WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Senior center Shaquille Morris had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes to lead No. 6 Wichita State past College of Charleston, 81-63, on Monday night at Charles Koch Arena.
Morris was 7-of-11 from the floor and part of the Shockers (2-0) dominating the interior. Fellow senior post players Rauno Nurger (16 points) and Darral Willis (14 points) found success inside and helped Wichita State to a 44-27 rebounding advantage.
Grant Riller scored a game-high 20 points for College of Charleston (1-1), the preseason favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association. He had 18 of those in the second half. Joe Chealey added 14 points for the Cougars.
Wichita State led 47-22 at halftime. The Cougars went just 5-of-23 from the floor in the half. Willis and Morris combined for 24 first-half points. Charleston shot an improved 14-of-28 in the second half.
CofC will continue its current five-game road stretch with a non-conference matchup at Charlotte (1-1) on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Charlotte, N.C.
- For the second-straight game, the College of Charleston started Grant Riller, Joe Chealey, Cameron Johnson, Jaylen McManus and Nick Harris. Jarrell Brantley did not play due to a knee injury.
- In just both program’s second-ever meeting, Wichita State improves to 2-0 in the all-time series with College of Charleston. Both previously met in the 2011 NIT Quarterfinals also held at Charles Koch Arena.
- The Cougars are now 6-23 all-time versus Top 25 opponents and 2-10 versus the Top 10.
- CofC Head Coach Earl Grant played against his mentor, Wichita State Head Coach Gregg Marshall, for the first time on the opposite end of the sidelines. Grant served as an assistant to Marshall at Winthrop from 2004-07 and Wichita State from 2007-10.
- In back-to-back games, Grant Riller has registered game-high 20-point performances. He knocked down 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting at Wichita State including 18 in the second half of play. Riller now has nine 20-point games in his career.
- Joe Chealey reached double figures for the second-straight contest with 17 points at Wichita State.
- Nick Harris led the team in rebounding for the second-consecutive game with six of the team’s 27 boards against the Shockers.
- CofC outscored Wichita State, 41-34, in the second half, and defensively held the Shockers to 80 points. They had come into the contest with back-to-back 100-point games against UMKC and Newman (exhibition).
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“We ran into a buzz saw. In the first half, I thought we were a little bit like deer in highlights. With the atmosphere and noise, we got out of character. I give the kids credit. They really showed some great character in the second half. They settled down and tried to execute and play more of our game. There were a lot of positives in the second half. But, we dug too deep of a hole in the first half that we couldn’t overcome it.”
On preparing the team for the atmosphere at Charles Koch Arena …
“It’s hard. I knew what it was like. It’s hard to try to simulate that (in practice) and tell the guys it will be loud. It’s something you just have to experience. Hopefully, we will learn from that, so when we get in that situation again, this experience will help us. We have a few more tough games similar to Wichita State. I’m not sure we will play anyone as good as them.”
On playing against Wichita State Head Coach Greg Marshall for the first time on the other sideline …
“It was weird. It was like another game. We were trying to run the same stuff, but they were doing a little bit better. I could see what was coming. The pace of the game was fast and those guys executed. I give them credit. Their big guys made threes. It’s hard when that’s happening when they also get stuff inside.”