WICHITA, Kan. – A torrid first-half shooting performance pushed No. 9/9 Wichita State past Houston Thursday evening, 81-63, in the school’s first American Athletic Conference home game.
A sellout crowd of 10,506 at Charles Koch Arena — striped in black, yellow and white – saw Landry Shamet score a game-high 18 points. Conner Frankamp (15), Shaquille Morris (14) and Markis McDuffie (11) joined him in double-figures.
WSU (12-2, 2-0 American) hit 10 first-half threes and led by 21 points at the intermission. The quartet of Shamet, Frankamp, Morris and McDuffie combined for 45 of the team’s 53 first-half points on 17-of-24 shooting.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson used three timeouts in the first 15 minutes of the game – the last coming at the 5:31-mark after the Shockers had hit three-pointers in four-straight possessions to build a 46-21 lead.
WSU scored the first eight points of the second half to push the lead to 30 before calling off the dogs.
Houston (12-3, 2-1) – which lost for just the second time since Nov. 17 –finished 17 points below its season average.
The American’s leading scorer, Rob Gray, managed just 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Corey Davis Jr. added 12 and Wes Vanbeck scored 11.
The Shockers forced 15 turnovers while committing just eight, but they were outrebounded for the first time all season, 36-35.
Seven WSU players combined to hit 12 three-pointers, led by Frankamp’s 3-of-4 performance.
McDuffie canned back-to-back three-pointers to key a quick 7-0 spurt in helping Wichita State build an 18-8 lead to open the game. Austin Reaves added another triple and McDuffie swished a pair of free throws to make it 23-11 with 11 minutes left in the half.
Another 7-0 run opened up a 34-15 lead with 7:59 remaining. Shamet scored five points sandwiched around a Frankamp jumper to make up the run.
The Shockers were unconscious from beyond the arc, hitting three-pointers on four consecutive trips. Shamet, Frankamp and Morris all connected to help Wichita State build a 46-21 lead. The Shockers hit nine of its first 11 attempts from long range.
At the final media timeout of the half, Wichita State led by 20 with four players in double-figures. Wichita State led by as many as 25 in the first 20 minutes and took a 53-32 advantage into the locker room.
Wichita State torched the nets to the tune of 59 percent overall and a 63 percent (10-16) clip from downtown. Of WSU’s 19 made field goals, 14 of them were assisted. Houston shot 42 percent, but hit only 1-of-7 attempts from three.
Shamet and Frankamp led with 12 points apiece, while McDuffie and Morris scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Frankamp continued his hot-shooting to start the second half with an early triple, as Wichita State bumped its lead to 62-32. Zach Brown splashed the Shockers’ 12th three-pointer of the game just minutes later.
Sloppy play and a cold stretch hit both teams midway through the half, but WSU still held a 30-point lead with 7:30 to play. The Cougars went scoreless for more than four minutes.
Houston put together a 12-0 run to cut into the lead, 77-57, with only 3:52 remaining.
After the Shockers lit up the nets with 10 three-pointers in the first half, WSU went only 2-of-11 in the final 20 minutes.