PEORIA, Ill. – Bradley coach Geno Ford was pleased with his team's effort Tuesday night.
Didn't matter that it was a 69-49 loss that was not in doubt for the last 18 minutes.
That's because it was win No. 30 for Wichita State.
Ron Baker scored 15 points to lead four Wichita State players in double figures and the second-ranked Shockers became the first Division I team to reach 30-0 in the regular season.
"I'm really proud of the physical effort we gave," Ford said. "We had 16 offensive rebounds. You hold them to seven offensive rebounds and have (a season-low) six turnovers, I'll take that.
"The difference was late-shot-clock 3s, and their length at the basket."
Wichita State is the 11th team to reach 30-0, the previous 10 all hitting the 30-win mark during postseason play. The last team to reach 30-0 was UNLV in 1990-91. The Runnin' Rebels went 34-0 that season before losing to Duke in the national semifinals.
The Shockers (30-0, 17-0 Missouri Valley Conference) have one more regular-season dame, at home Saturday against Missouri State. The last team to finish a regular season unbeaten was Saint Joseph's in 2003-04 at 27-0. The next season, Illinois got to 29-0 before losing its regular-season finale at Ohio State.
"I realize we're playing more games (than in past years)," Wichita coach Gregg Marshall said. "But (30-0) has never happened in the regular season. So it's a first, and these guys like to be the first and the best."
A barrage of 3-pointers early in the second half broke it open for Wichita State, which beat Bradley (12-18, 7-10) for the 10th straight time and second this season.
After Bradley trimmed a 10-point halftime deficit to eight, Shockers point guard Fred VanVleet made consecutive 3s for a 14-point lead, the visitors' largest to that point. By the 12:50 mark, Cleanthony Early had added a 3-pointer and Baker made two 3s off screens for a 50-32 lead.
Wichita State finished the game 11 of 21 from beyond the arc, with four players making two or more. Bradley was 4 of 14.
Tyshon Pickett finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for Bradley after nearly reaching a double-double in the first half with 10 points and nine rebounds. Pickett was just 5-of-20 from the field and leading scorer Walt Lemon Jr. was 6 for 20 and had 18 points.
"I don't like to get beat on the glass, but (Pickett) was a monster," Marshall said of Bradley's 37-36 rebound advantage. "Credit him. He beasted us a little."
Tekele Cotton scored 13 points, Early had 12 and VanVleet added 11 for Wichita State.
Miserable shooting prevented Bradley from mounting much of a threat. The Braves were at 25 percent (11 for 44) through 30 minutes and finished 16 for 59 (27.1 percent).
Bradley was playing host to its highest-ranked opponent since 1982, when then-No. 2 Wichita State lost 55-47 to the Braves who went on to win the NIT.
The game was a matchup of the top two defensive teams in the conference, though Wichita State (60.8 points per game) leads Bradley (65.5) comfortably. Offensively, Wichita State is also the MVC's best (75.8) while Bradley (63.8) is last.
The No. 2 ranking equals the highest ranking in Wichita State history, matching the 1981-82 team.