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Wichita State 78, Southern Illinois 67

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WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State found its outside shooting touch just in time to remain unbeaten.

The fourth-ranked Shockers made six of 13 3-pointers in the second half, closed the game with a 14-6 run and held off Southern Illinois 78-67 Tuesday at Koch Arena.

Wichita State (26-0, 13-0 Missouri Valley Conference) and No. 1 Syracuse are the only unbeaten teams in the nation.

Shockers guard Ron Baker scored 19 points, 13 in the second half. Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early added 18 points, 10 after halftime.

Guard Anthony Beane led Southern Illinois with 25 points.

Baker’s 3-pointer gave Wichita State a 72-64 lead during the run that finally put away Southern Illinois (10-16, 6-7 MVC). Baker’s foul shots with 1:54 to play gave Wichita State a 10-point lead.

The Shockers took a 57-48 lead in the second half with a 16-7 run. After struggling most of the game from 3-point range, the home team warmed up. Baker made his first in six tries for a 49-44 lead. Early’s 3-pointer made it 52-46. Baker found guard Tekele Cotton for a three-point play, and forward Darius Carter’s hook shot gave the Shockers a 57-48 lead.

The Salukis did not cave, no matter the noise and the pressure from Wichita State. Even without a post game, they found ways to score. Jalen Pendleton, a 6-foot-1 forward, drew fouls and scored in the lane against bigger players.

Beane carried the Salukis to a 21-19 lead despite being guarded by Cotton, Wichita State’s top defender. He made five of his first seven shots, one from 3-point range, to score 11 points before halftime.

The Salukis led most of the first half and did not allow the Shockers to go on long runs or get the crowd roaring. Southern Illinois’ zone defense kept the Shockers on the perimeter, and Wichita State shot poorly from outside. The Salukis limited them to one shot most trips and didn’t allow Wichita State’s size to dominate.

After tying the score twice, the Shockers took a 26-25 lead on a free throw by forward Nick Wiggins. The Shockers failed to keep that run going and Southern Illinois went up 29-26 on a three by guard Tyler Smithpeters. Wichita State forward Derail Green followed in a miss to cut the lead to one. Beane responded with his second three of the half to push the lead to 32-28 with 3:19 to play in the half.

Southern Illinois did not score again until Pendleton’s free throw with 39.2 seconds remaining. Wichita State failed to take full advantage and trailed 33-32 at halftime.

Wichita State made two of 14 3-pointers in the first half.

NOTES: Wichita State junior F Darius Carter was named Missouri Valley Conference newcomer of the week after averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in wins over Indiana State and Northern Iowa. … Southern Illinois G Anthony Beane scored 20 or more points for the fifth consecutive game. The last Saluki with a run that long or longer was Troy Hudson in 1996-97 with six. … Wichita State set a school record for longest regular-season MVC winning streak. The Shockers won 12 in a row in 1982-83 team, then again from the end of the 1963-64 season to the start of the 1964-65 season.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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