Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Darius Carter, Ron Baker Lead Wichita State Past Evansville, 61-41

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Darius Carter, Ron Baker Lead Wichita State Past Evansville, 61-41

Article excerpt

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Wichita State senior Tekele Cotton has produced his share of highlight-reel dunks. On Saturday, Cotton showed he also has the endurance of a distance runner.

Cotton and the No. 13 Shockers forced Evansville into its worst offensive game of the season in a 61-41 Wichita State victory.

"Tekele Cotton -- he runs a half-marathon today chasing D.J. Balentine off hundreds of screens," WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. "He keeps him to 16 points, which is a little under his average, but it takes him 17 shots to get there."

Indeed, Balentine finished 6 of 17 and scored 16 points. Evansville's junior shooting guard entered the contest averaging 20.5 points per game, the most in the Missouri Valley Conference.

"You just got to get ready mentally and really zone in on what they do offensively," Cotton said. "It's just basketball at the end of the day."

Ron Baker and Darius Carter tallied 18 points apiece to lead the Shockers (16-2, 6-0 Missouri Valley).

But it was Wichita State's defense that led to the easy win.

Evansville (13-5, 3-3) finished with its season-low point total and shot a season-low 30 percent from the field. The Aces entered the day shooting 51 percent and scoring an MVC-best 74.6 points per game.

"At times, we got good looks but seemed to be more concerned about getting hit than finishing the basket," Evansville coach Marty Simmons said. "They do about as good a job as anybody we'll play at challenging shots."

The Shockers held Evansville without a point for more than nine minutes late in the first half. Five different Wichita State players combined for 10 points during that stretch, helping the Shockers take a 28-18 halftime lead.

Carter, Baker and Shaquille Morris (nine points) helped carry the Wichita State offense despite preseason All-American point guard Fred VanVleet playing only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. …

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