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WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State went to the Final Four last year, yet there was something missing for that team: a Missouri Valley Conference championship. This season the Shockers were focused on not letting that happen. So after No. 3 Wichita State routed Drake 83-54 Saturday night behind Tekele Cottons 21 points and Darius Carters 15, the Shockers relished cutting down the nets to celebrate a conference title that seemed like a foregone conclusion some time ago. "It means a lot, it really does," said point guard Fred VanVleet, who had 15 points and six assists. "Its something we didnt do last year. Its special, and we appreciate it. But, at the same time, we have more goals ahead of us." Wichita State (29-0, 16-0 Missouri Valley) is the first team to start 29-0 since Illinois in 2004-05 and is two wins away from a perfect regular season. The Shockers cruised despite leading scorer Cleanthony Early being held to a season-low three points and Ron Baker only scoring six, less than half his season average. Daddy Ugbede scored 14 points, Jordan Daniels had 13 and Aaron Hawley 10 for Drake (14-14, 5-11), which had more turnovers (20) than field goals (18). Drake coach Ray Giacoletti can compare this seasons Wichita State team to that of a year ago. He was an assistant at Gonzaga last season, and the top-seeded Bulldogs lost to the Shockers in the NCAA Tournament. "Its a much better basketball team now than it was at that time," Giacoletti said. "Ive been doing this 29 years and have been around a lot of great teams that try to outscore you and out-talent you. This team tries to out-tough you in every single facet and really doesnt care about the other stuff." That toughness was flaunted in a 31-4 run Wichita State wrapped around halftime, an onslaught so complete that the Shockers completed the 14-1 portion to start the second half without Drake even attempting a field goal. After trailing early, the Bulldogs held the Shockers scoreless for over 3 minutes, going on a 9-0 run capped by Hawleys backdoor layup for a 15-14 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first half. To make matters worse for Wichita State, Early was on the bench with two fouls and Baker soon joined him with his second. But Wichita State started the game-turning run behind Carter, a reserve who scored four straight before the Shockers started a parade of baskets at the rim. "I thought Darius gave us a huge lift tonight," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. "He was really active." VanVleet and Cotton had layups. Cotton and Nick Wiggins had back-to-back slams. VanVleets 3-pointer helped Wichita State lead 31-18 at halftime. The Shockers roll only gained momentum to start the second half. After Drakes Seth VanDeest made a free throw, Wichita State scored 14 straight. Cotton and Carter converted three-point plays to get it started and Carter had another slam. And Kadeem Coleby and VanVleet put back offensive rebounds, bringing roars from the crowd. The Shockers led 45-19 with 16:35 remaining, and Drake seemed befuddled. Much of that had to do with Cotton, who had seven steals in the game. "Was there two Tekele Cottons out there?" Marshall asked, joking. "It sure seemed like it." Cotton said his approach was simple. "I just try to get in position where they dont see me," he said. "Sometimes I can get in the passing lanes and get it. Sometimes, I dont." Hawley ended the run with a 3-pointer 15 seconds later, the Bulldogs first shot attempt of the half. After that, the Shockers could sub liberally and soon start celebrating an outright Missouri Valley title, actually clinched earlier in the day when Indiana State lost. "Hopefully," Marshall said, "this isnt our only championship." Marco Asensio Jersey . "Well over 50 (per cent)," coach Claude Noel said Tuesday after practice, where the Jets were looking at ways to cut down the scoring chances theyve been giving away. Raphael Varane Jersey .com) - The Atlanta Hawks have stepped up to every challenge during their 14-game winning streak and will face another daunting task Friday with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in town. http://www.realmadridfcprohop.us/. Ortiz hit a pair of two-run homers, including his 400th shot in a Red Sox uniform, and drove in a career high-tying six runs to power Boston past the Houston Astros 10-7 on Saturday night. Luca Zidane Jersey . - Mike Magee converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span of the first half and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Sunday. Borja Mayoral Jersey .com) - Scott Parel carded a 5-under 65 on Thursday and he grabbed a 1-stroke lead after one round of the season-opening Panama Claro Championship.TORONTO – Around the table sat the future Maple Leafs prospect and his family. One major decision loomed at the time for Andrew MacWilliam, one that would decide his future in many ways. Drafted by the Spokane Chiefs, the teenage defenceman had the option of joining the Western League club as a 16-year-old. Then there was college, the route his father, Alex, preferred – ever the believer in the value of a degree – and the course that would offer a more lenient curve of development. "I never watched college hockey growing up," MacWilliam, a Calgary native said. "Being from western Canada you dont see it much." It took a trip down to Denver, Colorado for the West regional of the 2007 NCAA tournament, a tour of the pristine facilities there and an opportunity to watch Jonathan Toews and Kyle Okposo before a choice was made. Recruited by head coach Dave Hakstol, MacWilliam opted for the hockey-rich program at the University of North Dakota, where he spent the past four seasons before arriving at Leafs training camp this fall. "Probably the best decision of my life so far," MacWilliam stated sincerely of choosing college, where he was voted captain by teammates last year. "I definitely would recommend it to any young guys deciding what route theyre going to take." Selected with the 188th overall pick in the 2008 Draft from the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior League – where he played alongside Joe Colborne – MacWilliam has climbed slow and steady to the edge of the NHL. Now a mature 23-years-old and a thick 230 pounds, the 6-foot-2 defender has definite darkhorse potential for the Leafs this season. A combative protect-the-house type with a penchant for rough play, MacWilliam has offered a positive impression to the Leafs brass and coaching staff in the first week of camp. While still a long-shot to make the NHL club at the outset and more likely pegged to join Steve Spott and the Marlies initially, MacWilliam has not looked out of place in the early going. "I just wanted to show what I can do," he said of expectations coming into camp. "I obviously want to make it a tough decision for the coaching staff. I know theres a lot of numbers [on defence] already up top, but I just wanted to come in and show what I can do and how I can play." MacWilliam has no illusions about his role. His job, quite simply, is to protect the house. He projects as a defender in the Mark Fraser mold, though he probably moves the puck more efficiently than his NHL counterpart and owns better foot speed.dddddddddddd Because he remained at North Dakota for the full freight of four years – where he also played alongside former Leaf Matt Frattin – MacWilliam also appears physically ready to play at the next level. At one point in practice on Wednesday, he capably battled for net-front position with Joffrey Lupul, eventually ousting the All-Star to the ice. MacWilliam attributes his solid frame to years of lifting weights at school – where they play in and around 40 games – adding 15 pounds from the point of his freshman year. "Just that extra little oomph I guess is just huge at this level," said MacWilliam, who played in two games with the Marlies at the end of last season. "It helps you out in the net front and in the corners, being able to handle a mans game." Named to the Western College Hockey Associations all-academic team three years straight, MacWilliam also found time to focus his efforts on foot speed, improving his quickness laterally over his junior and senior seasons. Maybe most important to the college experience though was the reward of a degree, which he earned in business management. "Youre not going to play hockey your whole life right," he observed with the savvy of someone far beyond his years. "Youre not guaranteed anything as far as a pro career. Having that to fall back on is something that I take a lot of pride in and down the road will have some use for me." Whether he makes the jump now to the NHL is a question that will decide itself in the coming days of camp. The Leafs have a number of more experienced defenders on the roster and one in Cody Franson who remains unsigned. All of which makes an initial stint with the Leafs unlikely. But if MacWilliam demonstrates continued readiness and progression in the coming two weeks he could just sneak onto the roster or at the very least, provide the club with options to play with on the back-end. "Its been a long five years," MacWilliam concluded of the process that saw him drafted and now on the verge of the NHL. "But they say its not about the destination, its the journey. "The whole process, along the whole way of my career, we havent taken things too fast, we just take it slow and it hasnt hurt me yet." Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys White NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Cheap Jerseys From China ' ' '


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