Wichita State caps perfect regular season with rout of Missouri State

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Wichita, KS, United States (4E Sports) – Cleanthony Early scored 19 points while Ron Baker added 13 as No. 2 Wichita State completed a perfect regular season with an easy 68-45 win over Missouri State Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

Darius Carter added 10 points as the Shockers (31-0) became the first team in 10 years to go undefeated in the regular season. Saint Joseph’s, which went 27-0 in 2003-04, was the last program to enter its league tournament without a loss.

Shockers also became the fourth team since 1978-79 to enter its conference tourney unbeaten and the first squad to go undefeated in Missouri Valley Conference play since Bradley in 1985-86 season (16-0).

Prior to Saint Joseph’s, the last two teams to enter their league tournaments without a loss: 1990-91 UNLV and 1978-79 Indiana State.

“Very proud,” said Wichita Sate coach Gregg Marshall. “Very proud of these guys, of how they’ve handled this. There’s been a lot of focus, both positive and negative about this team. They’re fun to be around, and they deserve this 31-0.”

The Shockers beat opponents by an average of 16 points this season. Only six of the team’s 31 games were decided by single digits, only one by fewer than five points.

Jarmar Gulley was the only player in double digits for Missouri State with 15 points as the Bears made just 16 of 51 attempts from the floor for 31.4 percent compared to the Shockers’ 51.2 percent clip.

Wichita State also dominated rebounding with 43 to just 25 by the Bears.

Back-to-back triples by Early and a layup by Chadrack Lufile midway through the first half gave the Shockers their first double-digit lead.

Two foul shots by Baker with two minutes left in the opening half extended the Shockers’ lead to 35-15.

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