Stevenson helps Wichita State out-run Oklahoma, 80-75
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Erik Stevenson scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Wichita State to an 80-75 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday.
A late three-point basket by Tyson Etienne gave the Shockers the lead, 67-66, and the Shockers were able to hold on, limiting the Sooners to 37.3% shooting from the field.
“They did what they needed to do down the stretch, make free throws to close it out,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “As always (Wichita State coach) Gregg (Marshall) does a great job. He has a good club and we’ve got to learn from it.”
Wichita State relied on the three-ball early, knocking down four shots from beyond the arc in the first ten minutes to open a 14-8 lead. Trading run-for-run, a 9-0 Sooner stretch gave Oklahoma the edge before a 6-0 answer handed the 20-15 lead back to Wichita State.
“It was obviously a game of runs,” Stevenson said. “It seemed like every shot they threw up was going in and we couldn’t catch a break.”
Though the Shockers limited leading scorer and Wichita State transfer Austin Reaves to four first-half points, the Sooners took a 37-33 lead into the locker room, fueled by a 15-point opening half by Kristian Doolittle.
Doolittle finished with 22 points on an 8-of-22 effort and De’Vion Harmon added 14 for Oklahoma.
The Sooners weathered a 12-0 run by Wichita State midway through the second half and cut the deficit to 75-72 with under a minute remaining but were unable to complete the comeback.
“Everybody that played today contributed in some way and that’s what it takes,” Marshall said. “You’ve got to have as many guys as possible contributing and clicking on all cylinders.”
Wichita State: Advancing to 9-1, the 11th-ranked defense of Wichita State contained the sharp shooting trio of Reaves, Manek and Doolittle, holding the Sooners to a 37.3% field goal percentage.
Oklahoma: A night marked by inconsistency on both ends of the court, long dry spells by the Sooner offense allowed the Shockers to build insurmountable runs.
Having played his first two seasons at Wichita State before transferring to Oklahoma, Reaves was welcomed back to Wichita with an array of boos from the crowd. As a Shocker, Reaves averaged 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Reaves finished the night with 13 points and six rebounds.
“For the majority of the game, beside some tough shots at the end, he was locked up,” Stevenson said. “It was the focus. Lock him up.”
A YEAR’S DIFFERENCE
Just last year, Oklahoma handedly toppled Wichita State 80-48 in Oklahoma City. The Shockers shot 15-of-62 from the field in the 32-point thumping.
“There was some talent there obviously, but we didn’t have the resolve and the toughness to compete with Oklahoma and they just took us to the woodshed,” Marshall said of the last matchup. “To have the opportunity to watch our team demonstrate the resolve and toughness today was a testament to them and how they’ve grown.”
Wichita State: The Shockers host VCU on Dec. 21 in the second contest of a six-game homestand.
Oklahoma: The Sooners end a six-game road stint as they take on Creighton in Omaha on Dec. 17.