Carter leads No. 11 Wichita State over LMU, 80-53
Dec. 23, 2014
HONOLULU (AP) — A trip to Hawaii had been like a working vacation for No. 11 Wichita State — a little practice mixed with some fun in the island sun. And then coach Gregg Marshall had them watch video of the Shockers' most recent game, when they rallied from an 11-point deficit late to squeak by Alabama.
"That video slapped them in the face," Marshall said.
The Shockers took nothing for granted against outmanned and overmatched Loyola Marymount on Monday night. Behind the dominant inside play of Darius Carter and a swarming defense that limited the Lions to only 38 shots, the Shockers rolled to an 80-53 victory in the quarterfinals of the Diamond Head Classic.
Wichita State (9-1) ran off 14 unanswered points early in the opening half to seize control, and then put away Loyola Marymount with another 14-0 run early in the second half. Carter, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in limited playing time because of the rout, was a factor in both runs.
He had six offensive rebounds, twice converting them into baskets and another time getting fouled. He even dropped in a rare 3-pointer during the second big run, stepping back behind the line to hit the shot for a 20-point lead.
The Shockers followed with a pair of dunks off turnovers and they were on their way.
Tekele Cotton scored eight of the Shockers' first 11 points in a game that was a mismatch from the start. Cotton also hit a jumper with 14:42 remaining to cap the second big run and give Wichita State a 53-25 lead.
Marshall pulled his starters, and a few minutes later he emptied the rest of his bench. No one played more than 22 minutes for Wichita State.
"Darius Carter was a monster," Marshall said. "He could have easily gone for a double-double. There's no use in pushing him right now to pad stats. He was dominant on the offensive glass in the first half."
The Lions (3-7) lost their fifth straight. They dropped all three games the last time they played in this holiday tournament in 2005.
Evan Payne, who came into the game averaging 21.7 points a game, was held to 15. Ayodeji Egbeyemi, whom Marshall sat next to on the flight to Hawaii, was the only other player for Loyola Marymount in double figures with 13 points.
Payne got off only six shots and four turnovers with no assists. He also had the highlight of the game, a drive to the basket that he finished with a one-handed, roundhouse dunk as Loyola Marymount at least tried to stay in range.
"Nine of his points came from the line," Marshall said. "Had a tremendous dunk, but zero assists and four turnovers. So that was a key for us."
Ron Baker scored 11 points for Wichita State, though he was cold most of the night. Wichita State's leading scorer at least set the tone in the opening minute of the second with a jumper and a 3-pointer. The Shockers led by as many as 31.
Wichita State, playing for the first time since a 53-52 win at home over Alabama, made sure this game wasn't interesting. The Shockers outscored Loyola Marymount by a combined 22-6 in the opening 5 minutes of each half.
It was the first time Loyola Marymount played a team in the Top 25 since it lost to No. 1 Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference championship in March 2013.
Carter has attempted only two 3-pointers this season and made them both. "I certainly don't want to see him forcing 3-pointers," Marshall said.
Wichita State's nine victories are by an average of 19.9 points, and that includes the one-point win over Alabama last week. Its only loss was 69-68 in overtime to Utah.
The statistics that jumped out to Marshall were all about defense. The Shockers outshot Loyola Marymount 56-38 and had a 32-19 edge in rebounds. They had 15 assists and nine turnovers, while the Lions had only five assists against 16 turnovers.
"We're a defensive-minded team, and that's just something that Coach harps on every day in practice," Carter said. "We know what we have to go out there and do, so we just did what we're taught."
Wichita State plays the Hawaii-Nebraska winner Tuesday in the semifinals.
Loyola Marymount plays the Hawaii-Nebraska loser Tuesday in a consolation game.