ST. CHARLES, Mo. - The Wichita State women's basketball team scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back in a 70-49 dispatching of Indiana State Friday night in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Shockers will face Drake at 4:05 p.m. Saturday in the semifinal round.
Wichita State, playing as a No. 3 seed to match its highest-ever seeding in the conference tournament, jumped on top early and never relented, shooting 60.9% for the game. That mark easily eclipsed the program's best ever shooting percentage in an MVC Tournament game, besting the 51.0% against Drake in 2007.
Haleigh Lankster made all seven of her field goals attempts, including two from three-point range, to score a game-high 17 points. Freshman Alex Harden nabbed 10 rebounds.
The Shockers rode the 11-0 start to a 37-16 halftime lead. WSU's 37 points set a new school record for first-half points scored in the Valley Tournament. Wichita State shot 65.2% (15-of-23) and held the Sycamores to 20.0% (4-of-20).
The first six points of the second half went to WSU and the Shockers soon built a 27-point lead. Indiana State rallied with an 11-0 run over a two-minute stretch to pull the Sycamores within 45-29 at the 14:16 mark. The Shockers responded with an 11-2 spurt, effectively shutting on the door on an Indiana State comeback.
Wichita State owned a 35-20 advantage on the boards and held Indiana State to 30.9% from the floor for game. Jessica Diamond (14) and Jazimen Gordon (11) joined Lankster in double figure scoring for WSU.
Brittany Schoen led the Sycamores with 12 points but connected on just 2-of-11 three-point attempts. As a team, Indiana State was 3-for-18 (16.7%) from beyond the arc.
With the win, WSU reached 19 overall victories for the third time in school history. They can tie the program record on Saturday. The Shocks are in the MVC Tournament semifinal round for the third straight year and can advance to the finals for the second time ever, and the first time since 1997.
The No. 3 Shockers will face the No. 7 Drake Bulldogs at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be carried on KFH 1240 AM/98.7 FM, ShockerRadio.com, and Fox Sports Midwest. Wichita State won both matchups with Drake in the regular season, taking the first game at home, 63-41, at home Jan. 5 and in Des Moines, 74-56, on Feb. 4. The Bulldogs are led by the MVC Player of the Year, Rachael Hackbarth.