HARTFORD, Conn. – No. 23/23 Wichita State let a nine-point lead slip away in the final minute of regulation but regrouped to beat UConn in double-overtime, 89-86, on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center.
Jaime Echenique scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for Wichita State (15-1, 3-0), which won its ninth-straight game and now sits alone in first place as the American Athletic Conference’s lone unbeaten.
Erik Stevenson (16 points), Dexter Dennis (16) and Jamarius Burton (13) joined him double-figures.
The Shockers will take the nation’s second-longest true road winning streak (8) to Temple on Wednesday night (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU).
Christian Vital finished with 25 points, five rebounds and five steals to pace UConn (10-6, 1-3), which trailed 69-60 with 1:05 to go but rattled the Shockers with a full-court press and scored the last nine points of regulation. Sidney Wilson’s corner three tied the game with 1.4 seconds remaining.
WSU had gone the first 15 games without a player fouling out but lost its top-two scorers during overtime. Stevenson was whistled for his fifth foul with 2:43 remaining in the first OT period. Echenique joined him on the bench just over a minute into the second.
The Shockers had a chance to win it in the first overtime segment. A Josh Carlton free throw knotted the game at 77 with 32 seconds to go. WSU played for a last shot. Burton’s jumper missed the mark, and Tyson Etienne’s leaping tip try spun out.
Etienne gave the Shockers the lead for good with a three-point play just three seconds into double-OT. Buckets from Burton and Grant Sherfield helped maintain it.
Vital’s three cut the Wichita State lead to 87-86, but Sherfield calmly sank two free throws with 26 seconds left to make it a three-point game.
UConn had two chances to score an equalizer, but Morris Udeze drew a charge and Vital’s long three-pointer with two seconds to play bounced off the rim.
The Shockers committed a season-high 21 turnovers – 19 in regulation but only two in the 10 minutes of overtime.
UConn attempted 42 free throws to WSU’s 24 and outscored the Shockers 29-19 at the line.
WSU has held 13 of its 16 opponents under 40-percent from the field. UConn shot 38.2 percent, including 5-of-19 from distance. The Shockers hit just under 43 percent of their shots and were 6-of-19 from deep.
Dennis scored in double-figures for the first time since Nov. 9 against Texas Southern. 13 of his 16 points came after halftime.
WSU has lost the rebounding battle on all three American Athletic Conference games – a rarity under Gregg Marshall. UConn led 48-46 on the glass Sunday. Its 19 offensive rebounds were the most by a Shocker opponent this year.
The Shockers’ loss at UConn on Jan. 26, 2019 was a low-point in the 2018-19 season, dropping them to 8-11 (1-6). What a different a year makes. Since that game, Wichita State is 29-5.
WSU (2-0 on the road this year) won its last six road games in 2018-19, including three-straight in the 2019 NIT at Furman, Clemson and Indiana.
The Shockers are 93-50 on the road in 13 seasons under Marshall. That includes a 58-15 mark (.795) since the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
WSU has won seven-straight AAC games going back to last year. The Shockers are 27-12 in three seasons as a member of the league.
WSU leads the all-time series with UConn, 4-2 (4-1 AAC era) and improved to 2-0 at the XL Center.
The Shockers continue on to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night date with Temple (9-6, 1-3). The 8 p.m. CT tip airs nationally on ESPNU.
Temple is one of just three AAC schools that the Shockers haven’t beaten on the road: Temple (0-1), Houston (0-2), USF (0-1).
WSU lost its Liacouras Center debut in overtime on Feb. 1, 2018. The Owls were a home-only opponent last year, due to the league unbalanced schedule.
The Shockers won the most-recent meeting in the quarterfinals of last year’s American tournament, 80-74.