Porter scores 24 on Senior Day; Shockers cage Bulls
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Craig Porter Jr. celebrated Senior Day with a career-high 24 points and Wichita State closed out the regular season with a 69-49 victory over South Florida on Sunday afternoon at Charles Koch Arena.
The Shockers (16-14, 9-9 American) clinched the No. 6 seed in next week’s American Athletic Conference Championship in Fort Worth and will take on No. 11 Tulsa in Thursday’s first round (6 p.m. CT, ESPNU).
Up three at the break, WSU outscored the Bulls 33-16 in the second half to pull away.
The Shockers shot an even 50% from the field (28-of-56) and held USF (14-17, 7-11) to 31.0%.
Serrell Smith Jr. tallied 11 points off the visitors, who made just 5-of-22 shots after halftime.
In his final home game at the Roundhouse, Porter was 9-of-16 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep. He handed out five assists and matched a personal-best with five blocks.
Xavier Bell (11 points) and James Rojas (10) also finished in double-figures. Kenny Pohto grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to go with four assists, three blocks and a pair of steals.
Seniors Gus Okafor and Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler started and played quality minutes. Poor Bear-Chandler made a first-half triple and Okafor kicked in eight points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes
Led by Porter’s 14, the four Shocker seniors accounted for 27 of the team’s 36 first-half points.
After being outrebounded in the first half (19-18) the Shockers were plus-13 the rest of the way (23-10). The Bulls had early success on second-chance opportunities but managed just one offensive board after halftime.
· Porter’s last assist of the night was the 250th of his three-year WSU career. He’s just the 24th Shocker to reach that milestone.
· Porter’s 81 career blocks are now the most all-time by a Shocker guard and tied for 14th-most overall. He had entered the day tied with Ron Baker (76).
· Pohto finished with double-digit rebounds for the fourth time this season, matching Porter for the team lead.
· WSU improved to 9-1 all-time against USF (5-0 in Wichita) with eight consecutive series wins.
· The Bulls averaged just .754 points-per-possession – lowest by a Shocker opponent this conference season. Second-lowest was USF’s .917 in the Jan. 8 meeting in Tampa.
The Shockers face Tulsa on Thursday evening in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Championship at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas (6 p.m. CT, ESPNU). Winner gets No. 3 seed Tulane on Friday night (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU). For more information, visit the tournament central hub at //TheAmerican.org/MBB.
Copyright 2023 KWCH. All rights reserved. To report a correction or typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org