WICHITA, Kan. - Senior guard Joe Ragland netted a career-high 31 points as Wichita State dismantled No. 18 UNLV Rebels, 89-70, in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge Sunday afternoon at Charles Koch Arena in front of 10,466 fans.
The win marked the first time Wichita State had beaten a ranked non-conference opponent since it took down No. 16 Texas Tech, 85-83, on December 19, 2009. It was the first meeting between the Shockers and UNLV since January 10, 1979. The Shockers are now 2-1 in the three matchups against UNLV.
Wichita State (5-2), was in control most of the game in the third-ever meeting against UNLV on the hardwood, handing the Runnin' Rebels (8-1), their first loss of the season. It was also the first loss suffered by UNLV coach Dave Rice, while at the helm of his alma mater. Rice was a member of the 1990 national championship team.
Ragland was one of four Shocker players to hit double-digits, as guard Toure' Murry, and big men Carl Hall and Garrett Stutz followed suit. Hall finished with 17, Stutz with 13 and Murry with 11 to go along with his team-high eight assists. Ragland and David Kyles led the Shockers with five rebounds apiece.
UNLV also had four players hit double figures, led by guard Chace Stanback's 16 points. Brice Massamba and Mike Moser combined for 23 points and nine boards on the inside, to go along with 10 points from Justin Hawkins. For the first time in nine games, Runnin' Rebels guard Oscar Bellfied failed to hit double digits scoring. Bellfied finished the game with six points and six assists.
The Shockers' 89 points were the most UNLV had given up to date, much to do with Wichita State hitting 12-of-23 from the arc, including eight-of-nine off the hand of Ragland, one short of the Shocker record for three's made in a single game. Thanks to 60 percent shooting in the first half, Wichita State build a 47-32 lead at the break.
The first half momentum spelled much of the same for the Shockers in the final 20 minutes, as Wichita State hit clutch baskets from all over the court, resulting in 15-of-26 from the field, and ending the game shooting just over 59 percent from the floor.
Next up for the Shockers is a road test at Tulsa on Wednesday evening. The game can be seen on Kansas-22