No. 7 Wichita St loses 2nd straight, falls to Houston 73-59
HOUSTON (AP) Wichita State had not lost back-to-back conference games since the 2012-13 season. The No. 7 Shockers have now dropped consecutive conference games in four days.
Wichita State lost its second straight game Saturday, losing to Houston 73-59. Houston, with Rob Gray scoring 24 points, beat a Top 10 team for the first time in 22 years.
"I know everybody wants to see us win every game, but we're going through something right now," Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie said.
Wichita State (15-4, 5-2 American Athletic Conference) fell to SMU 83-78 on Wednesday. The Shockers shot a season-low 33 percent and committed 18 turnovers in this latest loss.
"We have to work on everything," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "We have to work on our ability to score against that pressure. We have to work on rebounding in crowds. We have to work on finishing in a crowd. We had several layups we missed in the first half. We didn't have very many good performances. I have to coach better. We have to play better."
Gray was 10 of 21 from the field for the Cougars (15-4, 5-2), whose previous win over a Top 10 team came against No. 3 Memphis, 69-67 on Jan. 6, 1996. Corey Davis Jr. added 17 points and eight rebounds and Devin Davis had 12 points and seven rebounds.
After being dominated in an 81-63 loss at Wichita State on Jan. 4, Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said the Cougars knew they had to shut off the Shockers' 3-point scoring. The Shockers finished 4 of 20 on 3-pointers.
"They are the number one 3-point shooting team in the league," Gray said. "We know that is a big part of their offense. If we can slow them down there, then we can slow them down overall."
Houston built its lead to 42-28 on Gray's layup two minutes into the second half, but the Shockers answered with an 8-0 run. The Cougars responded with a 12-4 burst, including seven points by Gray, and kept pulling away.
"We knew where they were going to get their shots from, and we knew we had to do a good job of not relaxing," Sampson said. "They are very disciplined. They run good stuff, and they hit us in the mouth with it the last time."
Shaquille Morris had 12 points and seven rebounds for Wichita State, which had won 11 straight on the road.
Landry Shamet, who entered the game leading the Shockers in scoring at 16 a game, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with seven points.
"We're all (mad)," Shamet said. "I don't know if there's one thing that needs to get better, but we'll try to figure it out in the coming week, and hopefully, we can fix things."
Wichita State: The Shockers struggled from the start, shooting 35 percent in the first half and could not get out of an early hole. ... Wichita State held a 48-37 rebounding edge.
Houston: The Cougars helped their NCAA Tournament resume with the upset. Houston had an answer every time the Shockers got close and did well on defense, especially Davis, who was tasked with guarding Shamet.
GAME OF THE CENTURY ANNIVERSARY
Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the "Game of the Century" between No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Houston in the Astrodome before a crowd of 52,693. Houston won 71-69 behind Elvin Hayes' 39 points and 15 rebounds, topping a team led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor. Hayes, players from the game and staff were honored at halftime.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE
Wichita State played its first game against the Cougars in Houston since Jan. 2, 1960.
Wichita State: The Shockers host Central Florida on Thursday.
Houston: Hosts South Florida on Jan. 28.
Updated January 20, 2018