CANCUN, Mexico (AP)Erik Stevenson had 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals and Wichita State led wire-to-wire in a 70-47 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night to advance to the title game of the Cancun Challenge.
Wichita State is hoping to win the tournament like it did in 2012 on its way to the Final Four. The Shockers are 6-0 for the first time since its historic 35-0 start to the 2013-14 season.
Trey Wade added 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for Wichita State. Jamarius Burton scored 10 points with five assists. Coach Gregg Marshall, a South Carolina native, got his first win in three tries against his favorite childhood team – with the two previous meetings coming during his time with Winthrop.
Stevenson scored 12 quick points as Wichita State jumped out to a 27-9 lead after 11-plus minutes by making 10 of 17 shots, including three 3-pointers. South Carolina was 4 of 16 during the stretch with eight turnovers. The Gamecocks trailed 41-22 at halftime.
Wichita State held South Carolina to 32.7% shooting for its sixth straight game holding an opponent under 40% to rank 10th nationally in field-goal percentage defense. The Shockers have not allowed more than 63 points in a game this year.
Senior Maik Kotsar was the only player for South Carolina (4-2) in double figures with 12 points. The Gamecocks were coming off a seven-turnover win against Gardner-Webb for the fifth-fewest under coach Frank Martin, but gave it away 19 times against Wichita State.
It was the Gamecocks’ first game away from home this season.
Wichita State plays the winner of Northern Iowa-West Virginia on Wednesday.
South Carolina faces the loser for third place on Wednesday.
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