The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers kept the game close in the first half, but the No. 16 Wichita State Shockers were too much and managed to pull away in the second half to earn a 66-49 win on Tuesday morning. The game, that began at midnight locally (1 a.m. ET) was the second game in a 24-hour college basketball tip-off marathon.
Western Kentucky managed to keep the game close in the first half, hitting a buzzer beater just before half to cut the Shockers' halftime lead to 30-28. However, Wichita State took control early in the second half with an 11-point run to begin the half, extending their lead to double digits.
The Shockers never looked back, as a balanced offensive attack helped the team to keep the Hilltoppers at a distance for the entire second half. Sophomore guard Fred VanVleet led the Shockers with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, but was one of four players with scoring in double digits, including SB Nation preseason All-American Cleanthony Early who finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Wichita State will look to improve to 3-0 on Thursday when they host William & Mary, while Western Kentucky will look for their first victory of the season when they host the East Tennessee State Buccaneers on Saturday night.