WICHITA, KANSAS — Wichita State overcame a 16-point first half deficit to stun the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes 57-46 on Wednesday night inside Charles Koch Arena.
“It was an ugly one we showed some resiliency and got through it,” Wichita State head coach Keitha Adams said.
The Shockers, who never could find their shot in the first half, found it early and often in the second half to jump start their comeback.
The Shockers improve to 10-7 on the year and are now .500 in the American Athletic Conference.
After trailing 20-4 early in the second quarter, the Shockers tried to find their momentum. They were in the game at 20-11 with 5:52 to go in the second after Mariah McCully hit a pull up jumper.
“It was an iceberg in there for us," Adams said. "We really struggled and didn’t knock down shots in the first half.”
Tulsa responded by pulling away, leading 28-15 at the break.
It was their defense that fueled their offense. The old motto coaches talk about, funneling their defense to get offense was epitomized in the second half. It started with Seraphine Bastin. She had nine points in the third quarter as the Shockers made their run.
Wichita State took their first lead when Mariah McCully spun in the lane, getting fouled and giving the Shockers a 1-point advantage with 2:45 to go in the third quarter.
After some back-and-forth with Tulsa, Wichita State shifted gears, turned the defense up a notch and put the game out of reach. The lead was secured for good when Carla Bremaud hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to go in the third from atop the key, giving Wichita State a 41-38 lead.
McCully hit a three from the left win with 5:48 to go, giving the Shockers their first double digit lead of the game, up 50-40.
They reached their largest lead when Bastin made two free throws with 1:01 to go, giving Wichita State a 57-44 lead.
The game started on a technical foul, where the clock wasn’t ready for tip-off. Tulsa started the game on two missed free throws.
“I don’t think in my 31 years of coaching I’ve had a game start out with two technical because the clock wasn’t on," Adams said. “Our clock wasn’t on when it’s supposed to be tipoff time. "Fortunately, Tulsa didn’t make the free throws.”
The Shockers will take their back-to-back wins and host Temple on Sunday at Koch Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“We have to stay focused,” Adams said. “Teams win and they get happy we’re not happy. We know we need and want to play better. We’re going to keep grinding and working.”