Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) – Following a big win over Memphis, the 11th-
ranked Wichita State Shockers will look to remain unbeaten as they take on
their cross-town rival Newman Jets in a non-conference showcase at Charles
Newman is playing this game as an exhibition, so it won’t count against its
schedule. The Jets have won the first two games of their season, though, and
are coming off a 90-79 victory over Washburn.
Wichita State is one of the hotter teams in the country after earning a No. 1
seed in the NCAA Tournament a season ago. The 11th-ranked Shockers have
started the 2014-15 season 2-0, with a recent 71-56 win over the Tigers on
The two teams have only met once on the court before, despite their campuses
both being located in Wichita, Kansas. The Shockers hold the 1-0 all-time
Newman coasted past Washburn in the team’s latest outing, led by a solid
effort from top scorer Reggie Baker. Baker helped his Jets to shoot 46.3
percent from the floor, including 10-of-27 from 3-point range. Baker poured in
30 points with six rebounds in the win, but also had six turnovers as well.
Jeremy Espinoza netted 21 points in the game with four assists, and Cortrael
Colbert contributed 11 points with a team-best seven assists. The defense for
the Jets was solid in the winning effort, as the team held Washburn to 23.1
percent shooting from 3-point distance, and 38.2 percent shooting from the
floor in the first half that helped Newman take the early lead.
Baker has been sensational through two games for the Jets, netting 24.5 ppg on
an impressive 52.9 percent shooting touch from the field. His 7-of-15 streak
from beyond the arc equates to a 46.7 shooting percentage from distance, and
his 4.5 rpg mark is one of the best on the squad. Espinoza checks in behind
Baker in scoring this season with a 13.5 ppg average, followed by Colbert at
12,0 ppg and James Pegues at 10.5 ppg. Pegues leads the Jets this season in
rebounding, bringing down 7.0 boards per contest. Newman is scoring an average
of 88.0 ppg, which the team would love to keep up against the Shockers.
Wichita State was able to easily handle Memphis in the team’s last contest, as
the Shockers cruised to a seven-point halftime lead and then continued to
build on it in the second half. Ron Baker netted a team-best 21 points in the
win, adding five rebounds and six assists with two steals to his resume. Fred
VanVleet scored 15 points with four steals, and Darius Carter chipped in with
12 points. Tekele Cotton rounded out the Wichita State double-digit scorers
with 10 points. The Shockers didn’t have the best day shooting the ball,
netting 40.3 percent of their attempts from the floor.
In two games this season it’s Baker that sits atop the team’s scoring
leaderboard with 18.5 ppg. The guard has a well-rounded stat line, adding in
4.5 rpg and seven total assists through two games played. Cotton is second on
the team with a 13.5 ppg average, and both VanVleet and Carter are adding 10.5
ppg. VanVleet’s 11 steals this season is a team high, and his 4.5 rpg mark is
tied with four other players on the Shockers’ roster for the best on the
squad. As a unit, Wichita State is scoring 71.0 ppg and giving up just 55.0
ppg to opponents.