Wichita State advances at Las Vegas Holiday Classic

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Wichita State's record stayed perfect, even if the eighth-ranked Shockers' execution wasn't.

Two days after the third-most lopsided victory in school history, Wichita State let Kennesaw State -- a team playing only its second year in Division I -- hang around until the closing minutes.

The Shockers made enough plays down the stretch, though, to win 74-65 on Tuesday night in the second round of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. Afterward, their smiles showed more relief than satisfaction.

"We expected them to come out and play hard," said Shockers forward P.J. Couisnard, who had 15 points and matched a career high with seven assists. "I just don't think we were ready for them."

Ryan Martin's career-high 19 points led the Shockers (9-0), whose start tied a school record set in 1920-21 and matched two years ago.

"He's a beast," forward Phillip Thomasson said. "He's 6-5, but he plays bigger than he is. He plays like he's about 6-9. Tonight, we really needed him to step up, and he did."

Wichita State was coming off Sunday's 102-56 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore, while Kennesaw State (2-8) lost 82-54 at Kansas State on Sunday. But on Tuesday, the Owls outrebounded the Shockers 37-36 -- with a 22-10 edge in offensive rebounds -- and had 25 second-chance points to the Shockers' eight.

"Our guys have had 48 hours of us patting them on the back and telling them how great they are," Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon said. "After that Kansas State game, they had 48 hours of their coaches getting in their tails."

Thomasson, a junior transfer from Colorado State, had a season-high 14 points and Karon Bradley added 11 for Wichita State.

Martin was 7-for-9 from the field and Thomasson was 7-for-8. Only a missed first-half jump shot kept Thomasson from recording Wichita State's third straight perfect shooting performance by a double-digit scorer.

"I got in the seams a little bit, and guys were getting me the ball," Thomasson said. "Then I hit a little jumper. I just tried to make every shot I take."

Golden Ingle, son of coach Tony Ingle, led the Owls with a season-high 26 points, 21 in the first half.

"Golden really got us going," Tony Ingle said. "Golden established, 'Hey, we're really here to play.'"

Kennesaw State led by seven points in the first half but fell behind by 16 in the second before mounting a late comeback.

Martin scored seven points in an 11-0 run that made it 58-42 with just over seven minutes to go in the game, but Ingle scored five points in the Owls' responding 12-0 run.

Shuan Stegall hit two free throws with 2:51 to go, getting the Owls within 59-56. But Bradley hit a driving layup on Wichita State's next possession, starting a 7-0 run that made it 66-56.

Kyle Wilson's three-point play with 1:15 to go capped the run, and Kennesaw State never got closer than seven points after that.

The three-point play provided a late lift for Wilson, who came in leading Wichita State in scoring at 13.8 points per game. He got in early foul and turnover trouble and had only seven Tuesday night.

"That was a big play," Turgeon said, "but we're going to need more out of him than that if we're going to be the kind of team that we want to be."

Stegall had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Kennesaw State, which went on an 11-0 run near the midpoint of the first half for a 23-16 lead.

Ingle hit two 3-pointers and scored nine points during the run, capping it with a steal and two free throws with just over 11 minutes left.

"Mostly lucky, I guess," he said. "They play really good defense as a team. I was just able to get a few shots in transition and hit them. They definitely did a better job in the second half denying me the ball."

Wichita State answered with a 13-0 run, going up 29-23 on Bradley's long jumper with 5:50 to go in the half.

Kennesaw State committed seven turnovers and missed five straight shots during the Shockers' surge before Jon-Michael Nickerson hit a jumper with just under 3 1/2 minutes left in the half.

Ingle's previous high this season was 16 points. He matched that with the two free throws at the end of the Owls' first-half run.

He was just 4-for-10 from the line but made the most of one miss. Late in the first half, after making a basket and being fouled by Matt Braeuer, he rebounded his missed free throw and drained a 10-footer to get Kennesaw State within 35-32.