WICHITA — Connecticut received the full Roundhouse experience in its first trip to Koch Arena.
No. 22 Wichita State buried the Huskies on Saturday doing what it does best _ pursuing and sharing the basketball _ in a 95-74 victory, as coach Gregg Marshall registered his 150th victory at Koch Arena. The Shockers improved to 19-5 overall and 9-3 in the American Athletic Conference, while Connecticut (12-13, 5-7) lost for the sixth time in the last eight games.
WSU entered the game ranked second nationally in rebounding margin (plus 10.5) and third in assists (19.0) per game and added to both of those on Saturday. WSU outrebounded Connecticut 40-24 to win the rebounding battle for the 23rd time this season and finished with 24 assists on 33 baskets, the eighth time WSU has had at least 24 assists.
Landry Shamet led a balanced WSU attack with 16 points, while Conner Frankamp (14), Shaquille Morris (12), and Darral Willis (10) all finished in double-digit scoring. Rashard Kelly grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and had five assists to go along with six points. Connecticut's duo of Jalen Adams and Christian Vital, which are the highest-scoring duo in the American, combined for 41 points.
It was one of WSU's best performances of the season in a first half, as the Shockers buried Connecticut in a 22-point hole, 55-33, in a half that featured 33 possessions. WSU shot 51.4 percent, grabbed half of the available offensive rebounds, and had 17 assists on 19 baskets.
Those two scores that were unassisted? Both were put-backs following offensive rebounds.
The initial run by Wichita State established a double-digit lead within seven minutes, as Morris finished through contact and made his free throw for a three-point play that ultimately kicked off a 16-0 run in three minutes that gave the Shockers a 21-7 lead with 13:07 remaining.
Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie was forced to burn a timeout after WSU grabbed four of the first chances at an offensive rebound, as the final one resulted in Shamet tracking down his own miss to extend a possession that ended with Austin Reaves drilling a 3-pointer for an 18-7 lead.
When Connecticut cut the lead to 33-23 later in the half, WSU responded with a 13-3 run that forced Ollie to call another timeout after Shamet and Reaves strung 3-pointers together on back-to-back possessions for a 46-26 lead with 4:26 remaining.
Connecticut made three straight jumpers out of halftime to cut WSU's lead to 18 points, but the Shockers roared back with a three-point play by Zach Brown and back-to-back baskets from Willis and Rauno Nurger to restore a 65-40 lead.
Armed with a 20-point lead, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was able to dip deeper into his bench and give extended looks to players like C.J. Keyser, Samajae Haynes-Jones, and Asbjorn Midtgaard in the second half.
Frankamp entered the game having scored two points in the last three games and mired in a 3-point shooting slump (2 for 16 in last five games) that dated back to the Jan. 20 game at Houston. He snapped out of that by making four 3-pointers, including three in the second half.