Shockers overcome slow start to down William & Mary
Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Fred VanVleet netted 18 points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting and No. 16 Wichita State overcame a sluggish first half to beat William & Mary, 79-62, at Charles Koch Arena.
The Shockers (3-0) trailed 39-38 at the break, but Ron Baker's triple at the 16:53 mark of the second half put the reigning Final Four participants ahead for good.
VanVleet added eight assists for Wichita State (3-0), which has won all three games this season by at least 17 points.
Cleanthony Early tallied 14 points and nine rebounds and Baker netted 13 points.
The Tribe (1-2) were led by Marcus Thornton, who dropped in 18 points in the setback. Tim Rusthoven and Omar Prewitt contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
William & Mary jumped out to a 10-3 lead at the first media timeout after a pair of layups by Kyle Gaillard and six points from Rusthoven.
Gaillard came out of the huddle with a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 10- point advantage, but Wichita State quickly cut into its deficit and kept the game close on a Baker trey and consecutive layups from Nick Wiggins that cut the lead to 16-13.
Early's 3-point play with 3:23 in the half pulled the Shockers back within three at 31-28, but Prewitt drained back-to-back 3's around a VanVleet jumper.
William & Mary had an answer for every WSU first-half run, though Early scored the final five points of the period to get the Shockers back within one.
Baker's triple early in the second period was followed by a pair of Kadeem Coleby jumpers, the last giving Wichita State a 47-41 lead with 15 minutes left. The Tribe's Sean Sheldon stopped the surge temporarily with a layup, but Chadrach Lufile's steal and dunk in transition capped an 11-2 burst that put WSU in front by double digits at 58-45.
William & Mary scored just one point over the final 4:20 of the contest.
Since Gregg Marshall became the Wichita State head coach in 2007, the Shockers have outrebounded opponents in 169-of-212 games. WSU outrebounded the Tribe, 38-30 ... The Shockers improved to 2-0 all-time against William & Mary ... Wichita State won the turnover margin, 14-8 ... Coleby had 10 points.
11/14 23:12:56 ET