Tyson Etienne’s game-winning three-pointer secures win for Wichita State


Sean Marty / The Sunflower

Sophomore Tyson Etienne shows little emotion after drilling the game-winning three-pointer to seal WSU’s victory over Jacksonville State on Nov. 9 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Tyson Etienne released a stepback three-pointer with two seconds to play in Tuesday’s game against Jacksonville State, with the score tied at 57. His shot rolled off his fingertips and found the bottom of the net, pushing the Wichita State men’s basketball team ahead to its 60-57 victory.

With the game on the line, Etienne opted to shoot a contested jump shot from the WSU logo, which proved to be the difference in the win. Etienne said he remained confident due to the work he’s put in to be ready for these moments.

“I put myself in that position every day,” Etienne said. “At the end of my workouts, I put myself in those types of positions to make those types of shots. So, it really didn’t feel that it was a matter of the moment shot for me. I was confident that I’d make it because I’ve worked on it so many times.”

After Etienne nailed the game-winning shot, there was no celebration from the sophomore guard. With time still left on the clock, Etienne was focused on playing until the final buzzer sounded.

“At the end of the day this is business,” Etienne said. “We’re going to take each day at the time, each game at a time, but we also have to take it each play at the time. Yeah I made a great shot, that’s cool or whatever but there’s still two seconds on the clock. Anything can happen in 2.2 seconds and I didn’t want my team to think the final buzzer had sounded.”

Etienne’s ability to convert these types of shots doesn’t come as a surprise to his teammates. Junior Dexter Dennis said that he’s seen that caliber of shots on occasion from the reigning AAC Player of the Year.

“I’ve probably seen that shot hundreds of times by now,” Dennis said. “When I go out in practice, I try to call out his moves sometimes because you see it so much it’s routine.”

Etienne played a crucial role down the stretch, aside from just his game-winner. With the Shockers down 55-53, with 1:28 remaining, Etienne dished it off Joe Pleasant to draw back even. He then tied the game on the ensuing possession with a contested lay-in. 

Etienne finished with a team-high 16 points, on 5-14 shooting from the field. He also tallied four rebounds and three assists.

“I’m just grateful that we won the game, that’s my biggest thing, starting off the season on the right foot,” Etienne said. “I’m just glad we were able to stay together, a lot of young guys, nobody held their head, everybody stayed focused after halftime and I’m just glad we pulled the win out.”

Dennis was the only other Shocker to reach double figures, with 14 points to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman Kenny Pohto played impactful minutes off the bench with eight points and four rebounds.

WSU will be back in action on Saturday as they take on South Alabama at 3 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.