WICHITA (AP) — Shaq Morris had 18 points, Connor Frankamp and Markis McDuffie added 13 apiece and No. 25 Wichita State announced its return to the Top 25 with a 109-83 blitz of Evansville on Tuesday night.
Landry Shamet added 12 points and Darral Willis Jr. had 11 for the Shockers (26-4, 16-1 Missouri Valley), who finally elbowed their way into the poll this week for the sixth straight season.
They might just keep on rising if they continue to win. The nation’s No. 2 team in scoring margin and one of the best defensive teams in the country hasn’t lost since Jan. 14.
Jaylon Brown had 25 points to lead Evansville (14-16, 5-12), which has dropped nine straight to Wichita State. Dru Smith hit 5 3-pointers and finished with 19 points.
The Shockers wasted no time putting away their 11th consecutive win, giving coach Gregg Marshall plenty of time to honor former walks-ons Zach Bush and John Robert Simon, his only two seniors.
Shamet started the onslaught with consecutive 3-pointers during a 12-0 run in the game’s first 5 minutes. Then, Frankcamp got busy at both ends of the court, at one point ripping away a steal and then tallying an assist by finding McDuffie for an easy basket at the other end.
Frankamp also poured in a couple of 3s of his own as Wichita State built a 48-32 halftime lead.
The Purple Aces, overmatched and outhustled, allowed the game to get away from them early in the second half. Wichita State converted points on eight consecutive possessions, and then Zach Brown hit a 3-pointer following their first empty trip, as the lead swelled to 66-42 with 14:50 to go.
The Shockers’ seniors entered with 7:06 left. And on a night when everything was going right, Busch and Simon got into the scoring act to put a tidy bow on an easy win.
The Shockers can clinch a share of their fourth straight Missouri Valley title if Illinois State loses to Southern Illinois on Wednesday night. But they will most likely need to beat Missouri State on the road Saturday. Their only league loss was at Illinois State on Jan. 14.
Evansville appeared to be turning its season around when it followed a nine-game skid with four straight wins. But the Purple Aces blew a 14-point second-half lead at Bradley, then never put up much of a fight against the hot-shooting Shockers.
Wichita State finishes its regular season against the Bears on Saturday.