WICHITA—After a blowout win, it was single-digit numbers on the stat sheet that caught the eye of Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.Ron Baker had eight points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists to help the No. 22 Shockers rout Loyola of Chicago 80-54 on Wednesday night.”He did it all,” Marshall said. ”Here’s a guy who represented our country (in the Pan Am Games) this summer, and he only takes six shots. Fred (VanVleet) is preseason player of the year and takes six shots.
”Those guys are unselfish, and we played unselfishly.”
Wichita State (15-5, 9-0 Missouri Valley) had seven players score at least eight points, including Shaquille Morris with 12 and Rashard Kelly with 11. VanVleet had eight points and eight of the Shockers’ 22 assists on 28 field goals.Montel James and Earl Peterson each scored 11 for Loyola (9-12, 2-7).
”The reality is they make you play bad,” Ramblers coach Porter Moser said, ”and we played bad.” Moser also gave Baker credit, saying his driving reverse layup for the game’s first points ”set the tone already.”
Wichita State scored the first eight points of the night. Zach Brown made a 3-pointer that gave the Shockers an 8-0 lead with 17:08 left in the first half, prompting Loyola to call a timeout.Wichita State took control with a 16-4 run led by Evan Wessel, who entered the game averaging 3.8 points. Wessel hit two 3s and scored eight points in that stretch, pushing the Shockers’ advantage to 24-8 with 8:30 to play in the first half.Out of desperation, Moser went to a zone defense he rarely employs.
”We had no answers,” the coach said, ”and we’ve been a good defensive team.”
After closing within 13 at halftime, Loyola maintained some momentum to start the second half. The Ramblers made five of their first six shots, including 3-pointers from Milton Doyle and Ben Richardson.That only helped trim Wichita State’s lead to 47-36 with 14:03 remaining.The Shockers then methodically put the game away, holding the Ramblers to two points over the next 5 1/2 minutes. Conner Frankamp’s 3-pointer made it 56-36 with 11:05 left, and Loyola called another timeout.Wichita State’s surge continued. VanVleet hit consecutive 3s and threw an alley-oop pass that Kelly slammed home.VanVleet said he was looking for an exclamation point, and that play provided it while giving the Shockers a 66-40 cushion with 8 minutes to play.