HONOLULU (AP) — Darius Carter was a force inside with 12 points and eight rebounds, and No. 11 Wichita State had no trouble Monday night in an 80-53 victory over Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals of the Diamond Head Classic.
The Shockers (9-1) used 14-0 runs early in the first and second periods to seize control of a game that was a mismatch from the start. The Lions (3-7) lost their fifth straight game.
Carter had six offensive rebounds, two of them leading to baskets during the first big surge. He even dropped in a rare 3-pointer during the second-half run by the Shockers. Carter played only 18 minutes because of the rout.
Tekele Cotton scored eight of the Shockers’ first 11 points. He hit a jumper with 14:42 left to cap the second run for a 53-25 lead. Coach Gregg Marshall pulled his starters, and a few minutes later he emptied the rest of his bench.
Evan Payne led Loyola Marymount with 15 points.
Ron Baker scored 11 points for Wichita State, though he was cold most of the night. Wichita State’s leading scorer at least set the tone in the opening minute of the second with a jumper and a 3-pointer. The Shockers led by as many as 31.
Cotton hit a 3 on Wichita State’s first possession, and the game was never in doubt. Cotton and Baker each hit 3s, and Bush Wamukota converted twice on offensive rebounds, one of them a three-point play, as Wichita State went on a 14-0 run early in the opening period for a 19-4 lead.
The Lions were pesky enough to at least keep it interesting for a little while. Payne drew three fouls driving to the basket and converted six free throws during a 10-3 run to cut the deficit to eight. And right when Wichita State was starting to pull away late in the half, Payne drove the lane and threw down a one-handed, roundhouse dunk that stirred the sparse crowd, most of them yellow-clad fans who traveled from Kansas.
Baker hit a 15-foot jumper and Fred VanVleet ended the half with a rainbow 3 from the baseline as the Shockers took a 37-23 lead. VanVleet finished with seven assists, all of them in the first half.
Wichita State, coming off a late rally to narrowly beat Alabama at home last week, made sure this game was a mere tuneup for the next two days. Baker hit a 3, and then Carter stepped behind the line and swished in one that brought his teammates over for high-fives.
It was the first time Loyola Marymount played a team in the Top 25 since it lost to No. 1 Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference championship in March 2013.
Wichita State plays the Hawaii-Nebraska winner Tuesday in the semifinals.
Loyola Marymount plays the Hawaii-Nebraska loser Tuesday in a consolation game.
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