WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State and No. 20 Florida Atlantic needed five extra minutes to decide a winner on Sunday, and it would be the Owls coming out on top, 95-82.
Wichita State (10-14, 2-9) was outscored 21-8 in the overtime session after the Owls scored nine of the first 11 points after regulation. For the second straight season the Shockers went to OT on Super Bowl Sunday, this time they come out on the wrong side of the scoreboard. This was the first overtime game of the Paul Mills era with Wichita State dropping to 37-33 in OT games all-time at home.
Xavier Bell’s career-high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting weren’t enough to lift the Shockers to a ranked win. Colby Rogers also topped the 20-point mark with 21, going 8-for-13 from the field. Kenny Pohto added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Wichita State shot 51 percent overall and 12-of-16 from the free throw line. After committing 13 turnovers combined over the last two games, the Shockers had 17 on Sunday. The Owls scored 16 points off those turnovers.
FAU grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and shot 47 percent from the field. They made the most of their free throw trips, going 20-for-22.
Five Owls finished in double figures, led by Vladislav Goldin’s 20 points and nine rebounds.
Wichita State made eight of its first 12 field goal attempts to take a 21-16 lead just before the midway point. Rogers knocked down a pair of three-pointers and six quick points off the bench from Pohto had the Shockers in a groove on the offensive end.
Florida Atlantic answered with a 7-0 run after Wichita State grabbed its largest lead of 26-20. Eight Wichita State turnovers kept the Owls in it despite shooting less than 40 percent from the field.
The first half was played about as even as one could ask with the Owls heading into the locker room with a 38-36 lead. Both teams had 20 points in the paint, three made three-pointers and seven points off turnovers. Wichita State held the advantage in field goal percentage at 52 percent to just 38 percent for FAU. The Owls were plus-6 at the free throw line.
Rogers and Bell had eight points apiece to lead the Shockers. Brandon Weatherspoon led all scorers with 10.
Just over 6:00 minutes into the second half, FAU went six straight trips with a score to open up a 55-48 lead, forcing a Wichita State timeout.
A corner triple from Rogers pulled the Shockers back within two at the 10:17 mark only to see FAU respond with a 9-2 run to grab its largest lead, 68-59.
Just when it looked like the Owls were about to pull away, the Shockers came right back with their own 7-0 spurt to make it a two-point game with 4:00 minutes to go.
After trading free throws, and under 1:00 minute to play, Bell knocked down the biggest shot of his career on a wing three-pointer to give the Shockers a 73-72 lead with 42 seconds remaining.
A Quincy Ballard foul on the Owls’ next possession sent Bryan Greenlee to the line where he would convert to put them back on top. Coming right back, Bell drove down the lane and put himself and the team in position to retake the lead by drawing a foul. After missing the first he would make the second to tie the game at 74.
The Owls’ final possession resulted in a turnover on the inbounds play right in front of their bench, giving the Shockers one final chance to win it in regulation. Wichita State got a great look off a 3/4 court pass to Pohto who tossed up a turnaround three-pointer near the top of the key, but it drew iron, sending the game to OT.
FAU immediately established momentum in overtime, scoring the first six points to grab an 80-74 lead barely a minute in. Rogers finally got the Shockers on the board with a jumper, but the Owls saw their opportunity and didn’t miss it. Eight straight points made it 88-76 with 1:49 to go, putting the nail in the coffin.
Wichita State opens a North Carolina road trip at East Carolina on Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.