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Wichita State 66, Illinois State 47

The SportsXchange

WICHITA, Kan. -- The No. 6 Wichita State Shockers continued to regain their defensive identity with a 66-47 win over the Illinois State Redbirds on Wednesday at Koch Arena.

The Shockers (16-0, 3-0 in Missouri Valley Conference) held the Redbirds (8-7, 1-2) to a season-low in points and 32.7 percent shooting. Wichita State extended its school-record 16-game winning streak despite a poor shooting night (41.1 percent) and a miserable night at the foul line (11 of 22).

Guard Ron Baker and forward Cleanthony Early both scored 11 points to lead the Shockers. Baker made 3 of 6 threes. Guard Fred VanVleet handed out a career-high 10 assists and didn't have a turnover for the fourth straight game.

Guard Bobby Hunter led Illinois State with 11 points. The Redbirds committed 15 turnovers, leading to 19 Shocker points.

The Shockers started the second half with a 9-2 run for a 46-26 lead. Then, the Shockers took over for good. Baker found guard Nick Wiggins behind the zone defense for a lob dunk and a 51-30 lead. Early followed with a three-point play to make it 54-30 with 10:53 remaining.

Wichita State heated up from behind the arc to build a 37-24 halftime lead.

The Shockers made 6 of 13 3-pointers against Illinois State's 2-3 zone. Shockers guard Ron Baker made 3 of 5 threes and scored 11 points. Early made 2 of 4.

Illinois State committed eight turnovers, leading to 13 points for the Shockers. Wichita State handled the Redbirds' press, committing just four turnovers -- none of which led to points.

Baker's long three, with the shot clock running down, gave Wichita State a 17-12 lead and started a 17-4 run. Baker and guard Tekele Cotton capped the run with threes and the Shockers led 31-16 with 4:14 remaining in the half.

Wichita State forward Darius Carter tipped in a miss by Early just before the buzzer to give the Shockers a 37-24 halftime lead.

Illinois State shot 32.1 percent (9 of 28) and got to the foul line just three times in the first half. Wichita State missed a chance to build a bigger lead by missing seven of 12 foul shots.

Guard Zach Lofton led Illinois State with eight points in the first half, making 3 of 11 shots.

NOTES: Wichita State has won nine of 10 games against Illinois State and can tie the series 37-37 with a win. ... Wichita State assistant coaches Chris Jans and Steve Forbes both worked as assistants at Illinois State. ... Wichita State's Chadrack Lufile recorded his first assist of the season in the first half. ... Wichita State got a scare when G Fred VanVleet briefly left the court with what appeared to be a left knee injury. He returned to the game a few minutes later.

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