WICHITA -- Behind a sellout crowd and the pre-game celebration of the senior class the Wichita State University men's basketball team gave the Shocker faithful a dramatic win to close out the 2010-11 home slate as the Shockers defeated Creighton 67-65 Wednesday night.
The victory over Creighton gives the Shockers the first season series sweep of the Jays since the 1987-88 season. Wichita State now stands at 23-6 overall on the season and 13-3 in the Missouri Valley. Creighton falls to 17-13, 9-8 in the conference.
J.T. Durley led all scorers with 16 points. Joe Ragland had 14 points and a career-high nine assists while Gabe Blair came off the bench to grab 10 boards.
Antonio Young paced the Jays with 15 points in a reserve role while Doug McDermott had 11 points.
With just under three minutes remaining (2:51) the Shockers saw a two-point lead vanish as Gregory Echenique hit both attempts from the charity stripe to tie the contest at 63. Toure' Murry and the Shockers responded as the junior guard was able to draw contact and answer Echenique with a pair of free-throws to give WSU the lead back (2:39).
Neither team was able to score in the next 1:28 until Echenique hit a jumper just inside the paint to again tie the game for the 16th time. Wichita State had a missed opportunity on their end and then Creighton missed the front end of a 1-and-1 attempt to give the Shockers the ball with thirty seconds remaining. WSU worked the clock down to the final few seconds where Ragland was able to find Ellis down in the paint for the contested layup that the senior forward was able to drop in for the eventual game winner. Creighton launched a final attempt as time expired only to see it miss the mark.
Ellis finished with eight points and two rebounds.
Eight of the last 13 games between the two teams being decided by three points or less.
Echenique notched 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
Creighton jumped out to an early lead in the first half as the Jays held a five point lead (9-4) with only three minutes off the clock. McDermott had five of the nine points for CU while Young added another three points as the Jays began to take advantage of early WSU fouls.
The Shockers mounted a comeback six minutes into the contest as Ragland and Durley combined for nine of Wichita State's 14 points. WSU held a 23-20 lead with just under seven minutes remaining in the half (6:56) as Smith and Kyles came off the bench to add three points each.
The lead continued to see-saw back and forth as the visiting Jays went ahead 31-30 on a Jones three-pointer with two minutes remaining in the half. The Shockers countered with a pair of free throws from Ragland before Jones and Young added four more to put Creighton ahead 35-32 heading into the break.
Durley led all scorers with 10 points at the half while Blair had two points and seven rebounds.
Young paced the Jays with nine points while Jones came off the bench to add another five points to the CU attack.
A trip to Springfield, Mo., is all that is left of the 2010-11 regular season for the Shockers as they will take on Missouri State on Saturday, Feb. 26, with tip off set for noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.