Wichita State rallies from 16 down to beat Tulsa

Dec 17, 2022; Wichita, Kansas, USA;  ©KellyRoss
Dec 17, 2022; Wichita, Kansas, USA; ©KellyRoss(©KellyRoss | Kelly Ross)
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 8:08 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA, Kan. (School Release) - Jaykwon Walton led a group of five double-figure scorers with 19 points and Wichita State rallied from 16 down to defeat Tulsa, 73-69, in the largest second-half comeback in Charles Koch Arena history.

It was the second odds-defying victory in as many games for WSU (9-8, 2-3 American), which also trailed by 14 last Sunday at South Florida before storming back.

Tulsa (4-12, 0-5) made 9-of-13 threes in the opening half and scored on its first three possessions of the second half to go up 47-31 at the 18:26-mark.

WSU quickly cut into the margin with a 15-2 run and moved in front for the first time with 1:11 to play when Craig Porter Jr. smothered a Sam Griffin jumper and fed ahead to Jarron Pierre Jr. for a transition layup and a 70-69 lead.

The Shockers made just 2-of-17 threes but attacked the rim relentlessly down the stretch. They outscored the visitors 23-5 at the free throw line and 44-22 in the paint (converting 22-of-34 attempts from inside the lane).

Tulsa finished at 46.6% -- a season-high for a WSU opponent – on 10-of-22 three-point shooting (.455) but made just 1-of-9 after halftime. The Shockers defense had a hand in that (literally), piling up seven second-half blocks.

Griffin scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting for Tulsa.

The win was WSU’s 11th straight over the Golden Hurricane in Wichita. Tulsa is 0-10 since Charles Koch Arena’s 2003 renovation.

Back from a two-game injury absence, Walton was a difference-maker for the Shockers, scoring 13 of his 19 points after halftime.

Ditto for Xavier Bell, who never left the bench in the first half but clocked 15 minutes down the stretch and contributed 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Porter played all 40 minutes and registered 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

James Rojas secured his first double-double with 11 points and career-highs for both rebounds (10) and assists (5).

Kenny Pohto added 11 points, seven rebounds and personal-best four blocks.