Shockers fall to 0-2 in AAC play with loss to Houston


Courtesy of Sean Thomas / The Cougar

Craig Porter Jr. dribbles the ball up the court during the game against Houston on Jan. 8 inside the Fertitta Center.

Wichita State fell to Houston, 76-66 on Saturday, dropping to 0-2 in conference play for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

The Shockers’ struggles in Houston continued today , where they haven’t won since 1960. Houston also won its fifth straight at home over WSU since joining the American in 2017.

Houston opened up the game on an 8-0 run but the Shockers settled in and cut the deficit to two points, following jump shots from Tyson Etienne and Joe Pleasant. The rest of the first half was back-and-forth, with the Cougars taking a five-point lead after 20 minutes of play. 

Houston widened its advantage to 15 points just past the midway point of the second half, but the Shockers once again showed some fight. A 9-0 scoring run cut the deficit down to six points but that was the closest WSU would get. Houston went on to close out the game and convert the necessary free throws.

The Cougars dominated WSU on the glass, out rebounding them by five. Houston also scored 38 points in paint, along with 19 second chance points. 

The Shockers only turned the ball over 14 times against Houston’s daunting defense, but the Cougars made them pay. 26 of Houston’s 76 points came off turnovers. In comparison, the Shockers only scored 10 points off turnovers.

The Shockers shot 40.4% from the field, but went 6-23 (26.1%) from beyond the arc. Tyson Etienne and Dexter Dennis were the only Shockers to reach double figures but the pair went 8-26 from the field. Monzy Jackson provided some depth off the bench with nine points and eight rebounds, while Ricky Council IV chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.

On the other side of things, Houston had its way offensively, shooting 45% from the field and 29% from downtown. Josh Carlton finished with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Up next, the Shockers return home for a matchup with Tulane on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.