game saw players from both sides throw the from sfsdaf's blog

WICHITA, Kan. Jack Rudnay Jersey . -- Wichita State went to the Final Four last year, yet there was something missing for that team: a Missouri Valley Conference championship. This season the Shockers were focused on not letting that happen. So after No. 3 Wichita State routed Drake 83-54 Saturday night behind Tekele Cottons 21 points and Darius Carters 15, the Shockers relished cutting down the nets to celebrate a conference title that seemed like a foregone conclusion some time ago. "It means a lot, it really does," said point guard Fred VanVleet, who had 15 points and six assists. "Its something we didnt do last year. Its special, and we appreciate it. But, at the same time, we have more goals ahead of us." Wichita State (29-0, 16-0 Missouri Valley) is the first team to start 29-0 since Illinois in 2004-05 and is two wins away from a perfect regular season. The Shockers cruised despite leading scorer Cleanthony Early being held to a season-low three points and Ron Baker only scoring six, less than half his season average. Daddy Ugbede scored 14 points, Jordan Daniels had 13 and Aaron Hawley 10 for Drake (14-14, 5-11), which had more turnovers (20) than field goals (18). Drake coach Ray Giacoletti can compare this seasons Wichita State team to that of a year ago. He was an assistant at Gonzaga last season, and the top-seeded Bulldogs lost to the Shockers in the NCAA Tournament. "Its a much better basketball team now than it was at that time," Giacoletti said. "Ive been doing this 29 years and have been around a lot of great teams that try to outscore you and out-talent you. This team tries to out-tough you in every single facet and really doesnt care about the other stuff." That toughness was flaunted in a 31-4 run Wichita State wrapped around halftime, an onslaught so complete that the Shockers completed the 14-1 portion to start the second half without Drake even attempting a field goal. After trailing early, the Bulldogs held the Shockers scoreless for over 3 minutes, going on a 9-0 run capped by Hawleys backdoor layup for a 15-14 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first half. To make matters worse for Wichita State, Early was on the bench with two fouls and Baker soon joined him with his second. But Wichita State started the game-turning run behind Carter, a reserve who scored four straight before the Shockers started a parade of baskets at the rim. "I thought Darius gave us a huge lift tonight," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. "He was really active." VanVleet and Cotton had layups. Cotton and Nick Wiggins had back-to-back slams. VanVleets 3-pointer helped Wichita State lead 31-18 at halftime. The Shockers roll only gained momentum to start the second half. After Drakes Seth VanDeest made a free throw, Wichita State scored 14 straight. Cotton and Carter converted three-point plays to get it started and Carter had another slam. And Kadeem Coleby and VanVleet put back offensive rebounds, bringing roars from the crowd. The Shockers led 45-19 with 16:35 remaining, and Drake seemed befuddled. Much of that had to do with Cotton, who had seven steals in the game. "Was there two Tekele Cottons out there?" Marshall asked, joking. "It sure seemed like it." Cotton said his approach was simple. "I just try to get in position where they dont see me," he said. "Sometimes I can get in the passing lanes and get it. Sometimes, I dont." Hawley ended the run with a 3-pointer 15 seconds later, the Bulldogs first shot attempt of the half. After that, the Shockers could sub liberally and soon start celebrating an outright Missouri Valley title, actually clinched earlier in the day when Indiana State lost. "Hopefully," Marshall said, "this isnt our only championship." Gary Spani Jersey . It was considered unlikely that Rielly would be loaned to Canada for the tournament, which begins Dec. 26 in Malmo, Sweden, though a stretch of three straight games in the press box made it something of a debate. Rashad Fenton Jersey . -- Rodney Stuckey scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks for the first time in eight meetings, 92-86 on Tuesday night.TORONTO -- Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd tried to see the positives of the Nets 100-95 Game 2 loss to Toronto. "Were right where we want to be," he said in his pithy manner. "We had the opportunity to take the lead late in the game and we came up short." "Again its basketball," he added. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they dont." They went in more for Toronto in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. The Raptors shot 75 per cent -- 12-of-16 -- in the final 12 minutes to even the NBA playoff series. After trailing 45-39 at the half, the Nets stepped it up to lead 66-64 at the end of the third quarter. Brooklyn led several times in the fourth and it was tied at 85-85 before Toronto pulled away. "We kind of took control there for a little bit," said New Jersey guard Deron Williams. "But we didnt do a good job on keeping them off the boards. And then we allow 36 points in that fourth quarter, which is way too high for us, somebody that prides themselves on defence and getting stops, especially down the stretch. We didnt do that tonight." Added veteran Paul Pierce: "We have to be better in the fourth quarter defensively." Down 79-78, the Nets sent in their shock troops of Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Williams midway through the final quarter. Johnson had done his part in the third with 12 points to drag the Nets back into it. But this time they could not pull ahead as Torontos DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry stole the late show. Piercce, who scored nine of his 15 points in the final three minutes of Brooklyns 94-87 win Saturday, went 2-for-6 in the fourth quarter and finished 2-for-11 with seven points. Alex Smith Jersey. "It happens," said Kidd, who was in definite glass-half-full mode. "There are a lot of positive things that weve done in these first two games so now we have to go home and protect home." Expect an equally loud and proud crowd at the Barclays Center on Friday. Toronto GM Masai Ujiris Brooklyn slur prior to Game 1 is not likely to be forgotten. Garnett, for one, wondered what kind of reception such potty talk might bring back home. There will be no shortage of resolve on the court. Tuesdays game saw players from both sides throw themselves on the floor to corral a loose ball before an opponent did, as well as one in which pretty much everyone objected to the officiating. The hand-wringing and pained body language would have done Marcel Marceau proud. Given both sides seemed equally irked, the officials probably went home happy. Toronto, which had 19 turnovers in Game 1, coughed up 21 in Game 2. Coach Dwane Casey attributed it to a young team trying to do too much too quickly. On the plus side, Toronto outrebounded Brooklyn 52-30. So the series switches to Brooklyn, with the veteran Nets looking to regain the lead over a young Raptors squad that continues to overachieve. The two have now played each other six times this season, with three wins apiece. "These two teams are very similar," said Kidd. ' ' '

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