Houston flatlines Wichita State, marks worst loss in Gregg Marshall era

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Marshall Sunner

Houston's DeJon Jarreau motions to the Wichita State student section after the final buzzer on Jan. 18, 2020 inside Charles Koch Arena.

During last year’s rough patch and a team full of freshmen, Gregg Marshall and the Shockers suffered the worst loss by point margin in the “Marshall Era,” losing by 32 points to Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Now, with a team that has more experience, the Shockers have now set a new record with a 33 point loss to Houston on Sunday in the Fertitta Center.

Wichita State could do no right in the blowout, shooting a second-worst season-low 26.4% from the field (14-53) and a season-low 8.3% from three-point range (2-24). They were out-rebounded by 14 (44-30) and had just four assists on their 14 made baskets. The Cougars were also able to turn the Shockers over 12 times, accounting for 18 of their 76 points. The Shockers had just five points off of 10 Houston turnovers. As for the Cougars, they shot a blistering 50% (29-58) from the field and knocked down seven of their 21 threes (33%). The Cougars also had six steals and six blocks.

The emotions were running high in the game for Marshall and company. With 6:18 left in the first half, Houston guard Caleb Mills converted a three-point play. All Marshall could do was smile – that’s how the game was going with the Shockers down 27-12. At the halftime break, the margin wouldn’t get much better as they were losing 38-18. It was the worst halftime deficit the team has faced since Jan. 2008 against Bradley. The ESPN commentators called it a “feverish-nightmare” for WSU.

Marshall decided to keep his team inside the locker room for the full 15-minute halftime period as well. Players and coaches had to hustle onto the court in order to get in the game in time and the players received no time to warmup. The Shockers went on to be outscored 38-25 in the final period, losing the game 76-43. It’s the least amount of points scored in a game since the game at South Florida last season, where the team scored a “Marshall Era” low 41 points.

Individually, the Shockers were led by sophomore combo guard Dexter Dennis who tallied 10 points on 4-11 shooting. He also had six rebounds. No other Shocker had more than seven points. For the Cougars, five different players recorded double-figure points (Marcus Sasser 11, Nate Hinton 10, Quentin Grimes 14, Caleb Mills 11, DeJon Jarreau 12). Combined, the five of them would’ve taken down the Shockers by 15 points. At halftime, Grimes and Jarreau had the same amount of points as the entire WSU team.

The Shockers never led in the game.

Up next, WSU will travel to play Central Florida on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m.