CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Oscar Tshiebwe scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 75-63 win over Wichita State on Wednesday night in the championship game of the Cancun Classic.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 13 points for the Mountaineers (6-0), who pulled away in the second half.
Erik Stevenson led the Shockers (6-1) with 22 points. Tyson Etienne added 12 points and Jaime Echenique had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Shockers missed five shots and had two turnovers in a 3-minute, 14-second span that West Virginia turned into a 10-1 run early in the second half. When Miles McBride had back-to-back baskets, the Mountaineers led 48-36 with 13:13 to play. The West Virginia defense wouldn’t let Wichita State string anything together to challenge.
Wichita State shot 45% in the second half and limited the Shockers to 2-of-12 shooting behind the arc and 33% overall.
Tshiebwe scored 10 points and the Mountaineers took a 31-28 lead at halftime despite going 4 of 11 from the foul line and committing eight turnovers. They limited the Shockers to 28% shooting and had a 27-15 rebounding advantage, 10-4 on the offensive end.
Wichita State shot 31% and was outrebound 48-31. West Virginia finished 18 of 30 from the foul line.
Wichita State: A big win over South Carolina in the first game and a tough battle with hard-nosed West Virginia in the championship game showed the Shockers are capable of playing with Power 5 teams. The 2013 team won the Cancun Challenge on its way to the Final Four.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers claimed the title by beating solid mid-major opponents, Northern Iowa and Wichita State. It’s not exactly the most powerful gauntlet but the Panthers and Shockers are traditionally tough and were undefeated at the time. And West Virginia gets a title and remains undefeated.
Wichita State is off until Dec. 5 when Central Arkansas visits.
West Virginia goes home to meet Rhode Island on Sunday.
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