PHILADELPHIA – Wichita State came back from a 17-point deficit to tie the game late in the second half, but Temple closed the game on a 6-0 run to defeat the Shockers, 68-61, Sunday afternoon in the Liacouras Center.
Wichita State (8-7, 0-2) saw its losing streak extend to four with two ranked teams in Memphis and Florida Atlantic on deck. It’s the first four-game losing streak since Jan. 2022.
Dalen Ridgnal made his first start at Wichita State, replacing Kenny Pohto. Ridgnal grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to go with six points. Pohto came off the bench and helped lead the second half comeback, scoring 12 of his team-high 14 points after halftime. He also added six rebounds and three assists.
For just the third time this season Colby Rogers was held under 10 points, finishing with nine on 4-of-15 shooting.
Wichita State shot just 38 percent from the field and 4-of-15 from downtown to go with 18 turnovers – tied for the second most this season. Temple also shot 38 percent, but knocked down 12 three-pointers.
Wichita State outrebounded the Owls by six, snapping a three-game streak of losing the rebound battle. The Shockers set a new season high with 12 steals.
Wichita State started fast offensively, building a 17-8 lead behind 7-of-13 shooting. Temple missed 15 of its first 19 field goal attempts.
The Shockers would remain in control for much of the half until a 9-0 Temple run pushed the Owls in front, 26-23, with 3:56 left. That run would turn into a 16-2 run covering nearly 4:00 minutes of game action. A Temple transition layup made it 33-25, forcing a Wichita State timeout and 1:53 left until halftime.
What started out as a promising first half with Wichita State leading 19-10 at the 10:32 mark turned into a Temple halftime lead, 36-27. The Owls finished the final 10:00 minutes on a 26-8 run.
Wichita State shot 36 percent from the field, missed seven of its eight three-pointers and turned the ball over 10 times, leading to 11 Temple points. The Owls came in known for attempting plenty of three-pointers, and they did just that. They outscored Wichita State by 18 points off three-pointers.
To open the second half Temple immediately upped its lead to double digits, scoring the first five points. A 12-2 run put the Owls up, 48-31, not even 4:00 minutes into the second half.
Wichita State answered with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit back to nine. After a Temple three-pointer pushed it back to 12, a Ronnie DeGray III triple and Rogers offensive rebound stick-back had the Shockers right back in it only down seven.
A Temple scoring drought over more than 4:30 had the Shockers in the game after a Pohto three-pointer cut it to 55-52 with 6:18 to go.
Temple’s Jahlil White came right back with a pull-up jumper on the ensuing possession to make it a five-point game. Finally with 3:13 remaining, Pohto found a cutting Ronnie DeGray III to tie the game at 59.
It would remain tied for just 25 seconds, as Temple’s Sam Hofman came right back down with a three-pointer. After two Pohto free throws made it 62-61, Hysier Miller drilled a back-breaking triple with 1:52 left. Wichita State would not score again and Temple iced the game at the free throw line.
Wichita State has a week off before hosting No. 15 Memphis next Sunday at 12 p.m. on ESPN2.