A look back at Temple and the 11-point lead Wichita State let slip away

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Evan Pflugradt

Temple's Shizz Alston, Jr., drives the lane on Jan. 6, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena.

Jaime Echenique knows Wichita State played a good game.

The team did a lot of things right (despite a few too many turnovers), but even with an 11-point lead and 3:36 left in the game, that wasn’t enough to solidify a win against the Temple Owls.

“We did a good job, but we didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Echenique said Thursday ahead of Wichita State’s quarterfinal meeting with three-seed Temple in the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Wichita State was making shots and getting defensive stops. Then the Shockers hit a brick wall.

The Shockers turned a once 16-point lead into a four-point overtime loss.

Markis McDuffie called the collapse the “worst loss” of his four-year career.

The first half, however, belonged to the Shockers.

The team outscored the Owls 45-32 at halftime, and shot 43.3 percent from the field.

McDuffie was hot from the start, collecting 16 points, four rebounds, and an assist in the game’s first 20 minutes of play. He finished with a game-high 24 points, but his stat sheet was blemished with seven turnovers. The team as a hole committed 22 turnovers, one of its worst of the year. 

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Temple’s Shizz Alston Jr. takes a shot during the game at Koch Arena Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.

Every Shocker who played, had a turnover. Temple, defensively, was that good. Wichita State, in just its second conference game of the season, was still young and about to embark on its worst seven game stretch in a decade.

Gregg Marshall said at the conclusion of the game that “everyone had a hand in gaining the lead,” but also “had a hand in squandering the lead.”

Temple’s Shizz Alston, Jr. had a team-high 22 points, while Nate Pierre-Louis added 21 points of his own. Quinton Rose also tallied 17 points to go towards the Owls’ effort.

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Wichita State’s Erik Stevenson falls after being fouled during the game against Temple.

In that game, freshman big-men Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler and Morris Udeze played extended minutes of action down the stretch after starter Jaime Echenique went down with an injury. Sophomore Asbjørn Midtgaard did not play in the first contest with the Owls, and will help give WSU a different look this time around.

Tip-off for Friday’s game is set for 8 p.m. in Memphis.