SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Wichita State (6-0) had already posted road victories over two teams that made last April's Final Four - 72-66 over George Mason and 57-53 over then-No.6 LSU - and made Syracuse (7-1) their latest victim, with a 64-61 win over the Orange. This is the first time WSU has posted two victories over Top-25 teams in the same season since 1968-69, when they defeated then-No. 19 Iowa, No. 10 Cincinnati, and No. 19 Tulsa.
Wichita State struck first with a field goal by Ryan Martin. The two teams traded baskets until Syracuse owned a 9-8 lead at the 17:03 mark. The Shockers then took control, going on a 27-1 run, highlighted by 5-3 point field goals. Two three-pointers each for Kyle Wilson and Sean Ogirri and one from Karon Bradley contributed to the 23 point lead..
Syracuse responded with an 11-0 run of their own, cutting WSU’s lead to 12 with 1:43 left in the first half. Field goals by Phillip Thomasson and Bradley for the Shockers and free throws by Terrence Roberts for the Orange brought it to 39-25, a 14-point WSU lead at half time.
Syracuse was unable to close the gap early in the second period. After freshman Paul Harris hit a driving layup to get the Orange to 52-38 with 13 minutes left, Thomasson's follow tip made the deficit 16.
Frustration began to really set in less than a minute later when 6-foot-9 Roberts and 6-11 Darryl Watkins combined to miss four shots from under the basket.
But after Ogirri hit a 3-pointer to give Wichita State a 59-40 lead with 9:24 left, the Orange stormed back, holding the Shockers to only one field goal the rest of the game - by Wilson on a goaltending call against Roberts with 6:18 left.
A three-point play by Harris and two free throws by Roberts pulled Syracuse to 61-59 with 2:50 left and Watkins' follow after three misses under the basket tied it at 61.
Ryan Martin and Wilson hit free throws in the final 84 seconds and Demetris Nichols missed what would have been a go-ahead layup with 21.5 seconds left to end Syracuse's chances.
Roberts had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Syracuse. Harris had 14 points, Watkins had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Wright finished with 10 points.
Wilson had a game-high 17 points with Ogirri close behind with 16 for the Shockers. Thomasson added 11 points and led the team with eight rebounds.
Wichita State plays on the road again at Casper, Wyoming at 4:35 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9.