ORLANDO, Fla. – A resurgent performance from Erik Stevenson helped Wichita State to 75-58 road victory at UCF on Thursday evening inside Additional Financial Arena.
Wichita State (18-6, 6-5 American) used runs of 10-0 and 14-0 to build a 20-point lead late in the first half and led comfortably the rest of the way. The win snapped a three-game skid.
Stevenson scored a game-high 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting (5-of-12 from three) and also tallied eight rebounds and five assists.
Dexter Dennis grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with seven points and five assists in 29 turnover-free minutes.
Freshman point guard Noah Fernandes made his first career start and tallied a career-high seven points and two assists in 24 minutes.
Grant Sherfield handed out a team-high six assists with just one turnover.
Matt Milon and Darin Green Jr. led UCF (13-11, 4-8) with 13 points apiece.
The Shockers shot 48.1 percent to UCF’s 31.7 percent. They outrebounded the host Knights by 17 (47-30) and held them to just 16 points in the paint.
Reserves accounted for 45 of the Shockers’s 75 points.
Wichita State led 33-20 at halftime thanks to a dominant two-way performance.
Stevenson scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and the Shockers held the Knights to a paltry 28.1 percent from the field, including 1-of-12 from three.
UCF led 5-4 before the Shockers took command. Stevenson scored eight points in a 10-0 WSU run.
The Knights closed the margin to 19-13 near the midway point before the Shockers mounted another 14-0 push. Stevenson capped it with an alley-oop to Trey Wade for a dunk and a 33-13 advantage at the 3:37-mark.
Those were WSU’s last points of the period. UCF scored the last seven points to go into halftime down 33-20.
Ten different Shockers played at least five minutes and seven of them scored. The WSU bench supplied nearly three-quarters of the points, outscoring UCF 24-1.
Both sides came out hot to start the second half. UCF scored more points in the first nine minutes (21) than it had in the entire first half.
Stevenson’s hit two threes and a long two to stretch the Shocker lead to 18, but UCF launched another 8-0 run to make it a 10-point game near the 12:00-mark.
The Shockers never flinched. Etienne sank two free throws, then threaded a baseline pass to a dunking Wade. It was the first of five-straight makes for WSU. Less than a minute later Fernandes found Wade wide open on a long transition pass, and the junior dunked again.
Etienne’s jumper made it a 61-41 game with 8:37 to go.