Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wichita State Does It Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wichita State Does It Again

Article excerpt

Wichita State's accomplishments continue to exceed its rsum. It's a March routine.

The Shockers are a tournament darling again, the hero of all who enjoy taking shots at the NCAA selection committee.

The 10th-seeded Shockers defeated seventh-seeded Dayton 64-58 on Friday in Indianapolis. They are 7-3 against equal or higher seeds in the past five tournaments and won an NCAA tourney game for the fifth straight season.

Wichita State (31-4) next plays Sunday, against No. 2 seed Kentucky. It will be a rematch of a scintillating second-round game in 2014 that the Wildcats won 78-76 in St. Louis.

On Friday the Shockers won their 16th game in a row the second-longest streak in school history after rolling through the Missouri Valley Conference tournament two weeks earlier. But most of the teams in the Valley are far from the caliber of Dayton, which gave the Shockers a physical battle.

"It was definitely something a little brand new to us from how we've seen in the Missouri Valley," said Zach Brown, who made all three of his 3-point tries and scored 12 points for the Shockers. "We just grinded it out. It was a tough game."

And they were the tougher team.

Dayton (24-8) came in with a wealth of experience, playing in its school-record fourth straight NCAA Tournament. The Flyers start three seniors and have five overall, with a lot of shared tournament moments. This one ranks at the bottom.

The seventh-seeded Flyers were held to a season low in points and shot a season-low 31 percent from the field. They also got rebounded 48-29 and had eight shots swatted away.

"Of course you've got to give them credit because they're the ones defending, but I think it's more about us," said point guard Scoochie Smith, who had 25 points. "We just had to step up and make shots, and a lot of people on our team couldn't get their shots to fall, couldn't get a flow."

Brown's 3-pointer put Wichita State up 51-45 with 5:38 left, the biggest lead by either team to that point, and Dayton never threatened again. Landry Shamet led the Shockers with 13 points. Shamet, fouled as the shot clock ticked down, made two of three foul shots for a 60-53 led with 36 seconds to play and the Shockers were on their way to another victory.

"They're a team that can beat anybody on a neutral court at any time," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "And I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't pushing towards another second weekend. They're a great team, and they're really well coached, maybe as fun of a team to prepare for as we've had.

"Actually, it was a lot of fun to be in the game playing against them because you kind of want to stack yourself up against sort of how they do things to see how your stuff works. We battled. We battled really hard. We were right there."

The Shockers haven't lost a since Jan. …

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