CONWAY, S.C. – Behind a career-high 20 points from Xavier Bell, Wichita State won its opening game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational, 86-77, over Coastal Carolina Thursday night.
Wichita State (4-0) advances to the Myrtle Beach Invitational semifinals where they will face the winner of Furman and Liberty Friday at 8 p.m. CDT on ESPNU. The Shockers are 4-0 for the 25th time in school history.
Bell went for a career-high 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while also grabbing seven boards and dishing five dimes. His seven rebounds were also a career best and his five assists tied a career high.
In total, five Shockers finished in double figures. Kenny Pohto scored all 16 of his points after halftime to go with eight rebounds. Dalen Ridgnal poured in 15 off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting and 3-of-6 from long range. Colby Rogers dished out a career-high six assists to go with 15 points.
Harlond Beverly chipped in 10.
The Shockers committed only seven turnovers and knocked down a season-high 12 three pointers. Overall, Wichita State shot 45.1 percent from the floor. Coastal Carolina shot 43 percent for the game, and went 10-for-26 from three-point range.
Wichita State scored the game's first seven points only to see Coastal Carolina respond with its own 12-2 run to grab a 12-9 lead 5:42 into the game. With the Chanticleers leading 15-14, Ridgnal ignited the Shocker offense with five straight points on a three-pointer and putback dunk.
Ridgnal would cash in on two more triples in the first half on the way to 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
The first half was powered by Bell and Ridgnal, as the duo combined for 25 of the team's 43 first half points. Wichita State would grab a 43-39 lead after 20 minutes.
After a sluggish, scoreless first half, Pohto came out firing. He scored 12 points in the first 6:00 minutes to help Wichita State turn a four-point halftime lead into a 14-point lead with 13:19 to go.
Coastal Carolina, playing on its home court, would not go away. In less than 4:00 minutes of game clock, the Chanticleers pulled with three, 66-63. Over the next three minutes, the two teams traded buckets, keeping the margin at four until Rogers dropped two straight jumpers.