Wichita State's offense clicks in the second half, cruises to a 65-51 win over Tarleton State

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wichita States' Clarence Jackson celebrates with Craig Porter Jr. in a win over Tarleton State

WICHITA, Kansas - The first two games of the season have been dramatic for Wichita State, but in a non-conference game against Tarleton State, the Shockers had some room to breathe in the final minutes. 

The Texans gave the Shockers a battle in the first half, but a 12-2 run to end the period gave Wichita State the momentum. The Shockers carried that momentum into the second half and never looked back on their way to a 65-51 win to stay undefeated. 

The big, athletic lineup of the Shockers did their damage in the second half and it was led by Morris Udeze. The Wichita State forward had a tough time getting going in the first half, but he eventually got into a rhythm and finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

"I was forcing a few shots in the first half," said Morris Udeze. "I calmed down for the second half and let the game come to me. It felt like a little breakthrough and it built confidence."

Udeze wasn't the only one that felt like he forced his shots. The Shockers shot 31.8% from the field, but in the second half, it was a different story. Wichita State ended up shooting 52.2% in the second half and finished with a 42.8 three-point percentage as a team.

One thing that has been working throughout the start of the season has been the defense. In the first half, the Shockers forced five shot-clock violations, then finished by forcing 20 Tarleton State turnovers. The Texans ended up shooting 38.3% from the field.

"We made them work," said Clarence Jackson. "We forced them, but we need to keep working. Our coach is going to guide us in the right direction."

Wichita State's Dexter Dennis also broke through on the offensive end. One of the Shockers leaders has been struggling to start the season, but he ended up shooting 3-of-4 from the field and from the three-point arc and added 13 points. 

Dennis ended up taking sole possession of 10th place on Wichita State's all-time three-point list as he passed Paul Guffrovich. 

With the victory, head coach Isaac Brown jumped ahead of Gary Thompson for the best 25-game start by a head coach. Brown is now 19-6 in his first 25 games in his Shockers tenure. 

"I'm excited about the opportunity that I was given," said Isaac Brown. "I give it all up to the players. I'm just the guy trying to get them organized, but none of this could happen without our talented players. I'm also just excited to be the head coach for Wichita State."

The next game for Wichita State will be on Friday, Nov. 19, at 9 p.m. (CST) in Las Vegas against the University of Arizona. After taking on the Wildcats, the Shockers will play either Michigan or UNLV on Sunday, Nov. 21.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.