WICHITA– Over 7,000 fans packed into Charles Koch Arena on Thursday night to watch Wichita State’s newly founded alumni team, the Aftershocks, take on Iowa United, a team made up of Iowa, Iowa State, and Drake alumni.
Early in the first quarter, the Aftershocks jumped out to a sizable 14-5 led, feeding off the home crowd’s energy and excitement. Iowa United quickly responded with an 8-2 run.
With a layup from Cyrus Tate with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, Iowa United tied the game at 21. Iowa United’s momentum continued at the start of the second quarter as they went on a 6-2 run.
The Aftershocks quickly responded and got the crowd back into the game. The WSU alumni ended the half on a 10-2 run going into halftime tied at 38 and with some momentum. At the break, Cleanthony Early led the Aftershocks with 11 points, while also tallying nine rebounds.
Despite that new found momentum, Iowa United came out of the half hot from beyond the arc and went into the fourth quarter up 60-56 after a back and forth 9 minutes of basketball.
The Aftershocks quickly regained their momentum and caught fire from behind the arc, after a pair of three-pointers from Conner Frankamp. Frankamp finished the game with 23 points including five three-pointers.
“I was able to feed off [the fans] and was able to knock some open shots down,” said Wichita native Conner Frankamp. “My teammates did a great job of finding me when I was open, so, credit to them.”
Both Shaq Morris and Cleanthony Early had slam dunks bringing the Shocker Faithful to their feet once again.
“It felt great to be back in the arena and play in front of all those crowds,” said former Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early. “It felt like I was back in my old days.”
By the time the Elam Ending came into effect, the Aftershocks had built up a ten point lead needing only eight points to get to the 85 points for victory.
“I think for us, we thought about subbing at that time,” said former Wichita State guard and Aftershockers Head Coach Karon Bradley. “What we talked about as coaches was staying with the flow and staying with the same group. We didn’t want to kill the momentum. Our thinking was keep it going the whole time. ”
Ultimately the Aftershocks’ strategy panned out, as Clevin Hannah sunk the game-winning free throws to give the Aftershocks an 85-76 victory.
During last night’s first two games, Wichita set a record for the biggest attendance in TBT history with a total of 7,184 attending the two games. The record more than doubled the previous one held by VCU last summer in Richmond.
“It was meaningful,” said Frankamp. “It was amazing to see all these guys out there, crowd wise. I thought we came out with a lot of energy and played hard. ”
With the win, the Aftershocks are set to play Sideline Cancer in the semifinals of the Wichita Regional on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
“We’re familiar with some of the guys they have on the team,” said Bradley. “They’re pro guys. We have to be ready to play come Saturday.”