Shockers survive Owls comeback, advance in AAC tournament

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita State men’s basketball team only has one hope of making the NCAA Tournament, and that is winning the AAC tournament. They got started Wednesday by surviving against the Rice Owls, 88-81.

Two late threes from Colby Rogers pushed the Shockers to a lead that would prove insurmountable. As usual, he was the leading scorer for Wichita State, finishing with 22 points in the contest.

Both the Shockers and Owls held 13-point leads in the first half. Rice jumped out to an early 17-4 lead before Wichita State scored a total of 48 points on 23 possessions to flip that deficit to a 13-point advantage — 52-39 — at halftime.

The Shockers shot 72.4% from the field in the first half, the highest in AAC Tournament history.

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Rice would storm back, though, and end up taking a one-point lead midway through the second half. But the Shockers didn’t give in, and ended up taking the win in the end.

For the game, Wichita State shot 50.7% from the field and 52.4% from three while holding Rice to 52.7% and 50%, respectively. Both teams took care of the ball, with the Shockers only committing six turnovers while forcing eight turnovers on the Owls.

Perhaps most influential in the game was the amount of assists. Wichita State had 22 in the game, showing they were able to move the ball effectively to find open shooters.

Up next, the Shockers will face a familiar opponent as the Memphis Tigers await them in the second round. Tip off is slated for 1:30 p.m. Thursday and will air on ESPNU.

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