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Shocker: Wichita State downs No. 1 Gonzaga

10:36 PM, Mar 23, 2013   |    comments
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Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Living up to its nickname, Wichita State pulled off the shocker of Saturday's third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker each scored 16 points and led a blistering outside shooting display that propelled the Shockers to a 76-70 ousting of top-seeded Gonzaga in a thrilling West Region matchup.

Both players combined for eight of Wichita State's season-high 14 makes from 3-point range, with Baker knocking down 4-of-6 tries and Early going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. That marksmanship helped enable the ninth-seeded Shockers (28-8) to become the first Missouri Valley Conference member to reach the Sweet 16 since Northern Iowa delivered a similar upset in the 2010 Tournament, when the Panthers knocked off powerhouse Kansas as a nine seed in that year's second round.

Fred Van Vleet contributed 13 points off the bench and Carl Hall had 10 points for Wichita State, which now heads to Los Angeles to await the winner of Sunday's game between Ole Miss and La Salle in Thursday's Regional semifinal.

Gonzaga (32-3) entered the contest with a No. 1 national ranking and a 15-game win streak, but fell in the round of 32 for the fourth consecutive year after struggling to a 35.6 percent shooting rate against Wichita State's tight defense.

West Coast Conference Player of the Year Kelly Olynyk finished with a game- high 26 points, but made good on only 8-of-22 field goal attempts. Elias Harris, Gonzaga's second-leading scorer, was just 2-of-8 from the floor in a disappointing 12-point effort.

The Sports Network

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