WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita State scored the final ten points and rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to defeat Southern Miss, 59-51, Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Demetric Williams led a trio of Shockers in double figures with 17 points. Nick Wiggins added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and Cleanthony Early chipped in ten for WSU.
Wichita State (11-1) had a difficult time finding their offense in the first half shooting 23-percent from the field and committing 13 turnovers while the Golden Eagles (8-4) closed the opening half on a 17-3 run to build a 28-17 halftime lead. The Shockers had gained a 14-11 lead on Tekele Cotton's jumper with 7:15 left in the half before failing to connect on another field goal the rest of the half.
Williams 3-pointer with one second left on the shot clock with 13:24 remaining followed by a Wiggins 3-pointer just under a minute later propelled the Shockers on an 8-0 run to get within one, 36-35.
Early's jumper with 10:00 remaining knotted the game, 39-39, before USM countered with an 8-0 run of their own to regain the lead, 47-39.
The Shockers again fought back with a 10-1 run to grab their first lead of the second half, 49-48, with 3:44 left on a 3-point foul and layup from Chadrack Lufile. Another shot clock buzzer beater from Williams followed by a steal and fast break layup started the decisive run for WSU.
With the game tied, 51-51, Wiggins followed a Williams 3-point miss with a two-handed putback dunk to give WSU the lead for good. Ehimen Orukpe connected on a pair of free throws with :41 left before Williams fittingly ended the game with a steal and layup with :14.
Jerrold Brooks had 18 points to lead Southern Miss. Dwayne Davis and Neil Watson added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Shockers are next in action Sun., Dec 30 at 5 p.m. as they begin Missouri Valley Conference play against Northern Iowa in Charles Koch Arena. The game will be broadcast on MVC TV.
- WICHITA STATE -