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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Men’s basketball blows 14-point lead against Memphis

Xavier+Bell+looks+to+pass+the+ball+to+a+Wichita+State+teammate+during+the+game+against+Southern+Methodist+University+on+Jan.+28.
Garima Thapa
Xavier Bell looks to pass the ball to a Wichita State teammate during the game against Southern Methodist University on Jan. 28.

In a game script that has been all too familiar for the Wichita State men’s basketball team this season, the Shockers built up a big lead but failed to close the game down the stretch, falling on the road to Memphis on Saturday afternoon, 65-63.

Wichita State is now 1-8 in the conference and 9-13 overall.

Memphis quelled a four-game losing streak that began after their win against the Shockers in Charles Koch Arena on Jan. 14, moving them to 5-4 in conference play.

Wichita State scored the first eight points of the game. While Memphis attempted to close the gap, the Shockers never trailed in the first half despite shooting 30% from the field, leading 30-24 with a strong defensive effort.

Midway through the second half, Wichita State went on a 14-3 run and later ballooned their lead to 54-40 with 7:55 left in the game; however, it quickly unraveled for the Shockers as Memphis’ junior forward David Jones began to take over the game.

Jones tied the game at 58 with a 3-pointer that electrified the Tigers home crowd. A jumper from redshirt junior guard Colby Rogers led to a steal and transition dunk from redshirt junior guard Harlond Beverly that put the Shockers back up by four.

After two Jones free throws, Beverly missed a layup, and on their trip down the court, Memphis swished a deep three that gave the Tigers the lead for the first time all game.

Rogers missed a jumper, but junior forward Ronnie DeGray III fought for the rebound and got sent to the line. He hit one of two shots, and with two seconds left and a tie game, Jones drilled the dagger jumper that sealed the win for Memphis.

Rogers shot excellently from behind the arc, draining five of eight 3-pointers en route to a 19-point game. DeGray III had a season-high with 12 points off the bench.

Beverly had a miserable shooting night at 3/14, but led the Shockers in rebounds with 10. The Shockers committed a season-low of five turnovers and forced 12 from the Tigers, which kept them in the game even when the shots did not fall.

The Shockers will attempt to turn around their second-half woes on Wednesday, Feb. 7, when the University of Texas at San Antonio visits Charles Koch Arena for the first time as a conference opponent. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Garima Thapa, Photographer
Garima Thapa is a second-year photographer for The Sunflower.

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