WICHITA, Kan. — Heading into its game against Drake, Wichita State was ranked 17th nationally in team defense.
After the Shockers’ defensive performance Saturday night, that ranking is bound to climb.
No. 3 Wichita State held Drake to 42.5 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers in an 83-54 victory at Charles Koch Arena.
The Shockers moved to 29-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the country. They are 16-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Guard Tekele Cotton scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and guard Fred VanVleet and forward Darius Carter added 15 points apiece.
Forward Daddy Ugbede led Drake (14-14, 5-11) with 14 points, and guard Jordan Daniels added 13.
Wichita State opened the second half on a 10-1 run to extend its halftime lead to 41-19.
The Shockers exploded from behind the 3-point line, shooting 7 of 14 in the second half after hitting just 1 of 12 in the first half.
Wichita State held Drake to 29 percent shooting in the first half and led 31-18.
Drake was held scoreless until Trevor Berkeley’s three-point play with 15:35 remaining. The Bulldogs’ only lead, 15-14, came with 9:19 left, but Wichita State answered with a 17-3 run to close the half. The Shockers’ defense fueled the run, holding Drake to just two free throws during that span.
VanVleet led Wichita State’s balanced scoring in the first half with eight points. Cotton and Carter chipped in with six.
Forward Aaron Hawley led Drake with five points.
NOTES: With Indiana State’s loss at Missouri State, Wichita State clinched the Missouri Valley season title before its game with Drake even started. … Wichita State won the first meeting on Jan. 25, 78-61. … Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early scored 18 points at Loyola to become the 42nd player in school history to score 1,000 points.
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