Shockers take down Grand Canyon to open Hall of Fame Classic

Wichita State sophomore Xavier Bell
Wichita State sophomore Xavier Bell(Matt Henderson)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 8:13 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Release) - Wichita State will play for the Hall of Fame Classic title after taking down Grand Canyon, 55-43, Monday afternoon at the T-Mobile Center.

Craig Porter Jr. and Xavier Bell scored 14 points each and Jaykwon Walton added 10 for Wichita State (3-1), which held GCU to 27% from the field – lowest by a Division I Shocker opponent in nearly six years.

Noah Baumann supplied 10 points for GCU (3-2), which trailed 36-32 at the 14:55-mark but missed 14-consecutive shots during a nine-minute scoring drought.

Fueled by eight points from Bell, WSU capitalized with a 12-0 run. His three-point play made it a 48-32 ballgame with 7:20 to play.

Porter – who blocked a career-high four shots and claimed his first double-double of the season with 10 rebounds – hit a contested three ahead of the shot clock buzzer to give WSU its largest lead of the day, 55-36, with 3:33 remaining.

The Shockers now face San Francisco (5-0), a come-from-behind winner over Northern Iowa, in Tuesday’s 1 p.m. title game. WSU is in search of its first regular season tournament crown since winning this event back in 2013.

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NOTABLE:

· Porter notched his second career double-double. The other came in last season’s regular season finale against East Carolina (15 pts, 10 reb).

· WSU held an opponent to less than 20 points in a period for the second time in less than a week. WSU led Richmond 28-19 at halftime in Thursday win and limited GCU to 19 in Monday’s second half.

· The Lopes .271 field goal percentage was the lowest by a Division I Shocker opponent in nearly six years. On Dec. 6, 2016, WSU held Saint Louis to 25.9% from the field in a 75-45 victory at INTRUST Bank Arena.

· GCU’s 43 points matched the Isaac Brown Era low, set in an 81-43 win over Division II Newman on Dec. 30, 2020.

· GCU’s 16 field goals was the fewest allowed by a Brown team. The previous mark was 17 set in a Feb. 1, 2022 home win over Tulsa.

· WSU held GCU under 30% in both halves – something it’s done just nine other times in the shot clock era (1986-pr.).