Virginia vs. Wichita State

DurleyWSU 70, Virginia 58 – Final. Solid win. Shockers go 2-1 in Maui.

WSU 67, Virginia 57 (1:12) - Virginia needs one more foul to put WSU in the double bonus for the first time in Maui.

WSU 60, Virginia 48 (3:28) - WSU probably needs six more points to go home 2-1. I don’ t see the Cavaliers breaking 60 in the time that’s remaining. Nobody other than Scott has made a field goal since Sherrill’s three with around 12 minutes to play.

WSU 51, Virginia 43 (8:56) - Murry was 12 of 12 from the line this season before that miss. WSU’s strength and experience starting to take over. When WSU doesn’t turn it over, it gets a good shot and usually scores.

WSU 44, Virginia 43 (11:41) - Blair left Sherrill twice and Sherrill made threes.

WSU 37, Virginia 31 (15:39) - Virginia’s defense picks up at the start of the half. Can it keep it up?

WSU 35, Virginia 31 – Half. Down 20-4, WSU outscored Virginia 31-11 in the final 12:30 of the first half. WSU, after missing 6 of its first 8 shots, made 9 of 20 and 6 of 9 three-pointers. Murry leads WSU with 10 points. Durley, 3 of 3 from three-point range, has nine. Joe Harris leads Virginia with nine points. The Cavaliers, after making 8 of 10 shots, went 5 of 18 to finish the half.

WSU 27, Virginia 26 (4:00) - WSU exposing Virginia’s youth with some good defense. Three straight turnovers by the Cavs help WSU take the lead.

Virginia 24, WSU 17 (7:32) - WSU is handling Virginia’s defense, especially the double teams now. The Cavaliers cooled off, which was bound to happen. After making 8 of 10, they went 2 of 7.

Virginia 20, WSU 6 (11:46) - This will likely be a low possession game and Virginia doesn’t turn the ball over a lot, so WSU needs to cut into this lead. What’s worse – the offense or the defense? Hard to say? A stretch of five straight turnovers killed WSU. The Shockers aren’t putting up much opposition on defense. Virginia is 8 of 10 from the field.

Virginia 13, WSU 2 (14:59) - The Shockers are doing just what Virginia wants – shooting guarded jumpers against its set defense. It’s like playing Northern Iowa. The Cavaliers will play the percentages, not give up anything easy and make you make jump shots.

As the 2006-07 Shocker team proved, WSU is always going to need to win a bunch of games to make the NCAA Tournament. A fancy non-conference resume is helpful, and meaningless unless it’s backed up by 14 or 15 MVC wins. WSU blew a chance by losing to UConn, as everybody can tell. Regardless. the Shockers still need to get better – that would have been true no matter how things unfolded in Maui.

Today is another chance to get better. Virginia is a representative opponent and the Shockers again need to play well. Joe Ragland needs to follow up one solid outing with another. Garrett Stutz, untracked by foul trouble in Maui, needs to be more of a factor on offense. Ben Smith played well against Chaminade and can help if he continues to find his role. The Cavaliers won’ t want to let WSU run, so scoring in the half-court offense will be important.

Coming home 2-1 from Maui isn’t perfect, but it’s a good goal for the Shockers.

Here’s the Washington Post’s take on the game.