|No. 6 Wichita State vows not to overlook Marquette|
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall didn't mix words after his team's opening game against California in the Maui Invitational.
The sixth-ranked Shockers weren't ready.
"This is the best team we've played. I needed something to get us ready for this, and I didn't do a very good job of scheduling early," Marshall said late Monday night, after Wichita State rallied from 18 down in the second half to beat Cal 92-82. "Now that we've seen a taste of what big-boy basketball is like, we'll see what we can do against Marquette tomorrow."
Marquette also had a tough test in its opening game in the tournament. The Golden Eagles (2-1) broke open a close game against VCU in the second half and pulled away down the stretch for a 94-83 win in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Markus Howard scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, and Andrew Rowsey and Sam Hauser added 20 points apiece for the Golden Eagles.
"We beat an outstanding basketball team," Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "They put incredible pressure on you for 40 minutes. I thought early in the game, their full-court press really knocked us back. Obviously, we were able to force some turnovers. When you give them turnovers, it sets their defense, and that hurt us."
Wichita State used its press to get back in the game against Cal. The Shockers forced 19 turnovers, most coming in the second half after Marshall went to a full-court trap.
Shaquille Morris and Landry Shamet combined to score 48 points for the Shockers, who returned all five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team but looked as if they were on the ropes against Cal. Morris scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half, and Shamet hit all four of his 3-point attempts to help fuel the comeback against the Bears.
Shamet finished with 23 points, hitting 8 of 10 shots from the floor overall. Morris sank 10 of 16 field-goal attempts, but the other three Wichita State starters combined to shoot 3 of 23.
Still, the Golden Eagles are wary of the Shockers.
"Gregg (Marshall) has built an elite-level program," Wojciechowski said. "I think at this time of the season, because of their experience, they're as good as any team in the United States. So ... it will be an incredible test for our young team. But that's why you come to tournaments like this, to be able to challenge yourself against the best.
"They're very experienced, and we have one senior and nine freshmen and sophomores. ... As a competitor, that's what you want. I mean, that's what you want. So I would hope that's the mindset our young men."
Marshall is hoping his team got a little bit of a wake-up call against the Bears and can put together a more complete performance against the Golden Eagles.
"Well, it should be a great game," Marshall said. "I know they're going to play hard. They've got some really good sharpshooters. I watched most of the first half before we came over and watched some of the second half. ... I'm anticipating a really good game."