HARTORD, CONNECTICUT — Wichita State hung in until the bitter end at No. 1 UConn before a game-sealing run put an end to Wichita State’s comeback bid late in the fourth quarter. UConn finished the game on a 15-0 run to defeat Wichita State, 83-55, in the final regular season meeting as American Athletic Conference members Thursday night at the XL Center.
Wichita State (8-6, 0-1) trailed by 19 at halftime and as many as 24 in the third quarter before trimming the deficit to 10 in the final quarter.
Mariah McCully scored a team-high 16 points, extending her streak of double-figure games to eight in a row. Carla Bremaud registered her second straight game in double figures with 13 – 11 in the first half - and Shyia Smith added 10.
The Shockers shot 38 percent for the game, but went 7-for-13 from beyond the arc. UConn knocked down 51 percent of its attempts, including 8-of-16 from deep and outrebounded WSU 41-23.
Crystal Dangerfield led four Huskies in double digits with a game-high 22 points. Megan Walker scored 21 before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Christyn Williams added 19 and Olivia Nelson-Ododa chipped in 13 points, nine boards and seven blocks.
The first eight points of the game belonged to the road team behind a Shyia Smith layup and three-pointer sandwiched around a Bremaud trey. UConn would miss its first six field goal attempts before a corner three-pointer from Megan Walker snapped the drought. At the first media timeout Wichita State held a 12-6 lead.
Wichita State would then go the final 4:52 without a score, allowing the Huskies to close the first quarter on a 16-0 run to take a 22-12 lead into the second 10 minutes. Megan Walker had 13 of the Huskies’ 22 points in the frame.
The scoring drought would continue until the 7:24 mark of the second before a Seraphine Bastin runner and Bremaud three-pointer made it 28-17 UConn. Another 11-0 spurt upped the UConn lead to 20 before the Huskies went into the locker room with a 45-26 lead.
After a slow start from the field, UConn finished found its groove to finish the half at 45 percent shooting and a plus-12 margin on the glass. Wichita State hit 4-of-7 three-pointers in the half and came in just under 40 percent from everywhere.
Bremaud led all Shockers with 11 points and a perfect 3-for-3 mark from long range. Crystal Dangerfield (19) and Megan Walker (15) combined to pour in 34 of UConn’s 45 first half points.
UConn scored the first points of the third quarter before a 7-0 run pulled Wichita State within 14 near the midway point.
The Huskies answered with an 8-0 run before the two teams would finish the period neck-and-neck. Through three quarters UConn led 61-39.
Five points from McCully and a three-point play from Ashley Reid to open the final quarter forced a UConn timeout after the Huskies’ lead was trimmed to 14, 61-47. Following the timeout, another McCully driving left-hand layup made it a 10-0 run. The Huskies would end the spurt on the ensuing possession on an offensive rebound putback from Nelson-Ododa.
Wichita State cut the deficit to as many as 10 before a game-clinching 20-2 run sealed the win for UConn.
Wichita State hosts Tulane in its 2020 American Athletic Conference home opener on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. on the American Digital Network.