Shockers beat Tulsa, continue AAC climb

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Shockers beat Tulsa, continue AAC climb

Markis McDuffie celebrates a made three-pointer against Tulsa on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

Markis McDuffie celebrates a made three-pointer against Tulsa on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

Joseph Barringhaus

Markis McDuffie celebrates a made three-pointer against Tulsa on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Markis McDuffie celebrates a made three-pointer against Tulsa on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State continues to climb the standings in the American Athletic Conference.

The Shockers beat Tulsa on Saturday, continuing their two-game winning streak, 79-68.

Shocker freshman Dexter Dennis put an exclamation point on the win, intercepting a pass, and flushing a dunk with 19 seconds left in play. The game was over. The Shockers had a nine-point lead. Dexter could have dribbled out the clock. But that when you’ve struggled in the ways that the Shockers have this season, freshmen like Dennis use every opportunity to savor the positive moments.

Markis McDuffie scored a game-high 27 points, scoring 14 in the first half. He added seven rebounds.

The Shockers let a four-point halftime lead slip away as Tulsa went on an early run. With under 11 minutes left in play, WSU trailed by nine points.

“I was going to do whatever it takes,” McDuffie said, telling his teammates “we aren’t losing this game.”

“He (McDuffie) grabbed them by the bootstraps and said ‘we aren’t going to lose this game,’” Marshall said of his lone four-year senior. “Then he made sure with some tremendous plays, offensive rebounds, and some defensive stops.”

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State center Asbjørn Midtgaard sits on the ground after getting elbowed in the face during the game against Tulsa on Feb. 2, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. Midtgaard didn’t return to the game. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

In the midst of the Shockers’ comeback bid, sophomore 7-footer Asbjørn Midtgaard hit the deck. Clutching his head, Midtgaard was slow to get up. He was immediately taken to the locker room and did not return to the bench for the remainder of play.

Jaime Echenique scored 16 points in the front-court, breaking a six-game spell where he’s failed to post more than six points.

The Shockers held the Golden Hurricane scoreless for the final 2:10 of the game and forced Tulsa to 18 turnovers.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State guard Jamarius Burton yells towards guard Dexter Dennis after a point is scored during the game against Tulsa on Feb. 2, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

“We finally started to pursue the basketball like we have in the past around here,” Marshall said. 

Dennis had a complete game for WSU, posting 11 points, four rebounds, three steals, and an assist.

“We are taking it one day at a time,” Marshall said. “We are going to enjoy this victory.”

Up next, WSU will next travel to East Carolina on Wednesday in search of the team’s first road win.

Joseph Barringhaus
Tulsa forward Jeriah Horne makes a layup during the game against Wichita State on Feb. 2, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).