Shockers top Bears after trailing by 18

Wichita State’s Shaquille Morris goes up for a shot during the first half of the Shockers’ 92-82 victory over California on Monday in a Maui Jim Maui Invitational first-round game at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

LAHAINA — Things didn’t look good for Wichita State in its first game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, until Shaquille Morris took things into his own hands.

Morris’ second resounding put-back dunk of the game brought the Shockers within eight points and ignited a dominant run to the finish of a 92-82 win over California in a quarterfinal matchup Monday at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Morris finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots, but it was his startling slam that seemed to wake up his team — Wichita State, No. 6 in The Associated Press rankings, outscored Cal 32-12 to finish the game.

“At that point when we were down we could take any momentum that we could get, but Coach (Gregg) Marshall in the huddle wanted us to attack the glass every time because we needed possessions to get us back in the game,” Morris said. “So, you know, just being fresh and attacking the glass is a huge key for the night.”

The Shockers (3-0) will face Marquette today for a spot in the title game, while the Golden Bears (2-2) will take on Virginia Commonwealth in a fifth-place semifinal.

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall calls out to his players in the first half.

“Well, our guys, they left it all out on the court today,” said Cal coach Wyking Jones. “They fought. They played with a lot of heart and toughness. Ultimately experience won out today. But the guys definitely gave us everything they had.”

The Bears’ lead reached 58-40 with 16 1/2 minutes to play on a 3-pointer from Justice Sueing, prompting a full-court press from the Shockers for the remainder of the game.

“I think when we got into the press and started speeding them up a little bit, obviously our energy kind of just changed, and that’s something we can’t have happen,” said Wichita State’s Landry Shamet, who shot 8-for-10 from the field on the way to 23 points. “We’ve got to keep that energy from the jump. … Obviously, you’re flying around. It’s easy to get energy going.”

Cal led 47-38 at halftime — the Bears’ Don Coleman scored 26 of his 35 points in the first 20 minutes.

“Their zone was interesting and made it hard for us — we kind of looked like the Bad News Bears for the most part,” Marshall said. “But things that made this program pretty good over the years has been our grit and determination, and we certainly showed that in the second half. But we’ve got to play better. Give Cal credit for the first 20 minutes, and then it looked more like my team in the second 20 minutes.”

Cal’s Don Coleman goes up for a second-half shot.

Shamet, Morris and Rauno Nurger combined to shoot 23-for-32 from the floor, while their teammates went 7-for-41. Shamet was 4-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc, and the rest of the team was 2-for-21.

“At the half, we had 11 baskets or 12 baskets and 11 turnovers,” Marshall said. “We turned that around with 18 baskets and two turnovers in the second half. More efficient. We got great offensive rebounding — 24 offensive rebounds and finally looked like a basketball team that we were expecting.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

WICHITA ST. (92)

Z.Brown 1-7 4-4 6, Willis 1-5 3-4 5, Morris 10-16 5-7 25, Frankamp 1-11 0-0 3, Shamet 8-10 3-4 23, Kelly 1-3 4-6 6, Nurger 5-6 1-2 11, Haynes-Jones 2-8 4-6 8, Reaves 1-7 2-2 5. Totals 30-73 26-35 92.

CALIFORNIA (82)

Lee 1-1 0-0 2, Sueing 7-12 2-3 20, Okoroh 0-3 2-2 2, McNeill 4-12 6-6 16, Coleman 12-25 7-8 35, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Anticevich 1-4 2-2 4, McCullough 0-1 0-0 0, Hamilton 0-0 0-0 0, Winston 0-0 0-0 0, Harris-Dyson 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 26-62 20-23 82.

Halftime–California 47-38. 3-Point Goals–Wichita St. 6-25 (Shamet 4-4, Reaves 1-5, Frankamp 1-8, Willis 0-1, Morris 0-2, Z.Brown 0-5), California 10-19 (Coleman 4-6, Sueing 4-6, McNeill 2-4, McCullough 0-1, Anticevich 0-2). Fouled Out–Lee, Okoroh. Rebounds–Wichita St. 44 (Kelly 10), California 30 (Sueing 6). Assists–Wichita St. 13 (Reaves 4), California 12 (McNeill 4). Total Fouls–Wichita St. 19, California 28. Technicals–Willis, Lee. A–2,200 (2,400).

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