Final: DU 74, WSU 69. Nice effort. I think that may be WSU’s best signs of progress since the MVC season started. Tough not to get rewarded with a win. Drake, as it was last year, does a lot of smart things, shoots well and makes few mistakes.
37.7 remaining: DU 72, WSU 69. Hook by Durley. How much can Drake run off?
52.3 remaining: DU 72, WSU 67. What is it about Drake’s matchup zone? The Bulldogs don’t appear to be playing tough defense in the sense of in-your-face-grind-it-out defense. But it works against an opponent that is indecisive. Durley turned his back. Templeton made the steal. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.
1:53 remaining: DU 67, WSU 67. Not sure I loved that three by Murry. Give the Shockers tons of credit for coming back. Hannah has tied WSU’s record for threes without a miss. Chad Elstun and Ryan Herrs are the others.
3:55 remaining: DU 67, WSU 59. The Bulldogs seem to rebounding better, which was WSU’s big edge. Drake shut down Murry and Hannah in the second half. Murry has not scored. Hannah has three points. WSU is 6 of 18 from the field in the second half after making 14 of 21 in the first half. The turnover count is at 20.
7:50 remaining: DU 59, WSU 55. WSU is starting to get some baskets inside with Durley against the zone. He has eight points.
11:23 remaining: DU 52, WSU 49. Turnovers continue to mount. Drake is in the bonus, which may be the biggest stat of the game. The Bulldogs are going to drive the ball, draw fouls and make free throws the rest of the game. WSU has 18 turnovers. The matchup zone invites you to make mistakes and WSU is obliging.
15:12 remaining: WSU 45, DU 42. Nightmare start for WSU.Three turnovers. Miss. Two more turnovers.Drake takes a 42-40 lead. WSU comes back on a basket by Mantas and Hannah’s fifth three. Hannah is 5 for 5, one away from equaling WSU’s accuracy record.
Here’s the list on shots in the final seconds of the half against WSU:
- Centenary – Nick Stallings, three, 3 seconds to play
- Siena – Erik Harris, layup, 2 seconds
- Texas Tech – John Roberson, three, 8 seconds
- Gardner-Webb – Aaron Linn, jumper, buzzer
- Creighton – Josh Dotzler, layup, 1 second
- Drake – Josh Parker, three, 1 second
Halftime: WSU 40, DU 36. Bad final minute spoiled the half a bit. Parker three against a zone. Durley walks for no reason. Parker three at the buzzer, another in a continuing series. For 19 minutes, however, nice work by WSU. Making shots makes everything else easier. They didn’t fold when things got tough. Despite the 12 turnovers, they made some nice passes against the Drake zone. Defense looked good until the final minutes. Josh Young, guarded mostly by Murry, is 2 of 7 for eight points. WSU will take that. Murry leads WSU with 18, one away from his career high. Hannah has 14. Will somebody else help in the second half?
3:03 remaining: WSU 34, DU 28. The Shockers have had some nice 18-minutes halves, then failed to finish strong. Hannah is at the line when we return. WSU is giving Drake some problems, a welcome switch for the Shockers. Making 7 of 10 threes never hurts.
6:54 remaining: WSU 26, DU 22. DU’s Josh Parker will be at the line. The Bulldogs are going to try to drive it and use their quickness. Parker on WSU’s Aaron Ellis is a quickness mismatch. WSU is 10 of 14 from the field and 6 of 9 from three. Hannah is 4 for 4. Drake is staying in it at the line – 5 of 7. WSU has no free throws. WSU eight fouls. DU two. A.J. Hawkins picked up three in four minutes.
7:06 remaining: WSU 26, DU 20. Nice response by the Shockers. Things went bad and they held it together.
11:56 remaining: WSU 15, DU 13. The Shockers came out with more emotion and aggressiveness in the early minutes. Now their mistakes are starting to hurt. Three turnovers in their past four possessions and none of them the result of any great pressure defense.
13:55 remaining: WSU 12, DU 8. Hawkins and Clemente are in.
15:48 remaining: WSU 10, DU 5. Murry has eight of WSU’s points on two threes and a layup. WSU can’t ask for much more than this start. Murry is also guarding Josh Young and doing an admirable job.
It is a late-arriving crowd at the Knapp Center for a Sunday night game.
WSU will start Hatch, Griskenas, Durley, Hannah and Murry. Why not? The three new starters earned it with their play on Wednesday. WSU can surround Durley with some shooters and maybe that helps the offense. Maybe Hawkins, Clemente and Stutz come off the bench and get favorable matchups. It is certainly worth a try.
- Athletic director Eric Sexton said WSU’s cumulative GPA of 3.18 for the fall semester is the highest in the department’s history. I’ve always thought book-learnin’ was overrated, but apparently Sexton is pretty happy about that stat.
- The “this day in WSU history” tally is impressive for Jan. 11. Warren Jabali 22 points and 23 rebounds vs. Drake in 1986. Terry Benton 23 and 28 vs. Loyola-Chicago in 1971. Michael Wiggins 10-of-10 shooting vs. Drake in 1993.
- Johnny Coy and family are here. By now, he should be able to give admissions tours at both schools.