What has happened to Wichita State? A loss to Missouri Valley contender Indiana State is one thing. Falling to Northern Iowa was a game the Shockers likely wish they could have had back.
But Tuesday night showed a reason for real concern with Gregg Marshall’s team, as the Shockers fell to Southern Illinois, 64-62, at SIU Arena in Carbondale, Ill.
Wichita State led, 62-60, with 1:12 to play after a Carl Hall tip-in, but Jalen Pendleton tied the game with a layup on SIU’s next possession. The Shockers had a chance to take the lead with 0:12 to play but turned the ball over, setting up Pendleton for a jumper that was blocked but called a goaltend to take the lead with 0:03 remaining. That proved to be the game winner.
Southern Illinois was previously 1-10 in Missouri Valley play and ranked 255th in the nation in scoring, but three players scored in double figures Tuesday. T.J. Lindsey led the way with 14 points to go along with Desmar Jackson and Jeff Early with 11 each.
Hall and Cleanthony Early, Wichita State’s two biggest offensive threats who combine to average over 27 points per game, were held to just 15 points Tuesday night. Without those two producing, Demetric Williams was the only reliable scorer for WSU. He finished with 15 points.
The Shockers were also -7 in turnover differential. Point guard Malcolm Armstead had four turnovers for the second straight game, which did not help the offensive find its groove.
Wichita State now stand 1.5 games behind Creighton for the lead in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_