Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - The 15th-ranked Wichita State Shockers try to keep pace at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference standings, as they host the Indiana State Sycamores on Wednesday night at Charles Koch Arena.
The Shockers entered the week tied with 13th-ranked Northern Iowa atop the league standings with an 11-1 mark, although that one conference setback was a huge defeat versus the Panthers a few weeks back. Since then WSU has won two straight, including a 78-35 thrashing of Missouri State last Saturday at home.
Indiana State, which has made it to the postseason in one fashion or another for five straight years, is in jeopardy of having that string snapped if it doesn't get into gear. The team did win the most recent outing over the weekend at Loyola-Chicago, 79-65, but that only served to continue a trend of alternating wins and losses over the last seven decisions.
However, the good news for the Sycamores is that they enter play on Wednesday as the third-best team in the MVC with eight wins in 12 opportunities.
The Shockers own a 54-29 advantage in the all-time series between the programs, the most recent meeting taking place last March during the MVC Tournament, a clash that resulted in an 83-69 victory for then-undefeated WSU. The teams will meet two weeks from now in Terre Haute to complete the regular season series at the Hulman Center.
Devonte Brown scored a game-high 22 points, hitting all but one of his seven field goal tries, as the Sycamores grabbed the double-digit road win against Loyola at Gentile Arena. Also having a strong game was Brenton Scott with 21 points, shooting 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line, followed by Jake Kitchell and Justin Gant with 12 points apiece as the team made good on 57.5 percent from the floor and 1-of-19 beyond the arc.
As a unit, Indiana State has converted a very strong 41.0 percent from 3-point range during conference play, leading to 68.8 ppg. Unfortunately, the defense has not left much room for error by permitting 66.8 ppg. Brown is responsible for 14.0 ppg, Scott another 12.9 ppg and Gant 10.8 ppg as each hits on at least 47.0 percent behind the 3-point line.
Wichita State scored the first points of the game against the Bears on Saturday night and never looked back, limiting the visitors to a mere 13-of-52 (.250) shooting from the floor, including 2-of-14 beyond the arc, all while forcing 16 turnovers. Fred VanVleet registered a rare triple-double for the Shockers with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, not to mention coming up with four steals without suffering a single turnover. Ron Baker tallied a team-best 17 points and both Darius Carter and Shaquille Morris 10 apiece.