TAMPA, Fla. – Wichita State’s defense and timely three-point shooting from Tyson Etienne and Dexter Dennis keyed a 56-43 road victory over USF on Tuesday night at the Yuengling Center.
Etienne scored a team-high 13 points on 3-of-6 three-point shooting and Dennis added 12 points and went 4-of-9 from distance for rv/22 Wichita State (16-3, 4-2 American), which snapped a two-game losing streak.
David Collins scored a game-high 14 points for USF (8-11, 1-5) and sank eight free throws to break the American Athletic Conference’s career mark.
Almost a year to the day from a 54-41 loss to the Bulls, the Shockers avenged their worst offensive performance of the Marshall Era by essentially flipping the script. They held the Bulls to 30.8 percent from the field including 2-of-15 from deep. USF managed just one basket over the final 13:52.
USF’s 41-point night was the worst for a Shocker opponent since the 2016-17 season opener – an 85-39 win over South Carolina State. It was the lowest point total for a conference foe since a 62-43 win over Evansville on Feb. 22, 2015.
The Shockers shot just 36.5 percent but out-rebounded the Bulls 36-29. USF entered the day ranked among the national leaders in steals and opponent turnovers, but WSU committed only 11.
Etienne hit all three of his triples in the first to spark the Shockers. The last — contested 30-footer ahead of the halftime buzzer – sent WSU into the lead with a 25-23 lead.
Dennis sank three of his four three-pointers over the final 20 minutes. The first keyed a 9-0 run that gave WSU a little breathing room, 36-28 at the 15:24-mark.
The Bulls scored the next seven points. Antun Maricevic posted up for a basket to cut the Shocker lead to 36-35 with 13:52 to play.
WSU’s defense clamped down the rest of the way. USF missed 11 of its last 12 attempts from the field and 6 of its 11 free throw tries.
Dennis started and finished a 10-0 Shocker run with two more threes. The second gave the visitors their first double-figure lead of the evening, 46-35, at the 8:11-mark.
Jaime Echenique scored eight of his nine points in the second half to help protect the lead.