WICHITA — Slow starts to both halves doomed Wichita State on Sunday afternoon in a 72-62 loss to Missouri at Charles Koch Arena.
Tyson Etienne and Clarence Jackson scored 14 points-each, and Alterique Gilbert added 13 points and six assists for Wichita State (1-1).
Mark Smith scored a game-high 19 points and Dru Smith and Kobe Brown tacked on 14-appiece to pace Missouri (3-0), which will be in the hunt for a national ranking on Monday after also upsetting No. 21 Oregon earlier in the week.
Sunday’s setback snapped a 16-game non-conference home winning streak for the Shockers – sixth-longest in school history. The Tigers join Louisiana Tech (Nov. 6, 2018) as the only non-conference foes to defeat WSU at the Roundhouse since February, 2011.
The undersized and undermanned Shockers (who played with just nine scholarship players) had difficulty keeping up with a Missouri team that averages 6-foot-6 and counts nine upperclassmen among its 12-man roster. The Tigers rank among the national leaders in both categories.
Helped by 15 fast break points, Missouri outshot Wichita State from the field, 48.1 to 33.3 percent.
Missouri led 34-30 at halftime and scored 15 of the first 18 points out of the locker room to build a 16-point advantage with 14:09 to play. The lead bounced between 10 and 17 points the rest of the way.
Wichita State also struggled early in the first half. Gilbert fed Morris Udeze for a dunk on the game’s first play, but the Shockers missed 11 of their next 12 shots. Missouri capitalized with a 15-2 run.
Energy plays helped the Shockers regroup after the Tigers had threatened to pull away. Jackson scored a tough basket inside, then seven seconds later, scored again after Gilbert stole the inbound pass to key an 8-0 run and draw WSU to within 15-12 at the 8:13-mark of the first half.
Gilbert scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half, including a seven-point flurry over the final 76 seconds before halftime. He made a three and twice weaved his way for layups to keep the Shockers within four points at the intermission.
That momentum wouldn’t last. WSU missed 10 of its first 11 shots to start the second half, and the visitors took control.
Missouri doubled up the Shockers from the field during the second-half, outshooting them 52.2 percent to 27.3 percent.
Among the second-half positives for Wichita State:
Dexter Dennis found his three-point stroke, canning three in the second half. He made back-to-back treys to pull the Shockers to within 57-47 with still 8:34 to play.
Ditto for Etienne, who missed his first six shots but finished strong with nine of his 14 points coming over the final five minutes.
Ricky Council IV made his debut and finished with three points and four rebounds.
The Shockers committed just 10 turnovers and are averaging just 8.5-per-game through the first week of their season.
- Sunday’s game was once again played without fans. Due to county health mandate, a maximum of 100 people (participants included) were allowed inside the building.
- Add up the first 10 minutes of each half and Missouri outscored Wichita State, 38-16. The Shockers fared much better after the midway point, out-producing Mizzou 46-34 over the final 10:00 of the first and second halves.
- Mizzou snapped a four-game SEC losing streak in Wichita. Going back to 2007, the Shockers had beaten LSU, Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss consecutively.
- Missouri improved to 4-0 all-time against WSU. The other three games took place between 1950 and 1951. The Shockers will make a return visit to Columbia during the 2021-22 season.
- WSU is 6-5 all-time against Cuonzo Martin going back to his days at both Tennessee and Missouri State.