No. 15 Wichita St. blows by Indiana St.
Shockers gunning for first MVC tournament title since 1985
ST. LOUIS -- Toure Murry has embraced his newfound supporting role, a year after carrying Wichita State to the NIT title.
Now he’s got his eyes on getting the Shockers to the NCAA tournament.
Murry and Joe Ragland scored 14 points each and Garrett Stutz had 12 rebounds to lead No. 15 Wichita State to a 72-48 victory against Indiana State in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Friday.
“Being the top scorer was great, but for us to win, I needed to do other things,” Murry said. “When I was the leading scorer, it seemed like we weren’t the great team that we should have been.
The Shockers (27-4) won their season-high ninth consecutive game. Wichita State, which won the regular season title with a 16-2 mark, is looking for its first MVC tournament championship since 1985.
Murry averaged 11.9 points last season and began this season as the top returning scorer, but is third in scoring this season at 12.1 points per game, behind Stutz (13.8) and Ragland (13.2).
“I still believe like I’m a glue guy and I can still lead the team,” Murry said. “I just lead it by doing different things.”
|MVC TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS|
|Wichita State 72, Indiana State 48|
|Illinois State 54, Northern Iowa 42|
|Creighton 68, Drake 61|
|Evansville 72, Missouri State 64|
|Conference Championship Central|
Murry is proud of his 103 assists, which ties him for the top spot on the team with Ragland. Murry has a team-high 38 steals.
“Even though it might not look like it, he’s still our leader,” Ragland said. “I call him, 'Mr. Do-It-All.' He does more things and that helps his all-around game and makes us all better.”
Eighth-seeded Indiana State (18-14) missed 20 of its first 22 shots. Dwayne Lathan and R.J. Mahurin led the Sycamores with nine points each.
The Shockers hit on nine of their first 12 shots on the way to a 20-3 lead after 8:13.
“It’s really hard to bounce back from a start like that,” Mahurin said. “Against a ranked team of that caliber, you can’t play like that.”
Ragland connected on six of eight shots from the floor and had five assists. Murry scored eight successive points in just under three minutes to push the lead to 32-7 with 4:42 left in the half.
“I was pleased with the effort, I thought we started out great,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “I love it when my teams play with that kind of confidence.”
Indiana State, which trailed 40-19 at the break, scored the first nine points of the second half. But Ragland ended the rally with a 3-pointer.
“To keep fighting and playing, I’m proud of that effort,” Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. “We just got beat by an outstanding, well-coached team.”
Wichita State, seeded No. 1 for the first time since 2006, is looking for its third MVC title.
The Shockers have recorded three winning streaks of eight games or more this season. They have won nine of their last 10 against Indiana State, including three this season.