No. 8 Wichita State tops No. 16 Baylor 69-62 with big finish
WACO, Texas (AP) One of the most difficult things to do when playing a zone defense is identifying shooters on the perimeter.
No. 8 Wichita State used outside shooting to exploit No. 16 Baylor’s zone in a big way on Saturday, ending the Bears’ 46-game nonconference home winning streak.
Conner Frankamp scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 2:50 to go that sparked a game-ending 7-0 run in the Shockers’ 69-62 win.
”He’s a great shooter, and we look for him against the zone,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. ”It’s why he’s out there. He does a great job of letting it go with confidence.”
The Shockers shot 63 percent (10 of 16) from 3-point range, including 5 of 8 from Frankamp. Wichita State forced Baylor to miss its last five shots and made four of five free throws in the final 1:38.
”Ten for 16, that’s hard to do if there’s no defense on you, so that was the big difference,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
Shaquille Morris added 15 points for Wichita State (6-1), which also received 11 apiece from Landry Shamet and Darral Willis Jr. Shamet also controlled the flow of the offense with seven assists and one turnover.
”We kept telling ourselves, `It’s just a zone,”’ Shamet said. ”No discredit to them, but that’s what we were saying. Sometimes we get like, `Oh God, it’s a zone, what do we do?”’
Manu Lecomte scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half for Baylor (5-2), and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. overcame a scoreless first half to finish with 13 points before fouling out in the final 30 seconds. King McClure scored 12.
Neither team led by more than seven, but the Shockers never trailed after a pair of Shamet 3-pointers put them up 33-29 at halftime. Baylor got within two three times before getting even with 3:10 to go on a three-point play by Jake Lindsey.
But Baylor never wrestled the lead away, thanks to a veteran Wichita State team answering each run.
”They’re really organized in offense and defense,” Lecomte said. ”They made us work and we tried to make them work, but they’ve very patient, too, on offense. And that’s how they pulled it out.”
Baylor started the week undefeated, but lost twice to Top 25 teams. The Bears were down to seven scholarship players after their top reserve, senior forward Terry Maston, broke his shooting hand in their 76-63 loss at No. 21 Xavier on Tuesday night.
Wichita State: The Shockers are the best team in the country on the road with a 42-6 mark over the past five seasons, and they showed that poise every time Baylor made a run. The Shockers only tried five 3-pointers in the second half, but Baylor had to respect that ability. That opened up holes in the Bears’ zone and allowed the Shockers to play inside-out.
Baylor: The Bears managed to stay in the game despite shots not falling much of the time. They shot 37 percent from the floor and 5 for 21 (24 percent) from 3-point range. Baylor held a 34-28 lead in points in the paint, 10-5 off turnovers and 12-8 on second chances, but Mark Vital’s eight points were the only real contribution the Bears had off the bench, other than Lindsey’s late three-point play.
Wichita State: The Shockers missed a big opportunity when it blew a 16-point lead to Notre Dame on Nov. 22 in the Maui Invitational championship game. This was an important win, since it’s the only other opportunity against a top-25 team before conference play begins Dec. 30.
Baylor: A resume that includes wins over Wisconsin and No. 25 Creighton should be enough to keep it in the Top 25 despite the 0-2 week. The Bears’ schedule softens over the next five games, which means chances to move up will be limited.
Vital hurt his ankle after a drive to the basket when he fell down with Morris, a 6-foot-8, 279-pound center, on top of him. The Baylor freshman said he will receive treatment on it, but doesn’t expect to miss any time.
”Shaq is a big dude. I hit him one play and bounced right off of him,” Vital said with a laugh.
Wichita State: Home against South Dakota State on Tuesday.
Baylor: Home against Sam Houston State on Monday.
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