No. 9 Wichita State gives Houston a problem: an 18-point loss

No. 9 Wichita State defeated Houston 81-63.


Brian Hayes

Wichita State guard Landry Shamet and Wichita State guard Conner Frankamp walk off the courts after a three point basket from Frankamp during the first half against the Houston Cougars in Koch Arena.

No. 9 Wichita State wanted to make a statement in their home debut for The American.

They did just that with an 18-point win over Houston.

The Shockers took control over the game ever since the first possession when sophomore guard Landry Shamet cut to the basket for a layup.

Wichita State didn’t loosen up their reign for the entirety of the game.

In the first half, The Shockers made four back-to-back-to-back-to-back threes from Shamet, Morris, and two from Frankamp.

Frankamp said in moments like those, the fans play a big part in keeping the momentum going.

“The crowd plays a huge effect on us. They were great tonight,” Frankamp said. “We try to feed off of them…we try to play our best for them.”

Junior forward Markis McDuffie ignited the offense after going on a 7-0 run off of two threes and a free throw. He finished with 11 points—all made in the first half.

“I’m keeping the mindset of taking it one day at a time and stay poised,” McDuffie said.

Wichita State was able to get a 21-point lead by the half, and extended it to 30 the first few minutes into the second.

“Getting a lead like that feels good, especially for as good as a team as Houston is. We have a lot of respect for them,” Shamet said. “For us to put the foot on the gas early like that and make a statement I think that was huge.”

Houston has the leading scorer in The American, senior guard Rob Gray. Gray averages 19 points per game and has The American’s record for most points in a game (37).

Wichita State’s defense, specifically senior forward Zach Brown, was able to hold him to 13 points.

“I’m not sure how many times Gray only has 13 points,” Head Coach Gregg Marshall said. “I think Zach did a wonderful job of taking away things that he wanted to do.”

Going into the game, Houston’s scoring margin was 14—the closest margin to Wichita State’s The Shockers have seen all season.

Wichita State was able to hold Houston to 63 points and shooting 41 percent.

“To hold that team to 63 points when they’re averaging 80-something…that’s a very good basketball team they’ve got great shooters.”

Four Shockers finished with double-digits: Shamet, senior center Shaquille Morris, senior guard Conner Frankamp, and McDuffie.

Wichita State finished with 12 threes, just three shy from tying the all-time record of 15 in one game. Seven of the 12 players who saw playing time made at least one three.

Houston’s head coach, Kelvin Sampson was impressed with Wichita State’s home debut in The American.

“There was electricity in this building tonight. They were the best team we’ve played all season,” Sampson said.

“Wichita state is going to be good in anybody’s league.”

The Shockers host USF on Sunday. Tipoff is at 3 p.m. and will be broadcasted on CBS Sports.