Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Fred VanVleet netted 18 points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting and No. 16 Wichita State overcame a sluggish first half to beat William & Mary, 79-62, at Charles Koch Arena.
The Shockers (3-0) trailed 39-38 at the break, but Ron Baker's triple at the 16:53 mark of the second half put the reigning Final Four participants ahead for good.
VanVleet added eight assists for Wichita State (3-0), which has won all three games this season by at least 17 points.
"They had a run to start the game. They were up 10, I think. And from that point on, we won by 27," Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall said.
Cleanthony Early tallied 14 points and nine rebounds and Baker netted 13 points.
The Tribe (1-2) were led by Marcus Thornton, who dropped in 18 points in the setback. Tim Rusthoven and Omar Prewitt contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
"Games like this will teach you a lot about your team," William & Mary head coach Tony Shaver said.
William & Mary jumped out to a 10-3 lead at the first media timeout after a pair of layups by Kyle Gaillard and six points from Rusthoven.
Gaillard came out of the huddle with a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 10- point advantage, but Wichita State quickly cut into its deficit and kept the game close on a Baker trey and consecutive layups from Nick Wiggins that cut the lead to 16-13.
Early's 3-point play with 3:23 in the half pulled the Shockers back within three at 31-28, but Prewitt drained back-to-back 3's around a VanVleet jumper.
William & Mary had an answer for every WSU first-half run, though Early scored the final five points of the period to get the Shockers back within one.
Baker's triple early in the second period was followed by a pair of Kadeem Coleby jumpers, the last giving Wichita State a 47-41 lead with 15 minutes left. The Tribe's Sean Sheldon stopped the surge temporarily with a layup, but Chadrach Lufile's steal and dunk in transition capped an 11-2 burst that put WSU in front by double digits at 58-45.
William & Mary scored just one point over the final 4:20 of the contest.
Since Gregg Marshall became the Wichita State head coach in 2007, the Shockers have outrebounded opponents in 169-of-212 games. WSU outrebounded the Tribe, 38-30 ... The Shockers improved to 2-0 all-time against William & Mary ... Wichita State won the turnover margin, 14-8 ... Coleby had 10 points.