Defense wins championships … and I guess that applies to early-season tournaments as well.
Wichita State held BYU to 30 percent from the field, which includes forcing Tyler Haws into 3-for-15 shooting, en route to a 75-62 CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship win on Tuesday night at the Sprint Center Kansas City, Mo.
The game was close for the majority of the game, but the style of play started to lean more towards the Shockers’ physical style of play in the second half. Wichita State held the high-scoring BYU offense, averaging 93.2 points per game entering the game, without a field goal for the final eight minutes. The Shockers opened up a 68-62 lead when BYU’s Nate Austin was hit with a Flagrant 2 after an elbow hit Ron Baker in the head. Wichita State hit 7-of-8 free throws to end the game to pull away with a 13-point win.
Ron Baker scored a career-high 23 points to lead all scorers. Haws ended with 17 points, but most of that damage came from the line where he sunk 11-of-11 attempts. Matt Carlino gave BYU an early 13-point lead in the first half, connecting on 3-of-4 shooting, scoring 11 points in the first seven minutes. That hot shooting sparked the Cougars’ 19-6 start.
Carlino scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the first half and hit 1-of-6 attempts from deep after his quick start.
Wichita State has defeated every team by at least 13 points in each of its first seven games. The first two weeks of December offer two more challenges, with games against Saint Louis and Tennessee.