No. 2 Wichita State faces off against No. 7 Temple in quarterfinal matchup


Matt Crow

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall talks with Darral Willis Jr. Sunday against Cincinnati.

After redeeming themselves from a 14-point halftime deficit, No. 2 Wichita State split the regular-season series with No. 7 Temple.

Friday night the Shockers have the opportunity to not only break the season tie, but advance to the semifinals in their debut of the American Conference Tournament.

Despite Temples seven seed, Head Coach Gregg Marshall still thinks that The Owls can beat anybody they come in contact with.

“Temple is a team that beat Clemson, beat Auburn…They can beat anybody in the country,” Marshall said.

Marshall said Temple finishing seventh speaks to the depth of teams in The American.

“They finished seventh in our league. It’s amazing,” Marshall said. “It speaks to the depth of the league. That’s a tough quarterfinal opponent, for sure.”

In the first round of the tournament, Temple defeated No. 10 Tulane 82-77. Temple’s Obi Enechionyia said winning a close game will give them momentum into Friday’s matchup with The Shockers.

“It’s just a good win,” Enechionyia said. “It’s good to get a win in the first game, especially against a team like that.”

Enechionyia said the win over Tulane adds confidence and thinks they will not lack any confidence going up against Wichita State.

“Confidence-wise I think [winning] is going to help us going into tomorrow,” Enechionyia said. “We’re obviously facing a great team, but it’s one that we have beat before, so I don’t think confidence will be an issue.”

In Temple’s five-point victory over No. 10 Tulane, Enechionyia lead with 19 points, three blocks and three rebounds.

The Owls’ Shizz Alston added 17 points, eight assists and three rebounds and Josh Brown with 15 points, two steals and six rebounds.

Temple has a -0.1 scoring margin averaging 70 points per game and a -3.8 rebounding margin. The Owls average 10.8 turnovers per game with a 1.2 assist/turnover ratio.

Temple’s head coach, Fran Dunphy took pride in The Owls’ six turnovers in their last game, but knows the team has to be playing their peak when facing The Shockers.

“Knowing how good they are, we’re going to have to play our best basketball, no question about it,” Dunphy said. “We’re excited to have that opportunity tomorrow. Good basketball team, really


Tipoff is at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.