WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - After losing to Illinois State earlier this month, Drake coach Ray Giacoletti said those Redbirds were “as athletic as any team in our league.”
He didn’t think much of it. His opponent Sunday, No. 14 Wichita State, certainly did.
The Shockers took it out on Drake with a 74-40 romp, their 26th straight win against Missouri Valley Conference opponents.
“Clearly, we were trying to make point,” said Wichita State guard Ron Baker, who had a game-high 15 points.
“To say another team in the Valley is more athletic than we are gets our attention. And it wasn’t one of coach (Gregg) Marshall’s favorite teams in the Valley, either,” he said. “”So (he) kept bringing it up.”
Tekele Cotton had 10 points for Wichita State (18-2, 8-0), which shot 51.9 percent (28 of 54). All 15 available Shockers played, none more than 28 minutes.
Reed Timmer led Drake (4-16, 1-7) with eight points.
Giacoletti said he never intended to insult the Shockers.
“They do things the right way,” he said. “They don’t celebrate and jack around. They play harder and tougher than anyone. They should be an example for every high school and junior high team out there on how to play the game.”
Baker made a 3-point shot in the first 30 seconds, and Wichita State led 9-2 after Darius Carter tipped in a contested alley-oop.
Timmer, a freshman guard, had the Bulldogs’ only two baskets in the first nine minutes.
The Shockers led 36-19 at halftime. As the break neared, they cleared the bench and played a lineup of four freshmen and a walk-on.
The Bulldogs shot 7 of 20 in the first half and missed all five tries from the 3-point line.
After Cotton swiftly moved along an open baseline for an emphatic slam with 12:58 remaining, Wichita State led 51-29 and both teams started giving reserves plenty of minutes.
“We talked before the game about this would test our substance as human beings,” Giacoletti said. “When it’s loud here and they’re feeding off it, there’s not many places in the country like it.”
The Shockers cruised to their fourth straight win by at least 20 points.
“We’re just gelling together really well,” Baker said. “As you can see from our last few Valley games, we’re having a lot of fun out there.”
Drake: The Bulldogs have lost 14 straight games away from home. … Drake is 4-39 in Wichita since 1976. … Gary Ricks had averaged 19 points in the previous three games. He had six on 3-of-9 shooting on Sunday.
Wichita State: The Shockers have won 27 straight home games, the fourth-longest streak in the country. Only Gonzaga, Arizona and North Carolina Central have longer active streaks. … Cotton, a senior, played in his 108th Wichita State victory, most in program history.
Drake travels to Bradley on Wednesday.
Wichita State hosts Loyola on Wednesday.
In the previous meeting, a 66-58 Wichita State win, Drake center Jacob Enevold was a matchup problem for the Shockers. The 7-footer had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Marshall made him a priority.
“The guys probably got tired of hearing about it, to be honest,” Marshall said.
On Sunday, Enevold was held to four points and six rebounds.
Enevold had one point and two rebounds in the first half. He also took a tongue lashing midway through the half from two coaches during a timeout.
Enevold’s only basket was a putback with 15:57 remaining in the game. It came over Wichita State’s Rauno Nuger, a freshman who was promptly subbed back to the bench.
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