December 05, 2014

Now that its lengthy regular-season winning streak is in the past, Wichita State is eager to begin another one.

The No. 8 Shockers look to begin laying the groundwork for a run when they host Saint Louis on Saturday night.

Though Wichita State (4-1) shot a season-low 38.1 percent and was outrebounded for the first time in 2014-15 on Wednesday, coach Gregg Marshall was happy with his team's overall effort after its 35-game regular-season win streak ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to No. 25 Utah.

''We showed some great resilience,'' said Marshall, whose team trailed by 11 with a little more than 5 minutes to play in regulation.

"It was just a gritty game with two good teams going at it all night. They were just one point better.

"I hope this makes us better down the road. Some people say that. I don't have a crystal ball so we'll just go back to work."

Marshall does know that his team can't wait for the chance to bounce back from its first regular-season loss since falling 91-79 at Creighton on March 2, 2013.

"We're excited to play, and we'll be chomping at the bit come Saturday," said Marshall, whose team went 35-0 last season before losing to national runner-up Kentucky in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

The Shockers, who made the Utes work for just about everything they earned, likely have too much experience to allow a loss to linger.

''Wichita State is not No. 8 for nothing,'' Utah guard Brandon Taylor said. ''It was incredible how that team kept coming back after we went on runs and runs. That's a good team.''

Wichita State's talented backcourt of senior Tekele Cotton and juniors Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet combined for 42 points Wednesday. Though Cotton and Baker went 10 of 21 from the field and 6 of 11 from 3-point range, VanVleet suffered through another rough effort, going 5 of 19 from the floor and 2 of 10 from beyond the arc.

VanVleet shot 37.5 percent and went 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the first three games before scoring 21 and shooting 6 of 11 in a 75-55 home win over Tulsa last Saturday.

Baker, averaging a team-leading 17.8 points, scored 22 in a 70-65 victory at Saint Louis last Dec. 1 in the schools' first meeting since 1974-75.

The Shockers will step off campus to face the Billikens (5-2) at the downtown Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday. Saint Louis is 3-0 against Missouri Valley Conference opponents this season, but lost by 25 to Mississippi State on Nov. 28 and suffered a 62-56 home defeat to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi of the Southland Conference on Nov. 23.

At 13.1 points per contest, guard Austin McBroom is the only Saint Louis player averaging in double figures. He had seven as a reserve against Wichita State last season.

The Billikens have dropped four straight against Top 25 opponents.

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