Black at the mid point of the second half. But that wasn’t all—after the block, Hall ran the floor and corralled an offensive rebound off of a missed layup by Tekele Cotton.

“I enjoy playing basketball so I can play sick, I played football in cold weather so it’s nothing to play in a gym,” Hall said.

WSU led 38-27 at the end of the first half and the Golden Hurricane never managed to get within single digits after that.

“This is a tough place to play, Wichita State came out with a lot of energy and we weren’t able to match their energy,” Manning said.

The Golden Hurricane were hampered with injuries, too. Their second leading scorer Rashad Smith (14.2 points per game) sat out his third straight game with an ankle injury. But Manning would use that as an excuse as to why team struggled offensively.

“It doesn’t matter who is out there, you have to find a way to get it done. There are some guys that we are missing but everyone has their injuries and everyone has to fight through it.”

WSU’s freshman point guard Fred VanVleet is also rounding into form after being hampered  with a hobbled ankle before the start of the regular season. 

VanVleet recorded nine points, five assists and four steals.

“Confidence is a big part of my game so knowing that I’m at full speed and full health helps a lot,” VanVleet said.

Next up, the Shockers travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to face the Air Force Falcons on Saturday at 4p.m.