Wichita State guard Ron Baker yells during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UNLV on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET
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December 12, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Utah coach Larry Krystowiak looked at the postgame stat sheet with both surprise and resignation.

The 25th-ranked Utes lost 67-50 at Wichita State on Saturday, so Krystowiak knew he would not like the numbers on that piece of paper.

And while he thought ''it was absolutely crazy they had twice as many field goal attempts as us in the first half,'' he knew many of the stats would look poor for good reason.

''(The Shockers') defense is good, and they don't beat themselves,'' Krystowiak said. ''But there was only about 8 minutes in the game when I was happy with our offense.''

Zach Brown scored 14 points and Markis McDuffie had 13 for Wichita State (5-4). Fred VanVleet scored 10 points for the Shockers, who were 10 of 25 from beyond the 3-point line.

Jakob Poeltl had 11 points for Utah (7-2), which had 19 turnovers and five assists. Wichita State had 15 assists and three turnovers.

''That's a huge difference and has to drive (Utah) crazy,'' Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. ''To have 25 more field goal attempts in the game is a big stat.''

Ten of Utah's turnovers came in the game's first 15 minutes, leading to long scoring droughts.

When Brown hit a 3-pointer for a 28-17 lead with 5:27 to play in the half, the Shockers had more baskets (11) than Utah did shots (10).

The Shockers made seven 3-pointers - matching their season average - in taking a 33-20 halftime lead.

Krystowiak said the Utes' game plan focused around stopping ''the head of the snake'' in guards VanVleet and Ron Baker.

''Some other people stepped up and hit 3s,'' he said. ''We had a couple breakdowns in our zone defense.''

Utah worked its way back in the game. Poeltl scored five points in a 8-2 Utah run after halftime, cutting the Shockers' lead to 35-28 with 16:44 remaining.

''We finally got some post touches and slowed it down a bit,'' Krystowiak said.

Jordan Loveridge made five straight free throws, making it 39-35 with 14:26 to play. Utah was 13 of 15 from the free throw line at that point while the Shockers had yet to attempt a free throw.

Wichita State responded with the game's decisive stretch, keyed by McDuffie, a freshman reserve. He converted a four-point play and hit another 3.

''To be honest, I thought it was a bad shot on the four-point play,'' McDuffie said. ''When I fell down and it went in, it was too hard for me to believe. It was probably the first four-point play of my life.''

VanVleet found Bush Wamukota for a basket and then converted a twisting layup himself. With 7:36 remaining, the Shockers' lead was back to 53-38 and Utah was in the midst of more than 9 minutes with one field goal.

The Shockers stretched the lead to as many as 20 points in the final minute.

For a preseason Top Ten team that started 2-4 while VanVleet dealt with an injury, victories over UNLV and Utah in a four-day stretch meant a great deal to Wichita State.

''This week was about redemption and revival,'' Marshall said. ''We are starting to round into the team we thought we could be.''

MIDDLE MANAGEMENT

Wichita State had interior concerns guarding a future NBA center for the second straight game. The Shockers' starting center, Anton Grady, is out after suffering a spinal concussion on Nov. 27.

On Wednesday, Wichita State played UNLV, which featured Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot freshman who was a McDonald's High School All America. Zimmerman finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the Shockers' 56-50 victory.

On Saturday, Poeltl, another 7-footer, brought better numbers into the game. He entered Saturday's game averaging 21.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.

Wichita State's trio of centers - Shaquille Morris, Wamukota and Rauno Nurger - combined to limit Poeltl to five shots.

''That was the key to the game,'' VanVleet said. ''That's one of the best bigs in the country, and they did a good job on him.''

TIP-INS

Utah: The Utes are 7-2 against Wichita State. The previous loss came in 1968. . The Utes have lost seven straight road openers, last winning a season's first road game in 2008 at Missouri State. . Krystowiak walked on to the court after what he thought was a missed goaltending call with 9:01 remaining in the second half and was assessed a technical foul.

Wichita State: The Shockers are 6-0 at Intrust Bank Arena, which opened in 2010. . The victory extends Wichita State's home winning streak to 36 games, the second-longest in the nation. . Marshall is 6-1 against ranked opponents at home.

UP NEXT

Utah hosts Savannah State on Wednesday

Wichita State visits Seton Hall on Dec. 19

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