WICHITA, Kan. — Facing an opponent that can look like a blur, Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones was pretty sure he would feel at home Tuesday night.
The quickest Shocker took full advantage, coming off the bench for 31 points to lead No. 8 Wichita State past Savannah State 112-66.
Jones, a junior college transfer, scored 30 points in his first five games this season combined.
“It was just a lot of transition,” Haynes-Jones said. “It was fast out there. I enjoyed it.”
Five other Shockers (5-1) scored in double figures against the fast-paced Tigers (2-6). Leading scorer Landry Shamet did not play in the second half after re-injuring his right ankle.
Darral Willis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Wichita State, while Rashard Kelly had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Austin Reaves scored 12 for the Shockers, and Conner Frankamp and Rauno Nurger added 10 each.
Savannah State was led by Alante Fenner’s 18 points. Austin Dasent scored 15 for the Tigers, and Dexter McClanahan added 10.
Perhaps the most important development came late in the first half, though, when Shamet rolled his right ankle. A preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection, Shamet had to be helped to the bench after halftime, the ankle heavily iced.
“It’s a sprain,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. “We will know more over the next few days.”
The Shockers were already playing without starting guard Zach Brown, out with a sore left knee. He will have an MRI on Wednesday. Markis McDuffie, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, has yet to play this season after surgery on his left foot. He is scheduled to return around Christmas.
Savannah State entered the game leading the country with 264 3-point attempts this season, nearly 38 a game. The Tigers took a school-record 55 Tuesday night, making 13.
“I have never played in a game like that,” Willis said. “It was crazy.”
Wichita State trailed 20-17 before taking complete control. Haynes-Jones was a big part of that, scoring 17 points in the first half, six more than his previous season high.
“The first 10 minutes were pretty ugly,” Marshall said. “We stopped turning it over.”
At halftime, the Shockers looked to be threatening a couple of records. Wichita State had 41 rebounds and eight 3-pointers in the first half.
The school records in those categories are 76 rebounds (1962 vs. Oklahoma City) and 15 3-pointers (vs. Northern Iowa in 2003).
Both records stayed put. The Shockers finished with 67 rebounds and 13 3-pointers.
“It’s going to pad our rebounding stats,” Marshall said.
NEXT MAN UP
Marshall said he is not focused on his team’s injury issues.
“If I get strep throat, they don’t cancel the game,” he said.
Savannah State: The Tigers get another payday at a ranked opponent. Savannah State plays games at six teams currently ranked: Cincinnati (11), Wichita State (8), Texas A&M (9), Baylor (16), Virginia (18) and Michigan State (3).
Wichita State: The Shockers dealt with Savannah State’s odd style and all the injuries to eventually cruise in a game sandwiched between ranked opponents.
Savannah State: The Tigers host Carver College on Thursday.
Wichita State: The Shockers travel to No. 16 Baylor on Saturday.