Normal, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ron Baker scored 19 points to lead No. 15 Wichita State to a 68-62 win over Illinois State on Saturday.
Fred VanVleet scored 15 points with six rebounds and Evan Wessel added 12 points for the Shockers (23-3, 13-1 MVC), who have won their last four games.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had 18 points and Reggie Lynch added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Redbirds (15-11, 7-7), who have lost their last three games.
A Wessel 3-pointer gave Wichita State a 50-39 lead with just under nine minutes to play, but Illinois State scored the next nine points to get within two.
The score stayed close for the next several minutes until Wessel put in a pair of free throws with 40 seconds to play for a 64-56 lead.
A 3-pointer from Akoon-Purcell with under 30 seconds to play was followed by a pair of free throws from Wessel, but it was Akoon-Purcell from long range again to make it a four-point game.
Baker, though, hit two more free throws, and Bobby Hunter's 3-point miss at the other end helped Wichita State wrap up the victory.
The Shockers opened a 13-4 lead and held a 26-19 advantage after a VanVleet jumper with under six minutes to play, but the teams had just one basket the rest of the half. The Shockers took a 27-21 lead into the break.
Wichita State shot just 36.7 percent compared to 41.5 percent shooting for Illinois State, but dominated the boards 40-26 ... Wichita State plays at Southern Illinois on Tuesday ... Illinois State plays at Bradley on Wednesday.