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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Heartbreak in overtime: Men’s basketball loses against FAU

Kristy Mace
Bijan Cortes prepares to pass the ball to a teammate during the game against UTSA on Feb. 7.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Wichita State men’s basketball was bested by Florida Atlantic in overtime, 95-82. After ending 74-74 in regulation, the Owls crushed the Shockers with an early six points in the extra period to coast the rest of the game. 

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to figure out how to close out games,” junior guard Xavier Bell said.

Wichita State now sits 10-14 overall and 2-9 in conference play. 

The Shockers came onto the court with energy following their last win against UTSA. Wichita State made eight of its first 12 field goal attempts to take a 21-16 lead. 

The Shockers created their largest lead of the night, 26-20, but the Owls would respond with a 7-0 run to take the lead, 27-26. 

Florida Atlantic held onto the lead going into halftime, 38-36, despite only shooting 38% from the field compared to Wichita State’s 58%. 

The Owls came out swinging in the second half, furthering their lead 55-48, which prompted a Wichita State timeout. 

A shot from redshirt junior Colby Rogers put the Shockers just two points from tying the game, but the Owls responded with a 9-2 run to snatch its largest lead of the day, 68-59, at the 10:17 mark. 

Following a Florida Atlantic dry spell, Wichita State produced a 7-0 run to make it a two-point game, 68-66 with four minutes to go

In a play where the shot clock appeared to expire, Wichita State players stopped playing while the Owls got an uncontested layup. The Shockers stopped playing to celebrate with fans after hearing the buzzer. 

Bell said the shock-clock violation caused the momentum to shift, but the team has to stay aware on the court. 

“Stuff hasn’t gone our way from time to time, and it is what it is, but we can’t really control that,” Bell said. “We control how we’re reacting to the situation and continue to play.”

Head coach Paul Mills rivaled Bell’s statement, saying, “Sometimes, it’s things you can’t even control.”

“That’s a shot clock violation,” Mills said. “Officials miss calls. Don’t know that you can miss that one. You blow your whistle, and you go back and review it.”

Following the violation, junior center Quincy Ballard fouled Florida Atlantic’s Bryan Greenlee inside the paint, giving the Owls a pair of free throws to take back the lead, 74-72. 

The next offensive effort saw Bell at the free throw line with two free throws, which he made to tie the game 74-74 with 17 seconds of regulation left. 

The Owls tried to win it all with the ball on their court but a turnover gave the Shockers some hope. Pohto would attempt to win the game from beyond the arc as time expired, but ultimately fell short, sending the game into overtime. 

Florida Atlantic had no mercy going into overtime, scoring six uncontested points in the first minute of play, including a basket right from the tipoff.

Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May said that he understands what Wichita State is going through after his team was in the same situation of failing to close games just a few seasons ago. 

“This Wichita State team is a little bit snake-bitten in these close games,” May said. 

Up next, Wichita State will seek redemption on the road against East Carolina on Thursday, Feb. 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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