HOUSTON – Not much went right for Wichita State in a 76-43 loss at No. 25/25 Houston on Sunday afternoon at the Fertitta Center.
Dexter Dennis scored 10 points and collected six rebounds for the Shockers (17-6, 5-5 American) who suffered their most-lopsided defeat (33 points) since 2003.
Jaime Echenique grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to go with seven points, three steals and a block.
Quentin Grimes scored 14 points to lead a group of five double-digit scorers for Houston (19-5, 9-2), which took over sole possession of first-place after losses by co-leaders Tulsa and Cincinnati earlier in the day.
He was joined by DeJon Jarreau (12 points, seven rebounds), Marcus Sasser (11 points), Caleb Mills (11 points) and Nate Hinton (10 points, nine rebounds).
Wichita State missed 17 of its first 21 shots. Houston capitalized with runs of 16-2 and 9-0 to build a 38-18 halftime lead. It was the Shockers first 20-point halftime deficit in more than a dozen years.
Houston turned WSU’s 10 first-half turnovers into 14 points.
The Shockers committed just two more turnovers in the second half but never found their shooting touch.
WSU made just two three-point field goals on 24 attempts and finished the game at 26.4 percent from the field.
Houston – which entered the day ranked second nationally in rebound margin – won the battle of the boards 44-30. The hosts shot an even 50 percent from the field.
The Shockers’ four assists tied a Marshall Era low. WSU had four in a 70-69 neutral court win over LSU on Dec. 18, 2010.
The loss was WSU’s fifth in seven games on the heels of a 15-1 start.
Houston won its fifth-straight in the series and narrowed the Shockers’ all-time lead to 17-14. WSU is 3-10 all-time in Houston (0-2 at the Fertitta Center).
WSU ends the weekend alone in sixth-place in the AAC race – a game back of SMU and Memphis, which are both 6-4.
The Shockers go back out on the road Thursday against the UCF Knights (13-10, 4-7). The 6 p.m. CT tip airs nationally on ESPN2. WSU won the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 25 in Wichita, 87-79.