Peoria, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - With just two games remaining on their
regular season schedule, the second-ranked and unbeaten Wichita State Shockers
will travel to face the Bradley Braves in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup
at Carver Arena.
Wichita State is the last remaining unbeaten team, having won all 29 games on
the team's schedule so far. The Shockers easily took care of conference foe
Drake on Saturday, defeating the Bulldogs, 83-54.
Bradley finally put an end to a three-game skid on Saturday with a 55-38
defeat of Loyola-Chicago. At 7-9 in Missouri Valley Conference play, the
Braves sit nine games back of the Shockers for the conference's top spot.
Bradley leads the all-time series against Wichita State, holding a 71-63
advantage. The gap was closed ever so slightly back on Jan. 14 with a Wichita
State win over the Braves, 72-50.
Wichita State opened up the Saturday night contest with Drake on a 7-0 run.
Although the Bulldogs went on a run of their own to draw close to the Shockers
in the opening minutes, any thought of an upset was erased as the opening
stanza continued on. Wichita State closed out the first half with a 31-18 lead
over Drake, and ran up 52 points on the Bulldogs in the second half to earn
the 29-point victory. Tekele Cotton scored a career-high 21 points in the
contest, adding a career-best seven steals to his impressive outing. Fred
VanVleet netted 15 points with six assists, and Darius Carter came off the
bench to add 15 points of his own. The Shockers connected on 52.5 percent of
their field-goal tries in the game.
Cleanthony Early's three-point day on Saturday against Drake didn't disrupt
his team-leading scoring average much. The forward still tops the Shockers
with 15.8 ppg on 46.4 percent shooting from the field. Early's 84.8 percent
shooting mark from the free-throw line ties Ron Baker for the team lead, and
his 6.0 rpg average is also a team high. Baker checks in behind Anthony at
second on the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg, followed by VanVleet's 12.3 ppg
average. VanVleet leads Wichita State with 153 assists and 59 steals on the
Loyola-Chicago had an extremely difficult time trying to solve Bradley's
defense on Saturday. The Braves notched a season-best 14 steals and forced 23
Rambler turnovers in the contest, holding Loyola-Chicago to just 38 points on
26.5 percent shooting. Walt Lemon Jr. was the only Bradley player who tallied
a double-digit scoring total in the game, netting 16 points with a team-high
five steals. The Braves connected on 38 percent of their shot tries in the
contest, but it was enough to get past the Ramblers and end their three-game
Lemon has been the go-to scorer for Bradley this season, but has had his fair
share of turnover issues. Lemon leads the team at 17.7 ppg on 42 percent
shooting this year, and adds a team-high 114 assists and 67 steals, with 108
giveaways. Tyshon Pickett is behind Lemon in scoring at 11.7 ppg, and sports a
team-best 7.3 rpg average. Omari Grier rounds out the double-digit scorers
this season with 10.5 ppg.
The Sports Network