WICHITA – A record-breaking defensive performance and a career-night from Rashard Kelly powered Wichita State to a 75-45 win over Saint Louis Tuesday evening at Charles Koch Arena.
WSU (8-2) held visiting SLU to 3-of-29 shooting in the first 20 minutes and took a 36-9 lead with them into the locker room.
The Billikens’ nine first-half points…
*Was the lowest-scoring half for a Shocker opponent in the Roundhouse’s 62-year history.
*Broke the school’s shot clock era record (12 vs. Centenary in February, 2000) by three full points.
*The third-lowest scoring half by an opponent in school history and the lowest since February, 1948 when the Shockers held Creighton to nine points.
The Shockers notched their sixth 30-point win of the year, setting a new single-season program record for most 30-point victories.
WSU continues to display remarkable depth. Kelly (career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting) became the ninth-different Shocker to take a turn as leading scorer in just 10 games this year. He also led the rebounding with eight total boards.
Darral Wilis Jr. was the only other Shocker in double figures, with 12 points. Shaquille Morris chipped in eight points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Zach Brown added eight points, four rebounds and three assists of his own.
The Shockers finished at 45 percent from the field and knocked down 8-of-20 threes. They’ve shot better than 40 percent from deep in three straight.
Defensively, WSU has held seven of its first 10 opponents under the 40-percent mark from the field, and the Billikens (26 percent) became the third foe to finish under 30-percent.
WSU controlled the rebound battle, 52-29, and every other aspect of the game.
After a miserable first half, Saint Louis (2-6) managed a little better in the second half, but by that time the game was out of hand.
Jermaine Bishop led the Billikens with 12 points and Zeke Moore chipped in 11.
Wichita State pitched a shutout for the first 9:15 of the game, as the Shockers put 13 points on the board before SLU got a bucket to fall.
SLU missed its first 12 shots and was 17 of its first 18 to start the game.
Four straight points from Elliott Welmer pulled SLU to within 21-9 with 5:18 remaining in the first half, but the Billikens wouldn’t score again until early in the second half.
WSU shot 45 percent in the first half and outrebounded the Billikens 31-14.
The Shockers would lead by as many as 35 in the second half – that margin coming at the 2:47 mark.
*WSU stretched its non-conference home winning streak to 42-games and won for the fifth consecutive time against SLU.
*52 total rebounds tied WSU’s season-high (Nov. 16 against Tulsa) and also matched the third-highest rebounding total in 10 seasons under Marshall.
Back-to-back Saturdays await against Big 12 opponents. WSU travels to Oklahoma City this weekend to face Oklahoma at Chesapeake Energy Arena (3 p.m. CT, ESPN2) and will host Oklahoma State on Dec. 17 at a soldout INTRUST Bank Arena (6 p.m. CT, ESPN3).