The No. 12 Wichita State Shockers left Saint Louis with a hard-fought 70-65 win after 40 minutes of physical play.
The Shockers ended up coughing the ball up 18 times, were hit with foul trouble and Cleanthony Early struggled for the majority of the game, yet they were able to make several plays down the stretch, and make some key stops to pick up an impressive road victory over one of the favorites in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Saint Louis took advantage of Wichita State miscues and Ron Baker sitting on the bench with three fouls to take a seven-point lead with a little more than six minutes to play. The Shockers hung tough, by battling on the boards, ending with a 37-28 edge and using zone defense made it tough on Billikens offense.
Late in the game, while its defense forced enough stops, while several players began to make plays down the stretch to remain unbeaten this season.
Four straight free throws cut the lead to 58-55.Then Early finally got going when he attacked the basket, getting fouled by Rob Loe, which was his fifth.Early connected on a jumper to put the Shockers’ next possession to go up 60-58. That lead would be brief after Jordair Jett responded with a three of his own.
Baker, who had a game-high 22 points, took control with two strong drives. The first gave Wichita State the lead after he missed the initial attempt before getting fouled and hitting one of two shots.
The next bucket came with a minute to go, Baker drove and dished to the baseline, only to receive a pass back on the baseline, where he went up, absorbed the contact and put in a bucket to give the Shockers a 66-64 lead.
Wichita State picks up a second quality non-conference win in as many games after holding BYU to 62 points, and limiting Tyler Haws in Tuesday night’s CBE Hall of Fame Classic win. The Shockers aren’t done with its non-conference slate with a matchup against Tennessee in two weeks.