WICHITA, Kan. – Jaime Echenique matched his career-high with 20 points and Wichita State reached the 20-win mark with a 65-55 victory over South Florida on Thursday evening at Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (20-6, 8-5 American) clinched its 11th-straight 20-win season and its 22nd all-time.
Echenique went 4-of-8 from the field and set personal-bests with 12 free throws on 14 attempts to go with nine rebounds, four blocks and a pair of steals.
Tyson Etienne added 12 points and Jamarius Burton chipped in 10 points and a team-high four assists in 33 minutes.
Laquincy Rideau paced USF (11-15, 4-9) with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.
A month ago in Tampa, the Shockers won a close game over USF by string together defensive stops. In Thursday’s rematch, WSU again made big plays but this time on the offensive end.
The Shockers started 13-of-45 (.289) from the field but nailed six of their last nine shots.
USF rallied to tie it at 45 with 6:29 remaining but Wichita State answered with a 7-0 run.
The Shockers scored 20 points over the final six minutes, helped by 11 free throws.
Wichita State won for the sixth time this year when shooting 40 percent-or-less from the field (tied for second-most nationally). The Shockers finished at 35.2 percent but held the visitors to 36.2 percent and outscored them 21-12 at the foul line.
Dexter Dennis tallied three of WSU’s nine steals. The Shockers forced 15 USF turnovers and committed only 11.
The Shockers missed their first six shots but recovered from an early 9-2 deficit. Echenique scored five points during a 10-0 run that gave WSU its first lead of the night, 15-11 near the 11:00-mark.
The lead changed hands six more times over the remainder of the half. Burton snapped a 27-all tie with back-to-back jumpers. Etienne’s deep three-pointer capped a 7-0 Shocker run and the hosts took a five-point lead into halftime, 34-29.
Echenique led the Shockers with 12 first-half points, four blocks and two steals. Burton and Stevenson added six-each.
Justin Brown paced USF with eight points and two steals. Michael Durr tacked on four points and five rebounds.
Wichita State scored the first two baskets of the second half. Wade scored on a putback. Echenique founds a wide open Burton off the dribble for a dunk and a 38-29 cushion with 17:00 to play.
The Shockers missed their next nine shots, and USF capitalized with an 11-2 push. Antun Maricevic posted up for a basket with 11:45 remaining that tied the game at 40.
The teams traded blows over the next five minutes and change.
David Collins’ three-pointer knotted the game at 45 for USF with six-and-a-half minutes left.
Echenique put the Shockers in front for good with a pair of free throws, then Dennis drilled a three to make it a two-possession game. Burton’s driving layup stretched the margin to 52-45 with 4:00 to play.
USF countered with a basket, but Echenique converted a three-point play and added two more free throws on the Shockers next two possessions to push the lead to double-digits.
- Wichita State clinched its 11th-straight 20-win season. The Shockers’ streak is one of the nation’s longest active. Kansas (31), Duke (24), Gonzaga (23), Kentucky (15), Saint Mary’s (13) and Vermont (12) have all extended their own streaks this year. North Carolina’s run of 15-straight is in jeopardy.
- Marshall reached the 20-win mark for the 17th time in his 22 years as a head coach (11 at WSU, six at Winthrop).
- Etienne and Burton each recorded their first dunks of the seasons. It was Burton’s second career slam and Etienne’s first.
- With four blocks Echenique (83 career) moved into 12th on WSU’s career list, jumping Carl Hall (81 from 2011-13) and Terry Benton (82 from 1969-72).
- Etienne’s 54th three-pointer ties him for fourth on WSU’s freshman list with Dennis, who hit 54 last year.
- Echenique became the fourth-different Shocker to top 20 points in the last three games. Stevenson had 27 at UCF (Feb. 13), Dennis scored 21 to go with 20 from Etienne in the Feb. 16 victory over USF.
- The Shockers improved to 15-2 at home this year (14-2 at Charles Koch Arena).
- Wichita State swept the regular season series from USF and improved to 3-1 all-time against the Bulls – all since 2018.
The Shockers travel to Cincinnati on Sunday for a Noon CT tip on ESPN. The Bearcats won the first meeting in Wichita on Feb. 6 by a score of 80-79. Cincinnati has won five-straight in the series, but three of those games have come down to the final possession.