Wichita State knocks Seton Hall from ranks of unbeaten
Ron Baker leads the way for the Shockers with 22 points in the victory.
EVERY TIME Wichita State's Ron Baker picked the pocket of his player, or cruised to the basket for an easy layup, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard stood in front of his bench and cringed.
He found it hard to believe that Baker was once a walk-on.
"I might go back and start looking for some guys in my gym. My rec gym," Willard said with a sly grin. "He's a special guy, fun to watch."
Baker scored 22 points, Fred VanVleet added 18 points and eight assists and No. 11 Wichita State handed visiting Seton Hall its first loss of the season, 77-68, last night.
"We knew they were going to be very athletic. They've got some good players," said Baker, who was 9-for-11 from the field and perfect on three three-point attempts.
Darius Carter had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Shockers (6-1), who used a big first-half run to seize control, and then breezed through a foul-filled second half.
Isaiah Whitehead scored 23 points and Sterling Gibbs had 19 for the Pirates (7-1), who beat another Missouri Valley team in Illinois State earlier this season, but had yet to play anybody as deep, talented and filled with seasoned veterans as the Shockers.
Wichita State has won 22 consecutive home games dating to the 2012-13 season.
The Shockers started off poorly, missing eight of their first 11 shots. That allowed Seton Hall to build a 13-8 lead, along with some confidence.
Everything turned around the final 12 minutes of the first half.
Turning up the pressure, the Shockers forced turnovers on four straight possessions, most of them turning into easy run-outs. Rashard Kelly began the run with back-to-back baskets, but it was Baker who shook the entire building when he slammed a onehanded dunk on a fastbreak.
In other games
* At Arizona, freshman Stanley Johnson's 14 points led a balanced attack for the No. 3 Wildcats (9-0) in an 87-56 win over Utah Valley.
* At New York, Terry Rozier scored 26 points and No. 4 Louisville (8-0) routed Indiana, 94-74, in the nightcap of the Jimmy V Classic.
* At Iowa State, Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 22 points and the No. 14 Cyclones beat Missouri-Kansas City, 73-56, for their third straight win. Dejean-Jones topped 20 points for the third time for Iowa State (6-1), which has won 25 straight nonconference games at home.
* At Notre Dame, Steve Vasturia scored a career-high 19 points and Zach Auguste had 19 points and eight rebounds and Jerian Grant also scored 19 to lead the No. 25 Fighting Irish (9-1) to a 93-67 win over Mount St. Mary's.
* Wake Forest sophomore guard Miles Overton, a St. Joseph's Prep product, plans to transfer after the fall semester. He said it's a tough decision to leave Wake Forest, but thinks it's best to "continue my career closer to home."
* Madison Square Garden will host the men's Big Ten Tournament in 2018, but in order not to conflict with the Big East Tournament, the conference will move its event up a week.