St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Wichita State can now add the best start in NCAA men's basketball history to its list of records set during the team's undefeated run this year.
Cleanthony Early supplied a game-high 23 points as the Shockers secured the first-ever 35-0 start to a season with a 64-37 thumping of Cal Poly in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The top seed in the Midwest Region, Wichita State (35-0) stifled Cal Poly with its swarming defense. The Shockers held the 16th-seeded Mustangs to a woeful 12-for-58 effort from the floor, including 5-of-28 from 3-point range.
Chadrack Lufile added eight points and five rebounds for the Shockers, who will face Kentucky in the third round on Sunday. The eighth-seeded Wildcats downed Kansas State on Friday.
Maliik Love scored nine points, while Chris Eversley added six points and five boards for Cal Poly (14-20), which became the first 19-loss team in 59 years to win a tournament game when it beat Texas Southern, 81-69, in the First Four on Wednesday.
"Nobody expected us to even be in this position," Eversley said of making the NCAA Tournament. "It is a testament to the hard work we've put in and hopefully we can come back next year."
Early outscored the Mustangs by himself in the first half, pouring in 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor while Cal Poly went a brutal 4- for-28 from the field and finished with just 13 first-half points.
Cal Poly went 11-plus minutes without a field goal following Eversley's 3- pointer just over a minute in, allowing the Shockers to surge in front with a 21-2 burst, which included 12 points from Early.
"(Early) got a lot of open looks and was playing well, so (we) kept trying to feed him the ball," WSU head coach Gregg Marshall said. "When he is making shots like that we can be pretty dangerous on that end."
Kyle Odister's 3-pointer quelled the Cal Poly drought with 7:40 left in the half, but Early answered with a layup and then added a trey shortly after before capping a 9-0 run with a two-handed, alley-oop slam that pushed Wichita State's cushion to 30-8 with just over five minutes left in the half.
Wichita State went into the break with a 32-13 advantage and cruised in the second half, building the lead as high as 30 en route to the runaway victory.
Wichita State's 35-0 start topped UNLV's 34-0 mark set in 1990-91 for the best start in NCAA men's basketball history ... The Shockers won the only other meeting between the teams, a 76-57 decision in 1976 ... Cal Poly made its first NCAA Tournament appearance, while the Shockers made their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history ... Wichita State recorded 17 assists, compared to just five from Cal Poly ... The Shockers outscored the Mustangs 32-14 in the paint.