Shockers Drop Conference Opener vs. North Texas

WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State suffered its third straight loss in the American Athletic Conference opener vs. North Texas, 74-62, Thursday night in Charles Koch Arena.

Wichita State (8-6, 0-1) has dropped its last three conference openers, while also falling for the first time at home this season.

Colby Rogers scored 14 of his team-high 18 points before halftime. He was held to just 1-of-6 shooting in the second half. Quincy Ballard added 11 points and seven rebounds. Dalen Ridgnal grabbed a game-high tying 11 rebounds.

The free throw line proved costly for Wichita State on the night, where the Shockers finished 15-of-27. Wichita State struggled all night on the offensive end, shooting 37 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.

Wichita State recent struggles can be traced to the rebound battle as well. Wichita State lost the rebounding battle for the third straight game after being one of the best rebounding teams in the nation through the first 11 games.

Playing in its first American Athletic Conference game, North Texas shot 46 percent from the field and 8-of-21 from three-point range. Aaron Scott led three UNT players in double figures with 18 points. Jason Edwards added 17.

Behind an 8-0 run, North Texas opened up a double digit lead just 6:54 into the first half. The Mean Green started out white-hot from the field, hitting seven of their first 10 field goal attempts, including a 5-of-6 start from behind the three-point line.

UNT’s Aaron Scott outscored Wichita State by himself with 12 points in the first 6:26.

Following a Wichita State timeout, UNT increased its run to 13-0 to take a 26-11 lead with 11:35 left in the half.

Kenny Pohto finally snapped the drought at the 10:03 mark with bucket at the rim, as UNT went through its own cold spell.

Wichita State finally cut the deficit to single digits with 6:37 remaining in the half on a Ronnie DeGray III triple. After UNT pushed the margin right back to 14, a personal 6-0 run from Rogers made it 35-27.

With Wichita State finally gaining some momentum to close the half, UNT scored the final five points of the half to take a 42-30 lead into the locker room. It marked the second straight game Wichita State allowed 40 or more points in the first half.

Aaron Scott led all scorers with 16, while Rogers paced the Shockers with 14. The Mean Green shot 50 percent from the field and went 8-for-17 from beyond the arc. Wichita State was 10-for-23 from the field, but missed six of its 13 free throw attempts.

The start of the second half didn’t get any better for the home team. UNT scored the first eight points to take its largest lead, 50-30, forcing a Wichita State timeout.

Wichita State slowly started chipping away after a Ridgnal three-pointer cut it to a 12-point game with 10:42 to go. The deficit never came within single digits until a Ballard free throw with 1:46 remaining, which proved to be too little too late.

Up Next
Wichita State hits the road for the first time in conference play with a trip to Philadelphia where the Shockers will face Temple on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT on ESPNU.