No. 6 UH falls to Wichita State in action-packed game
No. 6 Houston fell to Wichita State 68-63 in an upset on the road, handing the Cougars their third loss on the season Thursday night at the Charles Koch Arena.
Both teams came out physical and started off sluggish on offense as UH and Wichita State shoot in the 30s from the field through the first six minutes and combined for eight turnovers.
UH heated up first, with nine of the first 12 shots for the Cougars coming from three and got up to shooting 50 percent as a team, leading to a 12-0 run by the Cougars, putting them up 20-9 early.
Wichita State, however, came roaring back late in the first half, cutting the deficit to 34-33 by halftime off an 11-2 run led by sophomore guard Tyson Etienne and guard Ricky Council IV, which sparked the Shockers’ offense.
The surprise return of Fabian White Jr. came in late in the first half. He had his first bucket in the middle of the first half.
Wichita State held the advantage by a long shot from the free-throw line, where they shot nine for 11, while Houston had zero attempts through the first half.
The Shockers kept it moving in the second half, burying three 3-pointers to start the half and opened up with an 11-0 start to take the lead and run it up to a 44-34 Wichita State lead by the time of the Cougars’ first timeout.
Tensions ran high and technical fouls were distributed after DeJon Jerreau knocked down a three for UH’s first bucket of the second half, though neither team would be awarded free-throws after the altercation.
UH brought it back and traded makes for the majority of the second half, keeping it within seven for the most part but cut it to two with under a minute to go.
Wichita State made a huge layup with just 29 seconds left to put it back to four, then Quinten Grimes banked in a clutch three to bring it back to one with 19 to play.
After a foul and a missed Etienne free-throw and then a steal off the transition by Wichita, UH’s Justin Gorham committed a flagrant II foul that resulted in two free-throws and an automatic ejection for Gorham and Wichita State snuck out the game.
Jarreau led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points and Grimes had 13 points and three rebounds to add.