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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Another 10-point lead squandered; men’s basketball loses vs Temple in overtime

Ronnie+DeGray+III+holds+onto+the+ball+as+he+collides+with+the+Tulsa+defense+on+Feb.+21.
Kristy Mace
Ronnie DeGray III holds onto the ball as he collides with the Tulsa defense on Feb. 21.

A 10-point halftime lead led to a nervy second half and overtime and in the end, Wichita State men’s basketball came up short at home on Sunday afternoon against Temple, 72-66.

The Shockers dropped to 3-12 in the American Athletic Conference and 11-16 overall. Temple, having swept Wichita State this season, ties them in the AAC standings, also at 3-12.

Junior guard Bijan Cortes threw two alley-oops to junior center Quincy Ballard to open the game for the Shockers. Wichita State had 12 of its first 15 points come in the paint.

Temple came out of the gate cold, shooting only 33% from the field in the opening 10 minutes; however, the game remained even due in part to four Wichita State turnovers.

The Owls took their first lead of the game after a 3-pointer with 7:32 left in the half, but the Shockers answered with a 15-4 run to close out the half, reclaiming the lead, 37-27.

It took the Shockers nearly four minutes to score its first points of the second half as both teams traded missed field goals. Redshirt junior guard Colby Rogers finally delivered a 3-pointer with 16:12 to give the Shockers a 10 point lead, 40-30.

After the Rogers three, the Shockers went cold again, not hitting a shot for the next five minutes. Similarly, Temple couldn’t hit shots, going 3/16 to open the half.

“I thought we had quality shots,” Wichita State head coach Paul Mills said. “We’re able to get things around the rim … but that ball would just not fall down and go in.”

The Owls chipped away at the Wichita State lead, eventually tying the game at 43 with 10:04 remaining. That’s when the Shocker offense woke up again, going on a 8-4 run to regain the lead.

Temple tied the game again at 58 with 2:26 left with a 3-pointer. After a Wichita State timeout, junior guard Xavier Bell responded with a three of his own as the shot clock expired.

Temple made a free throw on the next possession. On Wichita State’s turn, Rogers missed a layup, and after a scramble for the loose ball, Temple gained possession and tied the game again with a layup in transition.

As the buzzer sounded in regulation, junior forward Ronnie DeGray III missed a spinning shot, sending the game to overtime tied at 61.

In the extra period, Temple missed consecutive free throws but retained the ball after junior guard Harlond Beverly was out of bounds on the rebound. The Owls converted the extra possession, getting a basket and-one to take the lead, 66-63.

With less than a minute left in overtime and leading, 68-66, Temple missed a shot but recovered the loose ball to retain possession. After a timeout, Temple missed another shot and got the offensive board again, putting in the second-chance bucket to take a four-point lead with 20 seconds left.

Junior forward Kenny Pohto missed a shot in the paint and Temple recovered the rebound, wrapping up the Owls’ win.

The Shockers shot 28% from the field in the second half as shots rimmed out or fell short, producing numerous groans from the Charles Koch Arena crowd. They were also crushed on the boards, as Temple picked up 22 offensive rebounds in the game.

Mills said the Shockers were not physical enough, but gave credit to the Temple players for getting that many offensive rebounds.

“They were fierce on the glass,” Mills said. “This is a game that honors toughness.”

Missed free throws was another factor in the loss, as Wichita State made 12/21, including five missed shots from Pohto.

Bell was one of the few bright spots for Wichita State, with 17 points off the bench. Ballard also contributed with 10 points in 18 minutes. Rogers didn’t shoot well, going 2/14 from the field and 1/5 from three.

Bell said his message to the team post-game was that they still have opportunities.

“We still have three games left … but then we have a conference tournament coming up as well,” Bell said. “We just need to stick together and anything can happen.”

The Shockers take a road trip to take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Tipoff  is scheduled for 7 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.
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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