Cleanthony Early scored 23 points to lead No. 1 Wichita State to a convincing win over No. 16 Cal Poly, 64-37.
Early was the only Shocker starter that scored more than seven points, but it didn’t really matter. The Mustangs were totally and completely overwhelmed by Wichita State’s defense. They finished the night shooting 20.7% from the floor, a marked improvement over the 4-for-29 that they shot in the first 20 minutes.
Wichita State was up 30-8 midway through the first half. None of their starters played more that 28 minutes, and only two guys played more than 20.
The Shockers will advance to face the winner of tonight’s No. 8 Kentucky-No. 9 Kansas State game, which makes their easy night all the more important. Their legs aren’t going to be tired heading into Sunday. The battle of the Wildcats is going to be a war.
Wichita State didn’t get many breaks when the bracket was released, but being able to play the early game and relax on Friday night as these two teams fight for their season is an advantage, however small.
The win pushes Wichita State to 35-0 on the season, but the real test of that undefeated record is going to come on Sunday. Regardless of who they end up playing, it will be the best team that the Shockers have faced this year.