DES MOINES, IA – Wichita State held off a pesky Drake squad, 77-69, Center to clinch the program’s eighth consecutive 20-win season and earn Gregg Marshall his 250th win as Shocker head coach.
WSU (20-4, 10-1 MVC) trailed by eight points with 11:28 to play, but Rashard Kelly scored seven of his 13 points over a crucial three-minute stretch to wipe out the deficit. Kelly’s dunk near the 8:00-minute mark gave the Shockers the lead for good.
Markis McDuffie‘s 1-for-8 shooting night didn’t stop him from making an impact. The sophomore posted his second straight 14-rebound game and dished out a career-high eight assists (most by a Shocker this year).
Drake (7-16, 5-6 MVC) was led by De’Antae McMurray’s 28 points. No other Bulldog reached double-figures.
As a team, WSU shot 47 percent from the floor and made 9-of-23 attempts from downtown. DU finished at 38 percent overall and knocked down 11-of-29 three-pointers.
WSU won the rebounding battle, 43-34, and owned points in the paint, 36-12.
The first 12 minutes of action featured an up-tempo back and forth track meet that saw both teams trading baskets. The largest lead was just six by Drake at the 9:55 mark, but it lasted all of one minute before seven straight WSU points gave the Shockers the lead right back.
Shamet’s second three-pointer gave WSU a 29-27 lead and his 10th point of the opening half. Rauno Nurger then scored six straight to pull Wichita State ahead 37-35 with 1:43 left.
The Shockers went into the break on a 6-0 run capped by a Kelly run-out dunk just before the horn sounded to give Wichita State a 39-35 lead.
Drake’s De’Antae McMurray led all scorers at halftime with 13 points. The two teams shot 41 percent (WSU) and 36 percent (Drake) in the first half.
Wichita State came out of the locker room and quickly extended its lead to seven, but the Bulldogs would not go away. A 10-0 Drake run at the 12:00 mark forced a Shocker timeout with DU leading, 53-47.
WSU came right back with its own 7-0 run to regain the lead, 57-56, behind a pair of Kelly scores and a Daishon Smith layup. Frankamp then added five straight points to make it 66-61 with six minutes remaining.
WSU would lead the rest of the way. Drake went the final 4:09 without a field goal.
With 1:30 to go, the Shockers held a 72-65 lead. A Shamet layup with 16 seconds left gave WSU its final margin of 77-69.
Wichita State returns to Charles Koch Arena for back-to-back games beginning with Saturday’s showdown against first place Illinois State on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
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