WSU pulls of close win over Oral Roberts
Jamarius Burton and Trey Wade scored 14 points apiece and Erik Stevenson flirted with a triple-double as unbeaten Wichita State held off Oral Roberts, 68-59, Saturday afternoon at Charles Koch Arena.
WSU (5-0) watched a 15-point second-half lead shrink to three in the last 5:00 before quickly restoring order. Stevenson (eight points and eight rebounds) capped a 9-2 Shocker run and picked up his career-high ninth assist on a long inbound to a dunking Dexter Dennis.
Dennis' slam was the Shockers' seventh of the night – their highest total since a Jan. 25, 2018 win over UCF. Wade and Asbjorn Midtgaard had two-each.
Wade (6-of-9 from the field) grabbed six rebounds and recorded three blocks.
Burton made 7-of-9 shots to post his third-straight double-figure scoring game.
Tyson Etienne tacked on 12 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting in 16 minutes off the bench.
Helped by Burton and Etienne, Shocker reserves accounted for 37 of the team's 68 points.
Jaime Echenique clocked 11 minutes off the bench in his first action since fracturing his left hand four weeks ago. He was 2-of-5 from the floor and totaled five points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Deondre Burns led ORU (2-4) with 14 points, and Elijah Lufile – the brother of former Shocker Chadrack Lufile – tacked on 13 points with 10 rebounds.
WSU held the visiting Golden Eagles to 32.3 percent shooting (3-of-23 from three).
The Shockers have held all five opponents under the 40-percent mark this year.
WSU raced to an 18-7 lead just seven minutes into the game but settled for a seven-point halftime cushion, 32-25.
WSU held ORU scoreless for over five minutes during the second half on 11-straight field goal misses.
Back-to-back threes from Grant Sherfield and Etienne made it a 46-31 game with 13:34 to play.
The visitors bounced back to hit seven of their next 10 shots. Burns' layup pulled ORU to within 56-53 with 5:49 to play.
The teams traded scores before Burton's pull-up jumper with 4:30 to go started the Shockers' final push. Stevenson hit a turnaround, Echenique added a free throw and Wade scored inside to make it an eight-point lead. Stevenson's long fling to Dennis with just over 90 seconds remaining gave WSU a double-digit lead.
The Shockers travel to Mexico to take part in the Cancun Challenge. They'll face South Carolina (4-1) in Tuesday's semifinal (5 p.m. CT, CBS Sports Network) and meet up with either Northern Iowa (6-0) or West Virginia (4-0) on Wednesday (5 or 7:30, CBSSN).