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Early leads No. 24 Wichita State past N. Colorado

  • Associated Press
  • December 8, 2012 - 9:31 PM

WICHITA, Kan. - Cleanthony Early scored 16 points as No. 24 Wichita State got off to a fast start and cruised to an 80-54 win over Northern Colorado on Saturday night.

Nick Wiggins had 14 points, Demetric Williams added 12 and Malcolm Armstead 11 as the Shockers (9-0) had four score in double figures for the first time this season.

Derrick Barden scored 19 points for Northern Colorado (1-6), while Emmanuel Ado added 11.

Wichita State played without two injured starters — center Ehimen Orupke and guard Evan Wessel — but still matched the best start in school history.

The Shockers led 14-2 about 5 minutes into the game. Early scored nine points in the opening run, and then fellow junior college transfer Chadrick Lufile scored six straight points — matching his season high — to push the advantage to 20-5.

Northern Colorado pulled to 23-13 after consecutive layups by Barden with 10:17 to play in the half. However, the Bears didn't score again for nearly six minutes. Three-point shots by Williams and Armstead helped the Shockers take advantage of the Northern Colorado drought and extend the lead to 33-13.

Wiggins, another junior college transfer, hit a 3-pointer that gave the Shockers a 38-19 halftime lead.

Northern Colorado did cause Wichita State a little consternation in the second half. Shockers turnovers fueled the Bears' 6-0 run and convinced Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall to bench all five starters.

The Shockers' reserves steadied things, as a 3 by Wiggins and two short jumpers from Tekele Cotton pushed Wichita State's lead to 47-27 with 16:11 remaining. Northern Colorado got no closer than 17 after that.

All 10 Shockers who played logged between 18 and 22 minutes.

The Bears had allowed opponents to shot only 42 percent overall and 32 percent on 3s. Wichita State finished at 56 and 50 percent, respectively.

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