TAMPA, Fla. (WSU) – Wichita State squandered a gritty defensive effort in a 54-41 road loss to USF Tuesday night at the Yuengling Center.
The Shockers (8-10, 1-5 American) forced 18 turnovers and held the host Bulls to just 30 percent from the field but committed 20 turnovers of their own and hit just 28.3 percent. They were 2-of-18 from three and missed 13 of their 22 free throw attempts.
WSU’s 41 points was its lowest output since a 50-40 loss at Tulsa on Dec. 6, 1997.
Markis McDuffie scored a team-high 11 points and extended his string of double-figure scoring games to 17. It’s the second-longest streak of the Marshall Era behind Cleanthony Early’s 19 in 2014.
Jamarius Burton and Jaime Echenique supplied eight points each. Echenique, Burton and Rod Brown shared the team lead with six rebounds apiece. Burton also handed out a team-high four assists.
David Collins paced USF (13-6, 3-4) with 13 points, and Laquincy Rideau added 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.
WSU trailed 30-15 at halftime after shooting 22.7 percent in the first half and missing all eight three-point attempts.
It was a 37-20 game at the 11:50-mark before the Shockers rallied to make a game of it. They scored 21 of their 41 points over the final 11:30.
An 11-0 Shocker run began with Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler’s three-point play and continued with two McDuffie jumpers and a Burton layup. The latter pulled WSU to within 37-31 with still 7:16 to play.
Samajae Haynes-Jones supplied a layup and a jumper, and Burton nailed two free throws to slice the margin to five, 42-37, with 4:48 left.
USF answered with consecutive treys from Yetna and Collins to space the lead back out to 11.
The Shockers hit the road again this weekend to face UConn. Saturday’s tipoff from Storrs, Conn. is set for 5 p.m. CT and airs nationally on CBS Sports Network.