WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Cleanthony Early scored 21 points and Ron Baker added 17 to lead No. 16 Wichita State to a 93-50 victory over Emporia State on Saturday in the Shockers' first game since their Final Four appearance.
The Shockers cruised in their season opener against Emporia State, an NCAA Division II team playing for the second consecutive day, by shooting 51.7 percent and attempting 22 more free throws than the Hornets.
Baker led the shooting effort by going 7 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, while adding six assists. Fred VanVleet had 12 points and six assists for Wichita State.
The Shockers were 25 of 33 from the free throw line while Emporia State was 8 of 11.
Terrence Moore, playing in his hometown, led Emporia State with 15 points while Kaleb Wright added 12.
The Hornets, coming off an 81-76 victory at Missouri-Kansas City on Friday, kept it close during the first 10 minutes.
Moore hit a 3-pointer and a driving floater in a 35-second span, pulling Emporia State within 18-13 with 10:03 remaining in the first half.
That's when Wichita State took over.
The Shockers scored the next eight points, starting with a 3 by VanVleet, and carried that momentum until halftime.
Wichita State scored 31 points in the half's final 10 minutes, a landslide that produced a 49-26 halftime lead. Much of the credit went to the Shockers' full-court pressure, which helped force Emporia State into 13 first-half turnovers, nine more than Wichita State.
Things didn't get better for Emporia State in the second half. Quick layups from Early and VanVleet started an 11-2 run that pushed Wichita State's lead to 60-28.
The Hornets' points came on a basket by Wright, which would be Emporia State's only field goal in a span of 10 minutes, including the final 3 of the first half.
After that, Wichita State used the remaining time to try different combinations of players and different sets. Walk-on Zach Bush entered the game with more than 8 minutes to play.
The Shockers had 29 points off Emporia State's 29 turnovers.