WICHITA, Kan. - Using a 22-8 run to open the game, the Wichita State women's basketball team cruised to a 79-57 victory over Oral Roberts in the opening round of the WNIT Friday night at Charles Koch Arena and in the process tied the lead for most victories in a season in program history.
Wichita State (20-12) senior Haleigh Lankster and junior Jessica Diamond led the Shockers with 21 and 20 points respectively in a highly efficient game for both players.
Lankster was the star of the show in the Shockers first half domination of the visiting Eagles, scoring 18 of her 21 points, leading the Shockers into the halftime break with a comfortable 51-28 lead. In the half, Lankster connected on eight of her 10 shot attempts including two three pointers. She was forced to leave the game early in the second half with what appeared to be a right arm injury and did not return.
The Shockers stifling defense in the first half provided constant headaches for the Oral Roberts backcourt forcing the Eagles into 15 first half turnovers compared to the Shockers six.
In the second half Wichita State played more of a ball control style offense using up larger portions of the clock with a comfortable lead in hand. Oral Roberts never got closer than 14 in the second half. Diamond steadily controlled the ball in the half and made a multitude of pull up jump shots from just outside the key.
Oral Roberts (20-11) was led by Kevi Luper's 17 points. Jordan Pyle added 14 points and five rebounds.
Wichita State will now travel to Stillwater, Okla. to take on the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in a second round matchup Sunday at 2 p.m.