The No. 7-ranked Wichita State Shockers scored a 67-53 victory over the University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team on Saturday at Koch Arena.
The Shockers moved to 15-0 on the season and 2-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play behind 22 points from point guard Fred VanVleet and 18 points from forward Cleanthony Early.
UNI fell to 7-7 overall and 1-1 in MVC action. The Panthers received a team-high scoring effort from junior point guard Deon Mitchell with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor.
For the second straight game, UNI opened on a scoring run with a 12-2 advantage over Wichita State four minutes in. Wichita State clawed its way back in and cut the lead to 14-13 with 12:58 left on a pair of free throws from MVC Preseason Player of the Year Cleanthony Early.
UNI extended the lead back to 19-14 with 6:44 left in the first half on a 15-foot jumper from Deon Mitchell. The Shockers then closed the half on a 16-3 run to take a 30-22 lead into the locker rooms. UNI made three of its first four 3-pointers in the game, but missed its final nine 3-point attempts in the first half.
The Panthers pulled to within 43-39 with 12:18 left in the game on a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Wes Washpun. WSU responded with a 14-5 run to open up a 13-point lead at 57-44 with 6:28 left in the game. The Shockers extended the margin to 20 points at 67-47 with 1:54 left before the Panthers scored the game’s final six points.
UNI will travel to Evansville, Ind., on Wed., to battle the Evansville Aces. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at the Ford Center.
UNI entered the game with a 3-0 mark all-time against ranked schools from the state of Kansas … UNI has made at least one 3-pointer in 443 consecutive games – the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference … Seth Tuttle grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds … UNI held Wichita State to 38.1 percent shooting in the game.
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