Shockers looking to get redemption in semifinal matchup with Houston


Matt Crow

Wichita State guard Landry Shamet looks on during the Shockers victory over Temple in the American Conference Tournament quarter-finals.

Advancing to the semifinals gave No. 2 Wichita State an opportunity to redeem themselves from a double-digit loss.

With sharing a second place finish in the regular season but receiving the three seed, No. 3 Houston also has a chip on their shoulder.

When it comes to Wichita State’s connection with Houston, it is similar to Wichita State and Temple. The Shockers split the regular-season series with both teams.

Instead of having the leg up with the most recent win like Wichita State had with Temple, The Shockers lost their last game with The Cougars by 14 points.

“We’re ready for that the same way Temple was ready for us,” junior forward Markis McDuffie said. “We’re one and one, we’re gonna want them back the way they beat us the last time.

“We’re gonna go out there and play as hard as they do.”

In their last meeting with Houston, Wichita State only had one player with double-digit points which was senior center Shaquille Morris with 12. The second-leading scorer was senior guard Conner Frankamp with nine points.

The Cougars were able to lock down the Shockers’ offense with their relentless double-team defense. Houston was able to hold Wichita State to shooting 33 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three.

The American’s leading scorer, Rob Gray dropped 24 points, four assists, and three rebounds in the last meeting with The Cougars. In the first meeting between the two, The Shockers were able to hold Gray to just 13 points.

In Houston’s 28-point quarterfinal win over UCF, five Cougars finished with double-digit points. Gal Robinson, Jr. was the leading scorer with 18, with Gray right behind finishing with 17.

Almost all of Houston’s points came from inside with The Cougars making only four of their 16 three-point attempts. Despite shooting 25 percent from behind the arc, Houston shot 58 percent overall.

Houston averages 78.2 points per game while holding opponents to an average of 64.9 points per game. The Cougars have a +7.8 rebounding margin and a 1.2 assist/turnover ratio.

If the Shockers can pull out with the win, they will head to the championship against the winner of the Memphis/Cincinnati game which tips off at 12 p.m. CT.

The Wichita State/Houston rematch tips off at 2:30 CT and will be broadcasted on CBS.