‘It’s long overdue’: Shockers pick up first AAC Tournament victory but fall short in the quarterfinals

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Selena Favela

Wichita State's Seraphine Bastin breaks past Southern Methodist's defense during the second half of the game at Charles Koch Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Wichita State’s 2019-20 women’s basketball season came to a close on Saturday as the Shockers fell to UCF in the quarterfinals of the AAC Championships.

Here’s how the Shockers fared in their two games in Connecticut:

Houston, W

In their first game against 10-seed Houston, the Shockers won 72-64. WSU came out on fire, in the first half, building up a 39-20 lead heading into the locker room. Although WSU struggled in the final 20 minutes of play, sophomore guard Seraphine Bastin’s late free throws helped clinch the victory.

For the game, WSU shot 45% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. WSU was also effective at the free throw line (14-15), which was crucial down the stretch.

The Shockers used a balanced scoring attack to great effect throughout the game, as all nine players who saw the court found their way into the scoring column. Sophomore Trajata Colbert was a major bright spot for WSU, tallying her second career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. 

WSU’s victory over Houston was the first in program history at the AAC Championships. Head Coach Keitha Adams said it was rewarding to reach that milestone.

“It’s long overdue,” Adams said.

UCF, L

In the quarterfinals matchup with UCF, the Shockers struggled to get anything going offensively as the Knights won 65-32. In the loss, Colbert scored a team-high 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

The Knights only led by two points at the end of the first quarter, but they were able to blow it open in the second quarter, taking a 28-14 lead into the locker room.

The second half was more of the same as WSU mustered just five points in the fourth quarter on the way to losing to UCF for the second time in just over a week.

For the game, WSU was never able to find a rhythm offensively, shooting 27% from the floor. They also turned the ball over 27 times. The 32 points scored by the Shockers was a season-low.

Despite the early exit, this has been one of the more successful seasons that the program has seen in recent years. For starters, WSU able to finish with a winning record, 16-15, for the first time since 2014-15. Also, this was the first time WSU has made the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament.

Since Adams arrived at Wichita State in 2017, there has been steady growth within the program — especially over the past couple of years. This year, the Shockers made strides in AAC play, finishing in seventh place with a 7-11 conference record.