Waco, TX – No. 8-ranked Wichita State (6-1) came to Waco and topped the No. 16 Baylor Bears (5-2) 69-62 in what turned out to be a hard fought and close game down to the last minute. The Shockers scored the final seven points of the game, breaking a 62-all tie.
Early in the first half Baylor’s trio of Jo Lual-Acuil Jr, Nuni Omot and Tristian Clark dominated the glass. Within the first five minutes of the game they had all of the Bears boards and 8-of-11 available in the game so far. However that pace wouldn’t continue as Wichita State would eventually out rebound them by the end of the first half.
The Shockers relied on some hot three-point shooting, mainly from their strong backcourt of Landry Shamet and Conner Frankamp. They also shared the ball well, at one stage having an assist on every score.
The second half saw Wichita State continue their excellent ball movement and even better three-point shooting. Frankamp finished with 5-of-8 (62%) while Shamet connected on 3-of-4 (75%) to add to his strong all around game of 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds. They also displayed a great team game, being able to score not only from the outside but also from within the painted area, mainly from center Shaquille Morris who finished with 15 points. What further helped was the solid production off the bench, which included 6-9 Darral Willis Jr. ending up with 11 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes.
The Bears continued their poor three-point shooting 5-of-21 (24%) so relied heavily on driving the ball and scoring in the low post. They also pushed the tempo trying to outrun their opponent. Their constant attack on the rim enabled them to get to the line more often, which resulted in more points on the board, with their backcourt of Manu Lecomte and King McClure scoring 15 and 12 points respectively. That and Mark Vital gobbling up five offensive boards helped tie up the game with several minutes remaining.
Baylor showed great fight to tie it up helped by effort of the 9,733 strong and loud crowd but in the last minute it would be Wichita State’s outside shooting which helped seal the seven-point road win.
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